Powder Coating vs. Liquid Paint

Whether you purchase a piece of furniture, a car, or a house, you will notice that all these products come with a coating or paint. Yes, the color of the paint or coat is useful in making your house or car look amazing. But the role of coating and painting goes beyond their decorative value.

A good layer of paint or coating can offer many benefits to the product they are on.

Here are some of the advantages of painting or coating –

  • For Protection

After a product is finished, it is usually coated with paint or powder. This adds a protective layer to the product. The layer also ensures that the product retains its likeable qualities like hardness, sheen, and smoothness. This also grants longevity to the product. This can apply to any property you admire in your product.

  • For Safety

Sometimes, metal or wooden products may have spiny or rough surfaces. You can cut yourself if you are not careful in handling these products. A good layer of paint or coating will make sure that the surface evens out and resists the natural process of corrosion and weathering.

  • For Resistance

During the manufacturing or refining process in the factories or plants, a product will be exposed to many harsh chemicals. These chemicals could damage the products in their raw state. A good layer of strong paint or coating like Grand Polycoats can offer resistance to the various chemical reactions.

Now that you understand the importance of painting and coating, it is time to learn which method is better. Both painting and coating aim to deal with similar problems. But like most choices in life, one is much better than the other.

But first, it is best to understand the two methods in some detail.

What is Powder Coating?

As the name suggests, powder coating is paint that comes in a dry, free-flowing powder form. A powder coat does not need any solvents to keep the filler and binder components in a runny suspension form. The material used to make this powder coating on steel wheels is usually a thermoset or thermoplastic polymer.

When it comes to the application of powder coating, it is applied electrostatically. For instance, the powder coating of steel wheels, wheels powder coating, or metal powder coating is done electrostatically. This layers up the steel or metal with the dry coat. Then, this layered product sits under heat. The process creates a skin-like layer all around the product. 

Once the coating process finishes, you will end up with a nice powder coat color.

What is Liquid Paint?

Liquid paint is a more conventional method of coating a metal, wooden, or plastic surface. As the name suggests, liquid paint is runny and free-flowing. It achieves this liquid state due to the addition of solvents.

When it comes to the application of liquid paint, factories or plants use a fine spray. Liquid paint can also be applied electrostatically. However, this method is not very effective. You also need a highly trained expert painter to apply the liquid paint over the product. Otherwise, your coating may contain many sags and drips.

Speaking of finishing the process, you can cure the liquid-painted product in an oven or leave it out to dry naturally. It depends on the paint and the product.

Although both powder and liquid coats make use of a color coat and primer, the liquid coat usually contains many more layers of color coats. You can even see that the top coat in liquid paint is thick and obvious.  

Before you learn which method is better and more efficient, it is important to know some similarities between powder coat colors and liquid paint.

Similarities between Powder and Liquid Paint

Here are some common traits shared by metal powder coating and liquid paint:

  • Composition

Both liquid paint and powder coating comprise similar materials. They both contain additives, resins, and pigments. Liquid paint has an additional component in the form of a solvent. The powder coat does not have any.

  • Process of Application

Although the powder coat and the liquid paint are applied in different states of matter, their industrial application style is quite similar to the cleaning phase. Before the application of either paint or powder, the surface of the product must be cleaned thoroughly. This is because any dirt, oil, or moisture on the surface will reduce surface adhesion.

After the cleaning process, the methods vary a little.

As a plant or factory owner, if you were to choose between the two methods, you would be better off using powder coating on steel wheels.

In the next section, you will discover the advantages powder coating has over liquid paint.

Benefits of Powder Coating over Liquid Paint

To begin with, the first difference between liquid paint and powder coating is that the latter does not have any solvents in it.

You may wonder how lacking a component can make powder coating better than liquid paint. But this is a solid advantage. Without the solvents, powder coat colors can be applied evenly over the surface. Liquid paints need to be applied with skill and care. Due to their liquid state, each stroke of the brush or each spray of the tin may vary. In unskilled hands, this could lead to an uneven coating.

There are more ways in which Powder coating is better than liquid paint. Some of these advantages are listed below –

  • Less Waste Generation

The process of dry powder coating in factories produces far less waste than the factories that use liquid paint. This waste is not only less in quantity but also in severity. The hazardous factor of the generated waste is low in the case of the wheels powder coating technique.

  • Neater Job

Depending on who is applying the liquid paint, you could either get a proper outcome or an even product. Liquid paint tends to run all over the place. On the other hand, dry powder coating results in an even layer over the surface. There is no risk of dripping, sagging, or running. On top of that, the powder coating layer is much thicker than the liquid paint.

  • More Effects

Due to the versatile nature of the powder coating technique, there are many effects or modifications you can simply not get from using liquid paint.

  • Unevenness

All products coated with a dry powder coating have very similar surfaces. This evenness is noticeable even if the metal powder coating technique is applied differently. On the other hand, two products covered with the same liquid paint will look slightly different due to unevenness. For instance, a product that was coated horizontally will look very different from a product that was coated vertically.

These are the primary ways in which powder coat colors are much better than liquid paint.


Janina Smith is the Lead Marketing Manager for Executive Coast 2 Coast Powder Coating, the most reputed custom powder coating shop, committed to delivering high-quality results since 2001. She is a certified master at mix-matching powder coat colors of all shades.