Powder coating can be used in all sorts of situations to improve upon traditional finishes like liquid paint. It can be used to coat vehicles and machinery, architecture, furniture, and much more.
Of course, some situations involve more abrasion than others, and some items might not occur as possible candidates for powder coating. For instance, is powder coating good for gates? What are its strengths over metal paint, and what do I need to know?
Powder coating can be a great option for coating outdoor objects like gates. This can be a simple metal gate for pedestrians, or a large security gate protecting your driveway.
Traditionally, you would use a liquid metal paint to coat a gate. These paints are designed to bond to the metal, but their viscosity—and the fact that liquids can run and drip—can make them difficult to work with.
For metal gates, powder coating is a good choice thanks to its electrostatic method of clinging to the substrate (the gate) before being cured, ensuring the coating is tightly bonded to the item.
There are numerous benefits to using powder coating for gates rather than relying on liquid paint.
For instance, prepping a gate for liquid paint can be a lot of work before the painting even begins. Painting metal always requires a primer, and if the metal is smooth and uncoated, the primer will struggle to adhere. This means a round of sanding to rough-up the surface, thereby allowing the primer to stick.
This primer then has to be allowed to dry—something that could take around 48 hours to fully and reliably dry in the right humidity—before the actual painting can begin. This also assuming there is no oil or rust or dirt on the gate beforehand, which would mean cleaning and scrubbing before applying primer—yet another step in the process.
Conversely, powder coating is applied then heated to cure. The entire process is quick, condensed, and efficient with little waste and no possibility of dripping or smearing.
Powder coatings like polyester have excellent UV resistance and toughness, making them durable as well as simple to apply. Powder coating is generally more resistant to chipping and flaking, unlike paint which can be broken and degrade over time as weaknesses occur.
Powder coatings have good impact resistance, making them ideal to stand up to the constant bangs and scrapes that gates need to take, particularly in high-traffic areas. This helps them provide a pleasing finish and aesthetic quality that lasts for a long time.
Conventional paint is also more difficult to apply in a truly even coating. Since liquid is under the constant effects of gravity, it can be hard to get up and into the nooks and crevices of particularly ornate gatework, presenting pockets of weakness that could gather dirt and grime or breed rust.
A powder coated gate, like all powder coated outdoor objects, still need to be maintained in order to keep their high-quality finish. Luckily, this isn’t complex and doesn’t require expensive chemicals or equipment.
Maintaining a powder coating can be done with the help of certain coating waxes if needed, but for the most part a solid and regular cleaning routine will suffice. Abrasive cleaners and power washers should be avoided, as over time these could affect the natural durability of the powder coating and prematurely wear it down.
The best way to clean a powder coated gate is using a mild soap and water, with a cloth, sponge, or brush with soft fibres or bristles. Some detergents will use emulsifiers to help remove stains, which can be helpful.
As they say, a stitch in time saves nine, so regular inspection alongside your cleaning routine will help keep you abreast of anything that might present a problem for the coating. Common issues include bird droppings, which contain uric acid and are therefore corrosive.
Tomburn has applied expert powder coating to a wide range of jobs. Our helpful team can answer any questions you have and break down the powder coating process in simple language, clearly outlying the best option for your investment.
To find out more about our work, contact Tomburn today