Powder coating vs Spray paint (Differences and Guide)

Powder coating vs Spray Paint

In a world full of metals, and other appliances people are often confused about choosing spray paint or powder coating to use In their metals. Therefore, before choosing any product you must know its quality, working, merits and demerits.

However, there are merits and demerits in both powder coating and spray paint. But after getting all the information about these products you can use any according to your preference.

Most people are familiar with both of the options but might be kind of weighing out, what is the difference between the two and why do I want one over the other?

So basically, in this article, I am going to provide you with all the information and differences, similarities and merits, and demerits of powder coating and spray. So must read the article completely.

Powder coating vs Spray paint

What is powder coating and how does it work?

The powder coat is exactly what it sounds like. It is actually a powder but rather than being sprayed on wet like spray paint, it’s basically a dry process where the powder is electro-statically clung to whatever you’re applying it to.

Because of the electrostatic process, the powder coating becomes more efficient. And then, with heat, you can bake it on there and that actually gives you your final finish.

It gives you a thicker and more compatible finish as compared to spray paint. Then you can go in and do clear over the top of it.

There are various ingredients that can prepare the powder to make it usable for the coating process. Such as polyester, polyurethane, acrylic, and much more.

If you want something automotive quality, in like a final show quality finish that you want to bring it to a professional to do. Thus, many people are trying to do powder coating in their homes.

However, the process isn’t just quite easy as compared to spray paint because you need a large oven. For suppose, you want to coat your wheels, you need that large oven that you can put your wheels into.

So it’s just a bit more involved process and also, you need some equipment as well to do powder coating properly and professionally.

The common examples of powder coating that you normally see in your home appliances are your refrigerators, washing machines, tables, and chairs, and most common in vehicles. Moreover, the powder coating is feasible with either thermosets or thermoplastic.

It is basically a chemical-free process that depends on heating to result in the powder to its the solid-coat and reliable state.

Once you applied the powder coating to your object, leave it for 10 minutes at the heat level of 400F°. As the finish is all set, it will give you a glossy, and bright shiny surface coating.

Pros and cons:

With powder coating, you can’t say that you can’t do customizing stuff with powder. Because you can add in different metal flakes and you can also do super chrome powder. There are a lot of options out there for powder coating.

As far as what colors you want to do and how metallic you want to get it. Or if you want to end up with a satin finish or a matte finish, there is a lot that you can do with clear that you put over whatever color you’re doing.

Further, With the right powder coat, you can really get a pretty good finish out of powder. The biggest advantage of powder coating is it’s free from all toxins and chemicals. Also, it’s durable and long-lasting.

While with powder you can do a lot of colors but it gets tricky and not everybody is willing to do that.

So powder coated is better suited for one color or if you have something that’s not necessarily just a tape line. If there’s some sort of hard item that splits the difference.

Even, If you’re going to powder the back half of your wheels and the front half of your wheels, two different colors are a good option too.

The big complaint about powder coat is that there is no good guy to do this job perfectly and they don’t do it with a decent turnaround time.

What is spray paint? How does it work?

Paint as everyone knows, that’s probably something you and I are familiar with. Basically, it’s a sprayable liquid and a wet application. It’s a process where the paint is applied in an aerosolized feature through the spray or you can say pump devices that work with great pressure.

So you have to prep the surface firsthand which entitles a lot of things. It’s basically, thoroughly cleaning, getting everything sanded down, and there is a lot of prep work that goes into then finally being able to paint it. But as I said above, it’s a spray paint liquid. So, that’s how it’s applied.

Before you apply the coat of spray paint, you gotta clean the metal of dirt and oily debris. Then you can do the surface with a sufficiently thick layer of paint.

The interesting thing is it doesn’t require any oven or expensive equipment. It dries on it’s own. You can apply the thin layers of wet paint and yet it will leave the thick and smooth texture of the paint.

Now paint, plenty of people tackle at home especially if it’s on smaller things you can handle that process by yourself without going to professionals.

For suppose you’re going to do your wheels, you just gotta put your wheels out in the garage, get your spray gun out and paint those wheels easily. You can probably pull that off as compared to coating, you don’t need a huge oven or long procedure.

Pros and cons:

A lot of people like paint because of its ability to be customized. There’s a lot you can do with paints like, mix different colors, you can mix different options whether you’re spraying it on metal or plastic to try to get those colors to match.

Painting is really good if you want to do different colors and blend them but paint is better for plastic items.

Further, If you want something that has got the depth to it, 3D looking, and super metallic, then you probably need to go for spray paint.

However, paint is not durable at all, if your paint hits with rock, it’s going to crack and start peeling. So, with the time you need to do touch-ups of paint.

Further, the paint is not good at all for the environment, because it contains toxic chemicals. And takes multiple coatings to give the final and finishing result.


Q1. Does powder coating last longer than paint?

Ans. Probably yes. The powder coating is durable and long-lasting. It lasts more than 20 years. As it results in a thicker and smooth dense finish in metals, which make it efficient and long lasting as compared to spray paints. Further, the process is also easy and quick so you don’t need to give layers of coating.

Q2. What are the disadvantages of powder coating?

Ans. Powder coating is having merits and demerits as well. However, the demerits are: it requires much equipment and supplies for coating which can be expensive for professional finishing. With the powder, you can do a lot of colors but it gets tricky and not everybody is willing to do that. So powder coated is better suited for one color. The big complaint about powder coat is that there is no good guy to do this job perfectly. It can also break down if you keep the powder-coated metal under UV rays.

Q3. Is it expensive to powder coat?

Ans. Yes, it is expensive because a bit of equipment and an oven are required. It’s not an easy task to do at your home. So for professional work, it will cost more than spray paint. While the painting is cheaper, it will take 50$ to spray paint.

Q4. Is powder coating rustproof?

Ans. Not at all. Powder coating is durable and reliable. It does not peel, crack, rust or damage because it is chemical-free. The color and gloss are retained for years because of their reliability and thick coating. Moreover, it is free from toxins so it’s perfect for the environment.

Read an interesting guide about top paint spray for furniture


People are often confused by the differences between powder coating and spray paint. And often have the question: why do I want one over the other? So, before choosing any product you must know its quality, work, merits, and demerits.

However, there are merits and demerits in both the powder coating and spray paint. But according to that you can judge and prefer what’s good for you. In this article, we have answered all your frequently asked questions.

And, I hope this article has cleared your confusion about the spray paint and powder coating. And, now it would be easy for you to choose any one between the two. If yes, then don’t forget to share.

Thank you!


Hughes, John Farrell. Electrostatic Powder Coating. SOUTHAMPTON UNIV (UNITED KINGDOM) DEPT OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, 1984.

Prasad, Leena Kumari, James W. McGinity, and Robert O. Williams III. “Electrostatic powder coating: Principles and pharmaceutical applications.” International journal of pharmaceutics 505.1-2 (2016): 289-302.

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