Compare Powder Coat vs Paint Costs
Powder Coat Overview
Powder coating is an alternative to painting that has grown in popularity in recent years. The process is used to apply a durable, protective finish to almost any type of metal product. It is particularly popular for applying a finish to vehicles.
With powder coating, a dry material is applied to the surface of the metal using electrostatic or compressed air. The item is then placed in a curing oven until the powder melts and is fused to the surface.
How Much Does Powder Coating Cost?
The price of powder coating depends on the type of product or surface that you’re coating. For vehicles, most shops charge on an a la carte basis for each part or component that is coated.
Budget about $400 to $1,000 to have the body of a vehicle powder coated, depending on the size of the vehicle. For smaller parts like the grill or bumper, plan on paying about $50 to $100 each. Powder coating a set of wheels usually costs about $400 to $700. All totaled, you’re probably looking at spending several thousand dollars.
Powder Coat Pros
- Durable - Powder coating creates a more durable finish than paint. The finish lasts longer and it is more resistant to scratches, chips, fading and rust.
- Looks like paint - A powder coating doesn’t look much different than paint. Just like paint, it offers a wide selection of colors and finishes, including high-gloss, low-gloss, metallics, smooth or matte.
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Powder Coat Cons
- Price - Powder coating tends to be slightly more expensive than painting. For small jobs, the price difference is negligible. But powder coating is more expensive for large jobs.
- Difficult to repair - Powder coating is not easy to touch up. The surface will have to go through the heat curing process all over again. In some cases, the vehicle or product will have to be disassembled.
For most of us, painting is a more familiar technique. A wet paint, rather than a dry coating, is used to coat the surface of a product. The process is simpler because there’s no need for heat curing.
How Much Does Painting Cost?
If you’re looking to have a car painted, budget about $3,000 to $5,000, on average, depending on the size of the vehicle, the complexity of the project and the reputation of the shop. The bulk of that cost goes to labor.
Pros of Paint
- Price - Painting tends to be slightly less expensive, particularly with larger items.
- Quick turnaround - Because painting is a simpler process, it generally takes less time.
- Easier to fix - Scratches or chips are easy to repair with paint. Simply touch up the area and wait for it to dry. With powder coating, the process is far more complex - and more expensive.
Cons of Paint
- Durability - A painted surface is not as strong as a powder coated surface. It is more easily scratched and chipped. The surface is more likely to rust and fade. And the finish will not last as long.