The Power of Powder Coating

My porch furniture sure got a workout this past year during the pandemic. I spent more time on them than I had in years, so I observed many unfortunate details about the once-charming metal glider and cocktail table.

They were chipped, scratched, and showing rust around the edges. No matter how hard I tried to clean them, they still looked grimy and battered—definitely nothing chic about this shabbiness.

Sure, I could spray paint the metal myself, but I want something that’s going to endure the outdoor elements for more than a season. So, this spring, it’s time to call upon the powers of powder coating.

Powder coatings are based on polymer resin systems combined with curatives, pigments, leveling agents, and other additives that are melt-mixed, cooled, and ground into a uniform powder similar to baking flour. A spray gun applies the powder coating to metal, and then the parts enter a curing oven where the heat—about 400 degrees—produces a molecular bond.

Here’s how Gil Bohmann, co-owner of Genesis Powder Coating of Grain Valley with his son, Mitch, walks customers through the process:

  1. Share photos of your furniture or other metal household items. Bohmann has powder-coated pieces as small as a lasagna cutter.
  2. Choose from hundreds of colors and pick a finish—matte, high gloss, or others in-between.
  3. Get a price based on size, age (older pieces sometimes have more layers of paint), and how many colors are desired (vintage pieces often have white or ivory decorative backs framed with a different color).
  4. Transport your item to the shop.
  5. Pick up your item a week or two later.

Powder-coated finishes typically last at least a decade, and sometimes even a lifetime, because the surface is ten times harder than a painted one. Another bonus: it is eco-friendly because of zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

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