Can You Paint Over Powder Coat

Powder-coated surfaces have many advantages, but they also have significant disadvantages. It is frequently chosen for its long-lasting finish, environmental friendliness, and potentially lower cost compared to liquid coating. Even powder coating is subject to abrasions and damage despite its enhanced durability.

When scratches or abrasions happen, the underlying material is more likely to oxidize or rust. Applying liquid paint over a powder-coated surface is a good idea for two reasons: to avoid oxidation of the substrate and restore your product’s cosmetic appeal.

The quick answer to whether you can paint over powder coating is yes, but there are many things to know beforehand. In our guide, you can learn more about how to paint over powder coat the right way.

powder coat

By the end, you’ll see how to properly prepare the underlying powder coat to offer enough adhesion, and how to pick the right paint for painting over powder coat. (Read Will Vinegar Remove Paint From Concrete)

Can You Paint Straight Over Powder Coat?

Wet paint won’t stick to a powder-coated surface unless adequately prepared. Paint and powder both require a profile to cling to the surface properly they are applied.

Paint over powder is widely used in autos, where sandblasting a restoration project leads to corrosion and rust.

Using a powder-based primer enables further restoration.

Powder coating is scratch, wear, and weather-resistant, and when trying to paint over an existing powder coat, you need a liquid coating that performs similarly to the powder coat.

Adhesion refers to a coating’s ability to adhere to a surface. It isn’t easy to paint over powder-coated surfaces because powder coating creates a flat, smooth surface. A liquid coating’s underlying bonding to the substrate can be problematic.

Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to prep your powder coatings and paint the slick surface to offer a durable finish.


Step 1: Clean The Surfaces

  1. To remove surface dirt and other impurities, wash the powder-coated surface.
  2. Clean with a soft cloth, water, and a light detergent. Allow to dry thoroughly, or use a chamois cloth to finish.

Step 2: Prepare The Surfaces

  1. Sand the surface layer that will be painted. This can be done by hand or lightly dusting with a sandblast setup.
  2. Rough up all surfaces with a fine-grit sandpaper. Sanding through the powder coating is not recommended.
  3. Pay special attention to the corners and nooks and crannies. If any surface sections are not sanded, the paint will not adhere to them.
  4. It may not be seen immediately, but if the surface is not thoroughly and completely sanded, the paint will peel more quickly when exposed to the weather.

Step 3: Clean The Surface

  1. Using compressed air, blow the dust away. To get a smooth painted surface, all dust, particles, and other impurities must be removed.
  2. To limit the number of particles in the air, it is advisable to paint in a spray booth or garage.

Step 4: Painting Over Powder Coating

Following the manufacturer’s directions, paint the item with the color of your choice. You can use a sprayer or a brush to apply the paint, although you can get a smoother finish with a sprayer.

Some paint is self-leveling, so brush traces aren’t visible, yet it is worthwhile to purchase or hire a sprayer if painting a large project.

You’ll be able to cover a larger area in less time while still ensuring complete coverage. The key to successful sprayer painting is to keep the sprayer moving, apply multiple light coats, and avoid drooping and runny paint. (Learn How Much Does 5 Gallons Of Paint Weigh)

Step 5: Finishing Up

Allow paint to dry between applications and carefully sand between coats for good adhesion. Allow the last layer to dry and cure completely before utilizing the object.

If the ambient temperature is below the manufacturer’s specified temperature, warm the item in an oven or warm a garage or spray booth with a heater.

Can Powder Coating Be Recoated?

Whether you’re looking to refresh an item’s appearance or you want to change the color entirely, there’s probably one question you’ve been asking yourself. Can you powder coat over existing powder coat? Many hope that the answer is a simple yes or no, but the truth is a bit more nuanced.

Powder coating over existing powder coat depends on various elements, and even then it is mostly up to the individual seeking powder coating.

Learn all about the factors and limitations involved with powder coating over existing powder coat.

Simply said, most of the time, the short answer is yes. Nothing about powder coating makes it incompatible with more powder coating. In most circumstances, the powder can be applied and dried to make a fresh coating that appears new. But keep in mind that re-applying the powder coat isn’t always the best answer.

coating compromised

Compromised Coating

Incorrectly placed powder coating can leave an object with flaws. These flaws include bubbling, spotting, and fish-eyeing. Problems that may be rectified by outgassing, sanding, and buffing may be better than adding a fresh powder coat.

if you paint over imperfections on the powder coatings with enamel paints as an example, oxidation can continue beneath the surface.

