Coating anything requires good prep to assure a flawless finish. This is true for painting with an HVLP Gun, spray paint, or powder coating. Powder Coating adds an extra layer of finish contamination that other coatings do not. That’s the need to heat the part and the powder up to allow it to flow out and cure. Funky stuff can start to happen causing issues with the final product. We decided to put together or top five ways to prepare your parts for powder coating. These tips could be the difference between a show-worthy finish and a hack job!
1. Wear Gloves- Lets start with your dirty hands. The oils in your skin; even when washed and clean can cause powder adhesion and fisheye issues. We always suggest to wearing nitrile gloves when handling parts. The gloves should be clean and free of any dirt or grease. It’s a lot easier to swap out a set of gloves than strip and recoat a part!
2. Pre-Baking Parts- Your parts can tend to hold dirt and impurities in their pores much like your skin. The impurities can come to the surface once you bake the powder on. We like to put our parts in an oven for 15-30 minutes at a temperature slightly HIGHER than the powder you’re using calls for. This means you will bake or push out any grease or impurities out of the part. You can then let the part cool and clean it off with Acetone or PRE Paint Prep.
3. Media Blast your Parts- Media Blasting is by far the best way to bring your parts back to virgin, clean metal. Media Blasting allows you to quickly clean large areas and also into small areas that are difficult to get into by hand. If you’re only doing a few parts our Blast out of a Bucket Kit requires little investment and works on a small home compressor.
4. Wipe Down with a good Cleaning Agent- I don’t care how or what you use, but wiping your part down with a good cleaning agent just before you coat it is a must. We prefer to use Eastwood PRE Painting Prep as our go-to cleaner, but Acetone can also be substituted and we’ve even heard of customers using dish soap to clean a part before coating. Whichever method you use, make sure you let the part fully dry.
5. Use Micro Fiber or lint Free Rags- That dirty red shop rag you just checked your oil with isn’t what you want to do the final wipe down on your parts with. Just like dirty/Oily hands, contaminates on your rag or even lint that comes off can get caught on the surface and mess up your nicely powdered part. Grab some lint free rags and wash them in the cloths washer after each use to be safe!