Is Powder Coating Worth It?

Powder coating your car can be a cost-effective way to give your vehicle a professional and unique look. There are many benefits to powder coating that traditional auto paint can’t match.

It is more permanent than paint though and it is tougher to remove than paint. It is also more durable and looks newer for longer than paint. It needs less setup and finishing. You can powder coat a frame or bumper in the afternoon and be ready to go off-roading that same day.

Is powder coating worth it, Is Powder Coating Worth It?, Mad Digi

Baking time for powder coating is about 10-20 minutes and cooling is less than an hour. With prep already done you can drop off your pieces, go to lunch, and pick them up when you are done eating. It really can be that simple.

The process is the same for any type of metal. Aluminum, zinc, chrome, and steel are all good to go for powder coating. The process is the same for each metal. Flexibility is one of the best advantages of powder coating.

How Much Does It Cost To Powder Coat Bumper?

$75-100. Most powder coaters will have a minimum of $75 per job. A piece such as a truck bumper will take minimal time if it is in good condition. It may take less than the minimum to set up and bake but for a shop, it can be tedious to set up a single small piece so they have minimums to cover any marginal costs involved.

Is powder coating worth it, Is Powder Coating Worth It?, Mad Digi

A good idea is to batch pieces. If you have some small pieces you may be able to add them in with the bumper and the difference in price may be negligible or the same!

How Much Does It Cost To Powder Coat A Lift Kit?

For a batch or many small pieces, a powder coater may charge you per piece instead of per job. As long as you are over the minimum per job they may only charge $20 per piece. If a lift kit, for example, has ten pieces and you will paint them all the same color, they may only charge you $20 per piece.

Is powder coating worth it, Is Powder Coating Worth It?, Mad Digi

If the lift kit is new and the powder coater does not have to clean, degrease, nor sandblast the parts prep will be quick. Color plays a factor as well. Some metallic powder coats require two coats so expect to pay more for metallic, sparkle, or flake type powder coats.

Simply taping parts (if needed) and setting them up to be baked is all that is needed. Some powder coaters may charge much less.

Can I Powder Coat At Home?

Yes, you can powder coat at home! You can use an oven or a heat gun to cure the powder coat. You can even buy a DIY powder coating spray gun on Amazon for around $110.

Powder coat cures as low as 350° F (177° C). So if the parts are small enough you can hang them in your convection oven in your kitchen or lay them down if no part of the paint is touching the oven grill. Give them 15 minutes and they should be cured!

Is powder coating worth it, Is Powder Coating Worth It?, Mad Digi

Powder coating is very forgiving. So even the less skilled painters can achieve great results! It may be a good opportunity to test out different designs with great results. If you can borrow the tools needed from friends you can get a professional-looking powder coat for the cost of the powder coat ($20 on Amazon)!

How Much Does Powder Coating A Frame Cost?

$500+. For a smaller frame with minimal prep, you will be looking to spend at least $500 for the entire frame. And some powder coaters will not have an oven large enough to fit an entire car or truck frame. So it depends on the many factors:

  • The size of the frame
  • The color of the powder coat
  • The metal prep needed
  • Taping prep
  • Post baking work
Is powder coating worth it, Is Powder Coating Worth It?, Mad Digi
Here is a great write up on a 2005 Chevrolet ½-Ton Crew Cab from SoCal Customs

Generally, the powder coaters will charge you $20 per square meter. This is solely for the powder coat. If there is existing paint they will sandblast the frame. For sandblasting, generally add $50 per hour and they may charge you 2-3 hours. Prep should generally be included in the price of the powder coat unless there are special requirements or designs involved.

Should I Powder Coat My Frame?

Yes. Powder coating a frame is a quick and easy way to create a professional look with unlimited color options. There are many advantages to powder coating a truck’s frame:

The paint is thick so the amount of prep work needed versus traditional auto paint is minimal. It is much more durable than auto paint as well. It is easy to handle and it ready to be assembled once it is cooled, usually less than an hour.

How Long Does Powder Coating Last?

Powder coating lasts up to 20 years. This is in ideal settings where exposure to UV light is limited and movement is minimal. Depending on the environmental conditions when driving a car powder coating may only last 10 years. UV light can fade certain colors so in hotter climates powder coating may last even less time.

Snow, rain, and extreme weather conditions may cause certain portions of powder coating to wear much quicker, like auto paint where cracking and chipping may occur from the weather powder coating is susceptible as well. Though with its thickness and pliability powder coating will erode in about half the time as traditional auto paint.

Can You Powder Coat Aluminum?

Yes! You can absolutely powder coat aluminum. Aluminum can be a difficult metal to work with as it is light and malleable, though it is weaker than steel and can be difficult to work with, especially to weld. Powder coating aluminum can be a great option as you can get a professional finish for a low cost and little prep work needed.

Is powder coating worth it, Is Powder Coating Worth It?, Mad Digi

Powder coating is also more flexible and durable than auto paint. Working with aluminum it can be a match made in heaven.

Though with many repeated uses the heating and cooling of aluminum can make the metal less malleable, and stronger, making it brittle and more likely to be damaged if used in auto parts where you are constantly driving and causing impacts from the road to the metal.

Does Powder Coating Weaken Aluminum?

No, the powder coating process does not weaken aluminum. It can, however, with time and repeated heating and cooling of the aluminum metal can weaken it. There could be some hardening of the aluminum as well though this would make the aluminum more brittle and more susceptible to cracking or ripping when used with a moving car.

Overall with a single powder coating on aluminum, it will not weaken the metal and you should be safe to apply any crazy powder coating you like!

Is Anodizing Cheaper Than Powder Coating?

Is powder coating worth it, Is Powder Coating Worth It?, Mad Digi
Rambow anodized rims by user Dr.phuOnger on

Yes, generally anodizing can be very cost-effective. There is less work and the process is easier and less intrusive than powder coating. For aluminum, it can be a great option as it is stronger it will be able to be used in more applications.

For aluminum-based auto parts anodizing is cheaper and more effective than powder coating because is it harder and easier to work with. Though there are no color options, only the patina look of the anodized metal. For parts that are used aesthetically rather than more functional powder coating would be a better option as you can finish bare metal in any color including glow in the dark!

Powder coating is a great option for many things. Powder coating your bumper, frame, rims, suspension, or other parts is simple, easy, affordable, and quick.

So, is powder coating worth it?

Yes, it is.

Thanks for reading and stay dirty