When Powder Coating Works Best?

Powder coating is a basic method that only works if specific conditions are met. First, the powder coating must be applied to a new or clean surface. Because powder coatings use a range of chemistry, not all will react well with each other. To recoat an old powder coat, you must first evaluate compatibility.

It is recommended to scrape off the old powder coating before applying the new one. This can be done by sandblasting or chemically removing the powder coating. Therefore powder coating over powder coating is best used as a last resort. (Read Removing Spray Paint From Plastic)

How to Powder Coat Over Powder Coat?

If you opt to powder coat over an existing powder coat, be prepared for a lengthy and costly process. You’ll need to add a new powder coat for serious adhesion concerns to get the protection you need.

To begin, tear the old coat off to the metal. The stripping is also crucial, as a powder coat finish is only as strong as its weakest layer.

After that, check for problems in the application and curing processes. The powder coating should be perfect; therefore, any issues are likely because of process or equipment errors.

Can You Paint Acrylic Over Powder Coating?

Powder coatings work well as a paint foundation. The adhesion of all paints on polyester and epoxy powder-coated metal surfaces (added to paint and powder formulation to increase mar resistance).

They can operate as mold releasing agents; therefore, painting over them is a bad idea.

As a result, choose a material that isn’t formulated with a slip agent. Otherwise, you’ll need to solvent clean or rub the entire surface to remove the slip agent and achieve adhesion.

Recommend thermosetting acrylic, epoxy, polyester, polyurethane liquid paint, and enamel paints suitable for repainting.

Air drying enamels, such as powder coat spray paint or aerosol spray can paints, will adhere to metal materials like solvent-based enamels.

Conventional paints won’t stick to powder-coated surfaces, and removing them needs strong solvents, abrasive blasting, or burning off the coating from the base coat, all of which take time and money.

Manufacturers have created products that are both cost-effective and quick to apply and dry, requiring only the application of a coat of paint over an adequately prepared powder coating to seal and prime the surface before choosing from a variety of colors.

When painting on a powder coat, choosing the correct cost-effective paint for the job is critical.

Certain paints may not adhere entirely even with the proper primer. Epoxy-based paints will adhere to most surfaces; However, epoxy-based products could be expensive, and new paint could be limited in color selection, yet the new layer of paint is ideal to prevent oxidation.

Step 1. Surface Preparation

Clean the surface and make sure it’s dry and clear of anything that can interfere with or impact the adhesion of the products and materials you will use.

Scrape or remove loose and failing material from the surface to a sound edge using a stiff-bristled brush before feathering with fine-grade abrasive paper.

Remove all apparent traces of organic growth and treat the damaged areas with Zinsser Mould Killer & Remover according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then leave to dry.

If any sound paint remains, scrub the area with a universal degreaser and rinse it completely with warm water before drying. (Read Can You Paint Over Powder Coat)

Step 2. Priming

Add primer to the entire surface with one full coat of primer-sealer, allowing a minimum of 1 hour of drying time.

Step 3. Painting

Per manufacturer’s instructions, use two full coats of white interior matt, satin, or semi-gloss, with a minimum of two hours drying time between coats, to decorate interior surfaces.

Exterior satin or gloss can adorn exterior projects if the manufacturer’s guidelines are followed and a minimum drying time of 1 hour is allowed between coats.

Can You Primer Over Powder Coat?

The short answer in most cases is, you need to add primer over powder coating.

Because powder coating normally generates a flat surface after surface, you must roughen the surface to establish a surface profile for your coating to bind.

Sand the bare area where the powder coating is still in place to create a bond.

Use mild sandpaper. After sanding the area to be painted, clean it with an appropriate solvent cleaner to remove any grease.

Choosing the Right New Coating: To enhance the life of your repair work, use a coating system like the original powder coating.

Apply the coating: The best procedure for your product will depend on the amount of paint required and the desired finish.

If the underlying powder coating is missing in several spots, it is usually advisable to remove the entire coating and start over. This usually requires sandblasting to remove the old coating.

A large amount of surface material will need to be removed to produce a rust-free base for the new liquid coating. Inadequate surface preparation can lead to poor coating performance or even failure.

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