What the heck is powdercoat?
Powder coating is the process of applying a dry, powdered paint compound made of pigments, specialized resins and fillers that melt and fuse together during the curing process. The solid powder particles are electrostatically charged when exiting the low-velocity air powered spray gun. This electrostatic charge attracts paint particles to the work surface and holds them during the high temperature curing process. The end result is a durable, colorful finish that resembles enamel.
why is powdercoat so cool?
Powder coat gives you a thick, vibrant coat of color while remaining durable; all without the use of solvents or paint thinners. There are endless possibilities for color choices as well. Colors can range from subtle monochrome to transparent. Some reveal textures that appear once cured. Some even glow in the dark! Another big benefit to powder coating is that you can reclaim the unused powder over and over again until it’s gone. It is more cost efficient than vitreous enamel.
is it safe to use?
Because powder coat doesn't rely on solvents or chemical carriers like traditional wet-paint systems, it’s deemed as environmentally friendly by manufacturers. Although it is seen as environmentally friendly, it’s still a fine powder. You should exercise safety by spraying in a well ventilated area and using a face mask.
How do I start? What do I need to make my own powder coating set up?
A well ventilated area
If you do not have a spray booth, you can opt for an outside set up or you can create your own spray booth utilizing objects at home. You can use a cardboard box or storage tub with a box fan in a window.
Here are some helpful links to buy stuff:
Where to buy Powdercoating supplies
Can you use other technigues to powdercoat?
Yes! in fact, there are many vitreous enameling techniques that can be used with powdercoat. There are many metalsmiths and creatives out there who are pushing the boundaries of the craft. Many, like myself, teach workshops.
Here are some samples from a few of my workshops:
'Wet packing' technique
'Screen printing' technique
'Painting I' technique
'Sift and dump' technique
'Painting II' technique
Sample Board (UW-Milwaukee research residency 2023)
Want to sign up for a workshop?
I am currently accepting requests for private lessons in powdercoating. I am based in Omaha Nebraska, but have zoom options for those who are unable to travel. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to book a private class or if you would like me to teach a class at your school. I like to travel.