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Finishing, Dispensing, and Filtration Automotive

Pros and Cons of Powder Coat versus Liquid Finishes

By OTC Insights Team on November 21, 2022

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OTC Insights Team

Established in 1963, OTC Industrial Technologies is one of the largest industrial distributors & service providers in the United States. We're committed to seeing industrial operations advance through expert technical solutions & unmatched support using our years of experience.

When it comes to painting metal surfaces, there are two main types of finishes: powder coating and liquid coating.

Both have their own applications, advantages, and disadvantages, which is why it can be difficult to decide which option is best for your needs. We’ll look at the differences between liquid and powder application, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Powder Coat versus Liquid Finishes

A powder coat finish is a dry powder that is applied to a metal surface and then cured under heat.

This type of finish is typically used in industrial or commercial applications, as it is very durable and can withstand high temperatures. Powder coatings are also available in a wide range of colors, which makes them ideal for projects where color is important.

A liquid finish, also known as a spray finish, is a liquid paint that is applied to a metal surface and then cured under heat. This type of finish is typically used in residential or small commercial applications, as it is less durable than powder coatings. However, liquid finishes are available in a wide range of colors and can be customized to meet your specific needs.

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A Closer Look at Powder Coat Finishes

A powder coat finish is more durable than a liquid finish, which makes it ideal for high-traffic areas or surfaces that will be exposed to harsh conditions. With a wide range of colors, it’s possible to create a unique look for your project using a powder coat.

Powder coat finishes are more expensive than liquid finishes, which can make them prohibitive for some projects. In addition, powder coatings require the use of specialized equipment.

You can expect a more durable, higher-quality finish with a powder coat; however, there is typically a higher cost involved.

A Closer Look at Liquid Finishes

Liquid finishes are less expensive than powder coatings, which makes them a good option for budget-conscious projects. As with powder finishes, liquid finishes are available in a wide range of colors and can be customized to meet your specific needs.

Liquid finishes are not as durable as powder coatings, which means they are not ideal for high-traffic areas or surfaces that will be exposed to harsh conditions. While they can provide a quality finish, it won’t have the durability of a powder finish. Specialized equipment is also needed for a liquid finish, but typically the equipment costs less than similar powder equipment. 

Most times, you will pay less for a liquid finish. It will look nice, but don’t expect the durability or quality of a powder finish.

Powder Coat versus Spray Finishes: Which Is Right for You?

The first step in choosing a finish for your industrial project is to analyze the needs and requirements of the work.

The quality of powder and liquid coating is relative. Powder coating does not have a better appearance than liquid coatings, but it will last longer. 

If you are looking for a durable finish that is available in a wide range of colors, powder coating is a good option. However, if you are looking for a less-expensive finish that can be customized to meet your needs, liquid finishing is a good option.

No matter the choice, make sure that you understand the needs of the work before deciding. Utilize the best equipment for the finish, which means the paint booth and guns should be designed for the material you are using.

Contact OTC to Find the Best Industrial Finish for You

If you have additional questions about powder coating or liquid coating, then the team at OTC can help.

Get in touch with the team at OTC to discuss your finishing needs or challenges. Talk to our experts and see what cost savings, improvement, or efficiencies we can provide for your work. Contact OTC to get started today.

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