You may have heard of “powder-coated” materials and thought, “why would I want that?” You may even have imagined one of our address planters or mailboxes sitting in a salon, getting its full-glam started off with a nice base powder. And, you know what? Quality makeup isn’t a bad analogy for powder-coating metal, but this makeup is smoother, harder, and longer-lasting than anything you’d find at Sephora, AND it doesn’t release harmful chemicals into the air (unlike other metal coatings, e.g., paint).
So, what is powder coating, and...why should you care about it?
Powder Coating 101
Okay. So, powder coating uses powder, instead of paint, to coat the surface of metal. With paint, particles are mixed with a liquid (called the solvent) that evaporates after the paint is applied, leaving the particles behind (and coating your surface with them). Powder coating does away with the liquid solvent, using a process that leaves a smoother, more durable finish that doesn’t pollute.
Here’s how it works. First, tiny electrically charged particles are sprayed in a thin layer onto the metal surface. The powder sticks to the metal “electrostatically”, just like hair sticks to a balloon after you give it a good rub. Then the piece is “cured” in an oven at almost 400°F, where the paint particles melt and fuse with each other, adhering to the metal and leaving a smooth, hard finish that doesn’t run or sag. And boom, baby! You’ve got yourself a durable coating that will take YEARS longer than conventional paint to fade, chip, or otherwise dinge-ify.
Environmental and Health Properties
Powder coating isn’t JUST more durable, smooth, fade-resistant, and sag-free than regular paint (as if that wasn’t enough), it’s also better for us and the environment. As paint dries, it releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. How generous, right? Not exactly.
VOCs react with sunlight as well as other chemicals in the air to form ozone and small particles, which eventually become smog. In most US regions, the Environmental Protection Agency has even placed regulations on VOC emissions. But powder coating avoids them altogether! We’re not curing cancer here, but every little bit helps.
Powder coating is an alternative to liquid paint that leaves a harder, smother, more durable finish, with much less impact on human health and the environment. At Modern Aspect, all our products are powder coated by us, here at our workshop near Salt Lake City, Utah. We’re proud of what we produce, and powder coating makes it possible. Learn more about powder coating at this Wikipedia article, and click here to check out our selection of address planters and mailboxes today. Happy decorating!