Powder coating can provide long-lasting finishes to metal surfaces, and offer a good degree of protection against abrasion and the elements.
But how strong is powder coating? Does it scratch easily, and if it does scratch, how can you fix it?
Powder coating, properly applied, will give surfaces a strong, uniform protective coating. It is a combination of paint pigments and resins, which harden when cured under heat.
However, even with its considerable durability, powder coating may still get damaged over time, and this damage can include scratches.
Some powder coatings are more scratch-resistant than others, just as some are more suited to certain applications than others.
For example, thermoplastic powder coatings are good for protecting surfaces from wear and tear and chemicals, but perform less well under very high temperatures.
Thermoset powder coatings, on the other hand, have a good heat resistance and are excellent electronic insulators.
Generally, many powder-coated surfaces and objects are exposed to continual use.
These surfaces include outdoor and office furniture, machinery, road signs, car wheel trims, window and door handles, and architectural features such as door and window frames.
In all of these applications, powder coating is likely to encounter some degree of abrasion or force during everyday interactions with people or other objects.
And while it does offer a reasonable level of protection, powder coating can become scratched.
For example, a coated door handle will become scratched as more and more people use it, ultimately degrading the powder coating.
To remove scratches in powder coating you must repair the powder-coated surface. The level of repair will depend on the level of damage.
What is important is that you act quickly. This is especially relevant for any powder-coated surface that is outdoors, or exposed to high levels of moisture.
Powder coating normally provides protection against corrosion, but scratches can let moisture in, where it can harm the surface underneath.
A quick and easy fix for touching up powder coating scratches is to apply liquid paint to them.
Powder coating is different to paint when you apply it, but once applied, it is still a form of paint coating, which means this method will work in certain circumstances.
Colour match your liquid paint carefully
Choose a paint which does not include an aggressive solvent, otherwise you will risk melting any surrounding powder coating, so test the paint on a small area of the surface first
Clean the area you are repairing thoroughly using a detergent