The Fundamental Differences Of Powder Coat Vs. Paint

Powder coating and electrostatic painting are often times confused for one another. While powder coating predates the electrostatic process, both methods use electric charges, allowing for a magnetic bond between your color and the object. Thanks to a man named Harold Ransburg, a more efficient method of attracting the paint and the mist was conceived. Through charging the particles of paint, a more electrically charged attraction with the metal was made possible. By 1958, this process which now included a handgun to spray the paint was popularized. Many industries adopted this form of electrostatic painting, and it is still the favorite today.

So, why does electrostatic painting reign supreme in the powder coat vs. paint showdown?

What is Powder Coating?

Powder coating is a decorative finishing that can be applied to any metal. The powder is made of resin and fine pigmented particles which are electrostatically sprayed with a gun. Once the application is complete, the object needs to be placed in a curing oven. The heat will establish a chemical bond in which the final adhering takes place.


  1. If you were looking for a smoother, thinner look – this may be difficult to accomplish as it takes a few coats to apply evenly.
  2. Because of the heat activated nature of the chemical bond, the coating will break down if there’s substantial exposure to UV rays.
  3. Color customization and accuracy is an issue, as you are starting out with a powdered format, it’s difficult to see what color you end up with.
  4. It’s difficult to make spot touchups. The layers will be visible if you are making touch ups on selective areas.
  5. It always requires a trip to the curing oven. This includes any subsequent touchups in the future.
  6. You have less control over the amount of powder coating that’s applied, including little control with the speed of its application.

What is Electrostatic Painting?

Electrostatic painting’s goal is to wipe out the issues that remain with powder coating. This process is possible with the help of a charging electrode located at the tip of the spray gun. This atomizes the paint as it moves through the gun, negatively charging the particles. The electrostatic field between the gun and object creates a stronger attraction, leaving the paint and its mist to surround any given object or surface.


  1. You can efficiently transfer the color to the object. You can achieve a thin coat with minimal application.
  2. Quality and production are improved as there are no baking requirements once the color is applied.
  3. There’s a positive impact on the environment as you require less paint and application to efficiently cover a surface or object.
  4. There are no issues with overspray, resulting in reduced volatile organic compound emissions and air pollution.
  5. Due to the efficiency of application, costs decrease as you require less paint.
  6. It can withstand a lot of wear and tear, it is considered the most durable applied paint, outperforming every other type of paint coating.

The finish is flawless, it’s as durable as it gets, and it dries quickly. We can see why electrostatic painting reigns supreme amongst its competitors. If you are looking to have your business revamped, your storefront, or office interior revived – let the experts at Spray Finishes show you the way. Contact us today for a consultation!

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