Whenever we have discussed the protection and visual appearance of the car, the first idea to enter our mind is powder coating. Well, to be specific, why shouldn’t it be? We all know powder coating is the best way to protect the engine bay and give it an aesthetic look.
However, the question arises in our minds;
Can you powder-coat a whole car? How long does it last?
The answer is Yes! Powder coating a whole car can be done, but remember that this task should not be handed over to unprofessional coaters. Why am I saying this?
Let me answer this and more as we discuss powder coating a car.
What Is Powder Coating?
Hearing this word for the first time, or does it sound unfamiliar? Allow me to answer.
Have you ever seen a shiny and smooth finish on a car or its parts that look like it’s been painted, but it’s much more rigid and durable than regular paint? That’s called powder coating!
Powder coating is a way of applying a special powder to a metal surface, like a car body or a bike frame. The powder comprises tiny particles, including resin and pigment, which stick to the metal well when charged with electricity.
Can You Powder Coat A Whole Car?
Yes, you can powder coat a whole car, but remember that it is different from the usual component powder coating.
Generally, average powder coaters are used to powder coat small mechanical parts of the engine bay. However, when it comes to powder coating a whole car, this would require an expert powder coater and a lot of time.
Furthermore, you can only powder coat those car parts made of metal. Plastic cannot go through heating, so only metals can be powder-coated.
Here is a short overview of how powder coating is done;
How Is Powder Coating Applied?
If you plan to get your car powder coated, it is essential to know the proper way. Here’s a general overview of how powder coating is applied.
Preparing The Surface
The first step in powder coating is preparing the surface to be coated. This involves removing rust, oil, or other contaminants from the surface to ensure the powder will grip adequately. The surface is then cleaned and dried thoroughly.
Applying The Powder
Once the surface is prepared, the powder is applied using a spray gun. The gun is connected to an air compressor, which delivers a steady stream of powder to the gun. The gun is designed to apply an electrostatic charge to the powder particles as they exit the nozzle.
As the powder leaves the gun, it’s positively charged, while the coated surface is grounded. This creates an attraction between the powder and the surface, causing the powder particles to stick to the surface. The gun can be adjusted to control the amount of powder applied, the spray pattern, and speed.
Heating The Object
After the powder is applied, the object is moved to a curing oven. The oven is heated to a specific temperature, and the object is baked for a set time. This causes the powder to melt and flow together, creating a smooth, even coating. The curing process also causes a chemical reaction called cross-linking, which bonds the powder to the surface and creates a robust and durable finish.
A point worth remembering is that the exact temperature and curing time will depend on the type of powder being used and the material being coated. The oven may also have multiple heating zones, with different temperatures in each zone, to ensure that the entire object is heated evenly.
Removing The Object From The Oven
Once the curing process is complete, the object is removed from the oven and cooled. The powder coating will then be fully cured and ready for use.
Furthermore, there are different methods for applying powder coating, depending on the size and shape of the coated object. For large objects, an automated spray booth could be used. This allows for a more uniform and efficient application of the powder. A manual spray gun may be used for smaller objects or more intricate shapes.
Is Powder Coating A Problem?
No, powder coating isn’t much of a problem for individuals. Although, this raises the question of why so many car manufacturers don’t do it already.
Undoubtedly, powder coating is several times better than paint. It doesn’t fade away like the paint, and most importantly, the aesthetics of powder coating are astonishing.
However, it is a process that requires time and much hard work, unlike paint. If all car manufacturers just powder coat a car throughout, they may not be able to produce so many variants in a single day.
Furthermore, it is also more expensive than simple paint. Powder coating the vehicle from the end of the manufacture may result in increased prices.
Also Read: How Many Times Can I Polish My Car
Can You Use Powder Coating On A Muscle Car?
Yes. Since many shades of powder coating are available, you can quickly powder coat a muscle car even if it needs that old classy vibe. It would help if you were careful of 2 things.
First, the muscle car has no rust on the points where the powder coat has to be applied. Now, pick a color of your choice and let the powder coater handle the rest.
However, do remember that powder coating would cost you a lot. If you don’t have a big budget and plan to restore the car, using powder coating might not be a good idea.
Finally, as we have understood some basics about powder coating, let us move on to the final words of our article.
While powder coating may not be the most common option, it is reliable. However, it is essential to remember that not everyone is familiar with handling powder coating. Finding the best service providers, checking their online ratings, and trusting them with your car is recommended to avoid future regrets.
How long does a powder coating last?
An adequately applied powder coating lasts 15-20 years. However, the lifespan of a powder coating also depends on factors such as the quality of the coating, the type of metal being coated, and the environmental conditions it is exposed to.
Can I apply powder coating myself?
Powder coating is a complex process that requires specialized equipment and training. It’s best to leave powder coating to the professionals to ensure a high-quality, long-lasting finish.
How should I care for my powder-coated surface?
If you want to maintain the appearance and durability of your powder-coated surface, avoid using abrasive cleaners. Instead, use a mild detergent and a soft cloth or sponge to clean the surface. Furthermore, it’s also recommended not to take your car off-roading as powder coating is not chip-resistant.