When to Paint vs. When to Powder Coat Metal Components

Unique Colored CMU Block

Romtec designs and supplies many buildings, pavilions, and shelters that include exterior and interior metal components. On many projects, the color of the building and its features is a major area of interest toward getting the perfect building. When making choices about colors, customers will also need to choose between coloring methods, chiefly paint or powder coating. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and often times, knowing the difference can help each Romtec customer get a building that looks great and functions great too.

Everyone is familiar with paint and what it does, and paint offers several advantages for buildings. First, paint does not need to be factory applied and can be applied in the field. This can help contractors source paint locally or reuse existing paint supplies from other aspects of a project. Paint can also be applied to any type of material. Wood, plastic, and metal components can all be painted with the same paint to match. Powder coating requires an oven to melt and harden the powder coat, so any materials that can easily melt and burn cannot be powder coated.

Paint also carries its own negatives aspects. Paint is typically not as durable as a powder coat and can require multiple coats and a primer to build strength. These extra coats of paint and primer require more time and material to build more strength in the paint, and even then, it still may not perform as strong as a powder coat. Additionally, some types of paint are susceptible to chemical deterioration, such as from cleaning products, and UV fading. A solid water-based paint, however will resist fading in direct sunlight.

Powder Coated Wall Vent

Powder Coating is applied as a powder, as the name indicates, and is baked on as a single coat. This process creates a durable “shell” that is chemically bound as a single, strong layer. Powder Coating tends to be thicker and more dense than paint, making a more durable color coating for metal components. Powder coating can also be more diverse than paint because different textures and colors can be achieved through different powder materials.

Powder coating has some drawbacks, however. It cannot be applied in the field, so all powder coated materials must be factory applied and shipped to the installation site. This process can add cost, especially for smaller components due to requiring the same space, equipment, and cure times as large objects. Finally, powder coating cannot be easily “touched up” or color matched. If powder coated components are damaged. It can be difficult to achieve a “finished” look short of sending the components back for reapplication.

Romtec provides metal components with both paint and powder coating, and both options carry several strengths and drawbacks. Choosing the best option will depend on your specific project goals. Talk to Romtec today to get your project started and we will help get you the best building possible with painted or powder coated materials.

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