The difference between painting and powder coating

10 March 2015

A high-quality fence is a two-way barrier. It stops your little ones from straying onto the street. It marks the outlines of your garden, augmenting your privacy and enhancing security while preventing rude strangers from taking shortcuts across your lawn. It’s a hard-working property feature, one that deserves to be dressed up in the finest weatherproofing apparel to ensure it continues with these duties, which is why we’re taking a look today at the differences between painting and powder coating your fence.

In describing the basics of powder coating, you’ll discover why the technique is only suitable for decorating and protecting metal fencing. Wood and plastic need not apply for a coating of dry powder, not when we relate the key methodology that lays behind applying a typical powder coating product. First of all, the workflow used to bond the powder to the fence begins with an electrostatic charge. In other words, the frame of the fence has to be grounded for the charge to hold, an action that’s not possible on wood or plastic. Paint is therefore the optimal coating for wooden planks and a skinny wooden trellis. Paint is the time-honoured solution in such situations, but the application of this chemical colouring is not without issues. Paint takes time to dry. It’s also formulated from chemicals that are bound to contain toxic components, meaning you’ll want to keep your pet indoors and wear protective gear if you’re doing the work yourself.

Of course, when the paint does eventually dry, it looks good but how long will this colourful coating last? Paint fades, succumbing to bright sunlight and the punishing impact of heavy rain. Let’s switch tact and head over to a property that’s recently had a tubular metal fence installed. The steel or aluminium material is tough and impact-resistant, but it’s also powder-coated. The coating is twice as thick as the strongest enamel, formed from a limitless range of colours and textures, with not a wet drop of paint in sight. This is where we declare the prime reason that this process has penetrated the fencing marketplace, the fact that powder-coated fencing is a dry process. The electrostatic application covers every exposed inch of metal, with the charge ensuring that the dipped or sprayed metal is prepared for the second stage, the baking of the powder.

The pigment-infused powder melts and fuses to the fence, leaving a completely dry coating that won’t scratch, is environmentally safe for your plants to climb and your pets to explore, and there won’t be any weather-related fading to deal with. Paint is going to be around for a long time, but imagine never having to cope with the bi-annual drudgery of repainting your fence when you opt for a powder coated finish.

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