Are you tired of repainting all of your metal furniture every summer? Or how about your huge fence? If so, we have an incredible solution for you called powder coating. Powder coating is a great alternative method of surface coating that bonds the finish directly to the metal. It works on many metal items such as patio furniture, auto parts, guardrails, fences and more. Undeniably, one of the biggest perks is that it has a significantly longer lifespan than liquid paint. In fact, if properly cared for it can even last indefinitely!
In this helpful guide, we’ll cover the advantages of powder coatings and most importantly, how to properly care for the coat to keep it strong and looking its best for years and years to come.
Advantages of Powder Coatings
Powder coating offers many advantages over its competition:
- Resistance to corrosion
- Less fading
- Higher quality finish
- Protects better against scratches
- Usually less expensive
- More environmentally friendly
It’s not only used by consumers, but also by leading automotive, furniture, architecture, appliance, medical device industries, and more.
Why is Proper Maintenance is So Important?
Most products that get a powder coat are metal items that you will find outdoors. These items are exposed to a large number of elements throughout the year including potential sun, rain, wind, cold, heat, salt water, pollution, and electrical currents. (Also a culprit high on the list – pesky bird droppings!). It’s no surprise that any of these can pose a threat to the life span of the coating.
For example, think of taking a trip to the beach. If you don’t protect your skin from the sun, you will soon see the harmful effects on your unprotected skin. Another great example is your car. If you never wash it after dirt, salt, and other debris are sitting on the paint, you’ll later see the nasty effects of corrosion. Maintaining and properly caring for the powder coating regularly will extend the overall life of it down the road.
While it may be impossible to tell exactly how long a powder coat will last, you will definitely extend it from correct cleaning and maintenance. Doing so may even double or triple the coating’s life span!
How to Care for & Maintain Powdered Surfaces
This is one of the most efficient methods to clean powder coated surfaces. It’s recommended that you use a low-pressure setting since high pressure may be too strong and risk damaging the finish. You should only use filtered water since rainwater and groundwater may cause staining on surfaces due to the potential fluoride, sulfur, chlorine or iron oxide in it. Filtered water and low-pressure cleaning will remove all the dirt and buildup metal items can acquire over time. This cleaning method is a terrific option.
Mild Soap and Water Cleaning
A much more traditional method is simply using a mild soap and warm, filtered water. The best soap you can use is one that is PH neutral and has built-in emulsifiers that can break down stains easily. One way to tell if the soap is mild enough is determining if the product is safe for your hands. If you have to wear gloves to protect your hands, it’s not safe for the powdered coat either.
Start by wiping the surface gently with a wet sponge to remove any loose debris. Next, a soft brush and mild soap can be used to scrub surfaces more thoroughly. (A wire or rough brush should NOT be used). Rinse afterward with filtered water. Allow to dry naturally or use a clean, dry cloth to achieve a cleaner look.
Protect with Wax Coating
If people are constantly touching the furniture, objects are bumping into them, or items are being handled often, these surface will benefit from a wax protectant. You can apply wax to stairways, automobiles, outdoor furniture, handrails, fences, and outdoor fixtures.
Simply use a light coating of high-grade non-abrasive car wax. Make sure to use a brand that has a UV blocker. Apply the wax and wipe off any remaining once you’re finished to avoid permanent staining.
Cleaning Agent – Warning
Harsh liquids, powders, and cleaners should be strongly avoided! Using these will damage the powder coating.
How Often Should You Clean?
Ultimately, how often you should clean your powdered surfaces is based on your geographic location:
- Non-hazardous environment – check/clean quarterly
- Tropical & Marine environments – check/clean every 1-2 months
- High Traffic environment & Swimming Pools – check/clean every 1-2 months
- Industrial environment – check/clean every 3 months – quarterly
Special Inspections for Fences, Railings, & Gates
Powder coating and safety inspections for fences, railings, and gates should be performed at least twice yearly. Carefully observe the finishes while looking for scratches, damage, or knicks. Also, look for signs of rust. Make sure to tighten, replace missing parts, and evaluate any build up for repairs. If the fence or railing is in a high-traffic area, inspections should be done even more often.
Repair Any Minor Damage
Any MINOR scratches or dents in the powder coat can be taken care of by the homeowner or professional contractor. For larger repairs please contact a professional.
- Use medium grade sandpaper on the damaged surface and the immediate area around it. A helpful tip – place the sandpaper on the end of a pencil or narrow surface to give you more control as you sand it. Ensure all of the surfaces are smooth and any rust is removed.
- Apply an exterior metal primer to the entire area and ensure all areas are primed and sealed.
- Once the primer is dry, paint the primed area with exterior enamel paint to match the powdered coat.
By following these care and maintenance tips you will have beautiful furniture, auto parts, fences, or guardrails that will last a lifetime! Don’t waste your precious money on liquid paint every year, instead, experience the wonderful long-lasting power of powder coating.
Trust AR Powder for All Your Coating Needs
Do you want to keep your patio furniture, auto parts, or other metal pieces looking their best for years to come? Let AR Powder coat them! We’re happy to answer any questions you may have or help you get started on your next project. A brand new, high-quality, durable powder finish is waiting for you. Contact us today!