One of the best things about modern basecoat clearcoat paints is that you have a lot of room for paint correction and removing imperfections over time in the surface. Powder coating is an extremely durable coating but it isn’t always as easy to remove imperfections that have impacted the surface. While stains or issues can be easily corrected in liquid paint and clear coat the process isn’t exactly as easy.
While powder coating is very strong it can’t always totally withstand water stains from acidic or hard water. These stains can vary by the severity of the impurities in the water, the duration it was left on the surface, and the color powder.
If you need to clean the surface we always suggest to start with soapy water and a lint-free rag or a brush to attempt to clean the surface from the stain. Apply moderate force when rubbing in a circular motion and light stains will often come right off. You can then wash the entire area and you should have a clean stain-free surface.
If the stain is still present you’ll want to try a Zero VOC citrus cleaner like Oil Eater Orange Cleaner to remove the acidic deposits on the surface. Citrus cleaners use the power citric acid along with other zero voc ingredients to enhance the cleaner powers of citric acid. We like to saturate the area with cleaner and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rubbing the area in a circular motion with a lint-free rag. After a few attempts most stains should come out if they haven’t penetrated the surface.
At this point if the stain didn’t come off it has likely penetrated the surface and you need to use something a little more aggressive. A powder coat polish is the next on the list. A powder coating polish has a light abrasive formula that will actually scratch the surface very lightly to “scrape” the stain off of the surface. Apply a dab of polish about the size of the stain and rub it in a circular motion to remove the stain. After the stain has been removed you can use a wax or spray detailer over the entire surface to clean the surrounding areas and return the original luster.
This is the last and final step before having to recoat the part. Powder coating has a very tough finish and doesn’t work as well with wet sanding and buffing major imperfections out like liquid paint does. For difficult stains we suggest using a 1200-1500 grit sandpaper and abrading the stained area while wet. You can use it in conjunction with the citrus cleaner or soapy water. We suggest sanding just outside the stained area and then following up with powder polish afterwards to remove the light scratches. Take care not to push too hard or over sand the panel or may never get the surrounding areas to match in hue and gloss again.
We hope these tips on polishing and correcting surface defects in powder coat helps you. If you need to order additional powder, powder polish, or are new to powder coating you can find our entire Hot Coat Powder Coating Line HERE.