Powder Coating FAQs | Common Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is powder coating?

Powder coating is a resilient coating made of urethane, polyester, epoxy, or a combination of these three. Similar in appearance to paint, powder coating offers consistent appearance, minimal processing time, and can be applied across many industries, from light fixtures to earth movers.

Is powder coating better than liquid paint?

Yes, powder coating is baked onto the metal part, forming a thicker layer of protection that is stronger and more weather-resistant, minimizing scratching, peeling and fading.

How long does powder coating take?

We generally aim for a 7-10 day turnaround time. However, due to some variables in the coating process, it can take as long as two weeks.

What powder colors do you offer?

There are several hundred standard colors and textures to choose from, or we can have your color matched in a custom color lab for an additional charge. For faster turnaround and more competitive pricing, we have many stock colors to choose from. See our stock colors here.

Is powder coating environmentally friendly?

Much more so than paint. Powder is non-toxic and environmentally safe, emitting no or very few harmful VOCs. The entire process at Keystone Koating has been tailored with the environment in mind. Most of our waste water is evaporated. The most efficient burners and ovens are used in the drying and curing process. Excess powder is often reclaimed and utilized. Learn more here.

What’s the largest size that can be powder coated?

As a general rule, our dimensions max out at 84″H x 84″W x 204″L. However, in some instances, we can coat parts that are as long as 22 feet. See the product size capabilities at our Lititz and Mifflintown facility here.

What’s the largest size that can be blasted?

Our blasting capabilities for grit blasting are 48″W x 17″T x 300″L. We also have a manual aluminum oxide room 72″W x 84″T x 228″L.

What is the smallest production run you’ll contract?

We specialize in business-to-business medium and large runs, so small production runs (no less than 25 parts) should be repetitive runs.

Does my part need to be blasted before powder coating?

Many parts that come to us do need blasting before being coated. Our blasting services remove any surface residues before coating to ensure an even application and provide microscopic scoring into the surface of your product to promote a stronger bond with your primer or powder coat. However, if a part is new, clean, and has no mill ⁄ laser scale or corrosion of any kind, we can coat it without any blasting.

What is powder coating pretreatment?

Powder coating pretreatment thoroughly cleans the surfaces of your parts to remove any dust or particles that may interfere with your finish. We use an eight-stage system that cleans your parts and helps improve the bond with your finish. We also employ rapid drying techniques to prevent any corrosion. During pretreatment, we apply a chrome-free zirconium seal enhanced with silane technology to create a firmer grip with primer or powder.

Do you prime before powder coating?

Whether you have products made from aluminum, steel or another metal, priming will help extend the life of your product and coating. Aluminum provides natural resistance to rust and corrosion. Still, if it comes into contact with another metal part or product with conflicting properties, your products can suffer rapid deterioration due to corrosion. Steel and other metals are cost-effective and easy to work with, but when exposed to the elements, they will start to rust fast, destroying your product and the coating.

At Keystone Koating, we use an in-line priming system to apply high-quality primers with minimal additional lead time. Our experts know which primers to match with your metals to ensure you gain the maximum advantage, and we only use products from leading manufacturers. For steel products, we use a zinc-rich primer that acts as a galvanizing agent, preventing corrosion from taking hold and strengthening the bond with your powder. For aluminum, our non-zinc primer helps block metal-on-metal contact to stop galvanic corrosion.

What are your pick up and receiving hours?

Our docks in Lititz and Mifflintown open in at 7:00 AM, and close at 4:00 PM, Mon – Fri.

How do I get my parts to you? Can they be sent by UPS?

You certainly can have them sent in by UPS or any other common carrier; we can also pick them up for you, or you can drop them off yourself in Lititz or Mifflintown.

How do I get a quote on my parts?

The best way is to bring your part to us for evaluation. However, if that is not feasible, you may use our online form. An attached drawing with measurements is required. An isometric drawing is extremely helpful.

Can you powder coat wood or plastic?

Keystone Koating specializes in coating metals. Steel, aluminum, cast iron, cast aluminum, zinc and stainless steel are the most common. We do not have the capability to powder coat wood or plastic.

Will powder coating fail if chipped or scratched?

While any scratch to bare metal is not desirable and does compromise the surface, our research has shown that when parts are processed through our proprietary 8 stage pre-treatment, the applied conversion coating greatly limits the creep of the scratch. In fact, our lab results have shown that an intentionally scratched part will, in some scenarios, rust completely through the steel before coating failure occurs. In addition, if powder coating does get chipped or scratched, there are liquids that can be applied to repair the damage.

How long does powder coating last?

Powder coating can last for decades with the right surface preparation, application and powder. Before you coat any metal part, you will want to speak to an expert to ensure you apply a powder capable of withstanding the conditions you are going to put your products through. If your products are intended for use outdoors or under prolonged exposure to sunlight, consider using a primer coat to extend the lifespan of your coating. Ask about our Super Durable Powder made for extra tough climates. And for architectural metal applications, we offer KEYCOAT20, a 20-year limited warranty on AAMA 2605 projects.

From start to finish, we use trusted products and processes to ensure quality work you can depend on for years. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, we know which types of powders perform best under any conditions. We use our expertise to make sure your coating exceeds all your expectations. Schedule regular cleaning and maintenance using our suggested methods to help extend the life of your powder coating.

How do I properly clean and maintain powder coating?

Once applied, powder coating needs to be properly cared for, just like any paint. Usually, a basic cleaning schedule a few times a year will suffice.

Some basic tips:

  • Avoid excessive contact. Approach with an attitude of “less is better!”
  • Avoid harsh, abrasive cleaners such as steel wool and scourers. Treat powder coating as you would your car paint.
  • Avoid solvents where possible, When a solvent is absolutely necessary to remove materials from the surface, such as adhesives, the weakest possible solvent should be used (e.g. methylated spirits, white spirits or isopropyl alcohol).  A small and unobtrusive area should be tested prior to attempting to use solvents on significant surfaces.  After removal of the surface contaminant, the solvent should be dried from the film, and the area that has been wiped with solvent should be washed with a solution of mild liquid detergent and then rinsed with clean water to ensure complete removal of any solvent residues.  Under no circumstances should strong solvents be used.  Examples of inappropriate chemicals for cleaning or for any contact with powder coating are gasoline, kerosene, MEK, xylene, caustic cleaners like kitchen and bathroom detergents, and paint thinners. Always flush metal that has been exposed to cleaners with copious amounts of fresh, clean water.
  • When a scratch is discovered, it should be addressed immediately. If bare metal is exposed, it should be lightly sanded with a 180 grit or finer sandpaper to remove any corrosion that may be present. Then the sanded area should have all sanding debris removed with either a clean brush or compressed air. The surface can then be touched up with a liquid paint; we recommend a high quality architectural or automotive grade paint, enamels or two part urethane.. Two or three coats of paint are usually required to achieve adequate coverage. For larger areas a liquid primer is recommended.

Get a Powder Quoting Quote Today

At Keystone Koating, we create tailored solutions to meet your needs. Speak to an expert about your project by requesting a quote today or sending us a message.

Have more questions?
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Keystone Koating provides high volume B2B powder coating services.

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