Can Powder Coated Metal be Painted? 

Powder coating is an ideal finishing process that utilizes fine pigment particles and resin to protect metals. This process comes with various benefits as it adds durability to your metal, making it withstand harsh elements better and last longer. Unlike other treatment options that emit fumes and use toxic solvents, powder coating is safe and has very little impact on the environment. Due to its durability and defiance to abrasion, powder coating needs little to no maintenance. But what about when you need to rectify a powder-coated surface? Can Powder Coated Metal Be Painted? 

Yes, you can paint over powder-coated metal, but you have to factor in a few considerations. For instance, powder coating forms a smooth flat finish. Therefore, it’s a little bit tricky to paint directly on it without proper surface preparation. Also, the paint you use should match the powder coating’s performance. If not, your powder coated surface will fumble to bind properly with the paint. 

This article wraps practical tips to achieving exceptional results on your powder-coated metal. Read on for more. 

Will Spray Paint Stick to Powder Coated Metal? 

Metal surfaces are powder coated to enhance durability and longevity. But when it’s time for the new paint to stick to the surface, you will encounter inconvenience in adherence. A powder coat is naturally slick and doesn’t permit a new coating to stick onto it. For that reason, people often ask will spray paint stick to powder-coated surfaces? 

Spray paint will stick to powder-coated surfaces if you choose the right materials and follow the right preparations and processes. 

 How Do You Prepare Powder Coated Metal for Painting? 

Among the many home painting projects, painting powder-coated metal appears the most daunting task for DIYers. However, this task doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow the basic prep work and choose the right materials for the job. 

Before you understand how well to paint over your powder-coated metal, it seems right first to understand what it constitutes. 

Powder coating is a liquid paint substitute, and it exists in dry powder form. This paint finish is ideal for metal surfaces and also clutches to numerous other substrates. 

Let’s now narrow down to the steps of painting over your powder-coated metal. 

Step 1: Ready the Working Area

First, ensure your workspace is adequately ventilated to avoid health risks. After ventilating your space, use an all-purpose cleaner to clean your powder coated surface. It would help if you wiped clean all dirt, grease, and debris as these impurities can cause adhesion challenges. If any grime, grease, or stubborn dirt remains, use high-quality mineral spirits and medium steel wool to peel them down. 

Also, if your surface has peeling or protruding paint, use a razor blade scraper or a putty knife to remove it. After that, smooth the lingering paint and offer it a rough texture with medium-grit sandpaper.

You must sand the rusty surfaces to bare metal and wipe them down with mineral spirits. The essence of sanding is to roughen up the surface to establish a profile where the paint will grab onto it. 

After sanding, rinse the sanded spots with warm water, then give it time to air-dry. 

Step 2: Priming

To enhance paint adherence for your powder coated surface, you will need a high-quality primer from a reputable brand. Such options enhance better paint adhesion. 

Applying the primer is relatively easy: hold your spray can 12 inches away from your surface, then begin spraying your primer in a sweeping motion, but don’t aim to attain full coverage with the first coat.

Use thin and even coats, then refer to the user’s guide to know the drying time between coats. After the first coat dries, spray the second coat evenly, then pull back to examine the progress. If you spot any imperfections, repaint the areas and proceed to the next step. 

Step 3: Sanding

After the primer dries, it’s advisable to pass medium grit sandpaper over the surface to create a rough texture. This way, your paint won’t encounter adherence failures. 

Step 4: Select And Paint

Next, choose the right paint rated for use on metal surfaces such as epoxy-based paints. Such paints offer parallel performance to your powder coated surface and don’t degrade prematurely. It’s also important to read the paint’s instructions to understand drying times, temp recommendations, and other product specifics. 

Once you’re set, hold your spray can roughly 10 to 13 inches away from your metal surface and start spraying the first coat. It’s best to move your spray can from one end of the surface to the other in a sweeping motion. Repeat this movement using thin layers to achieve full coverage. Also, working with thin layers minimizes drips and sags. 

Considering that you are painting on a metal surface, you will need a couple of coats. So after verifying the drying duration between coats, add a second layer to hide the surface imperfections left out in the first coat. Then proceed with as many coats as you prefer. Remember that multiple coats enhance durability. 

After painting, let the surface dry to the touch. 

Important Tips On Painting Over Powder Coated Surfaces

  • The level of the powder coating intact

If your underlying powder coating is blowing off in various spots, it’s wise to peel down the entire coating and start fresh. For this step, you will need to sandblast the surface as it’s faster than other options. 

  • The severity of substrate oxidation 

If your surface has accumulated plenty of rust, you will need to sandblast the surface instead of sanding manually. Sandblasting removes a large amount of the damage at once compared to sanding. Remember that poor surface preparation can bring about poor adherence. 

Can You Paint Enamel Over a Powder Coat? 

Whether you plan to prevent oxidation on your metal or revamp its cosmetic appearance, using the right paint is the key to enhancing durability. That said, can you paint enamel over a powder coat? 

Yes, enamel paint can go over a powder-coated surface as it adheres well to most primers. It’s also a better pick cost-wise and doesn’t leave marks after application. 

What Primer Should I Use on Powder Coating?

Primers are essential in preparing surfaces for painting and help metals combat corrosion. They also help powder coats bond easily on metal edges. But you don’t just use any primer on powder coats. Some primers are only rated for use on specific surfaces. So when you use them on the wrong surface, you will likely yield undesirable results. 

That said, what primer is best for powder coating? Different primers fulfill distinct purposes, so the type of primer you use depends on the environmental condition. For instance, high-quality primers like epoxy primers are ideal for more of a harsh condition. That’s because they offer superior protection against harsh elements like high humid areas and surfaces that endure immense corrosion.

Also, such primers are extremely versatile, meaning you can employ them on most of your painting projects. 

Do You Need to Prime Metal Before Powder Coating?

Powder coating is an important process as it helps to block out salts, moisture, and oils from inflicting damage on a surface. However, installing this finish calls for attention to detail. That means even the tiniest miscalculation can mess with the overall quality of your metal’s finish.

Therefore, using a primer is the surest way to guarantee the lasting performance of your metal’s powder coating. Besides that, primers prevent corrosion from lagging underneath your powder coating and diminishing the bond between your powder coating and the metal surface. 

Here is why you need to prime your metal before powder coating: 

  • Primers enhance the powder coating application to be more consistent. 
  • Using primers helps to lessen the spread of oxidation. 
  • Powder coats will stick easily to metal substrates when you use primers. 

How Long Does Powder Coating Last? 

Powder coating is an ideal option for finishing interior and exterior metal substrates. Most users favor it over other methods because of its unmatched durable qualities. But for your powder coating to endure a lifetime, you must treat your surface ahead of application.

Pre-treating your surface involves scraping the existing loose coating and cleaning the bare metal thoroughly. Disregarding these steps results in chipping and reduced lifespan of your powder coating. 

But what most users want to learn is how long does powder coating lasts? 

The lifespan of powder coating depends on various aspects. These aspects integrate the quality of the surface preparation, the quality of your powder coating, and the condition in which you expose the powder coating.

Ideally, if you factor In all preparations, your powder coating should last for more than 20 years. However, considering the consistent use, susceptibility to harsh elements, and outdoor conditions, your powder coating may not last as you expected.  

Also, various coatings boast different lifespans. For example, powder coats that integrate urethanes tend to last longer than other options. That’s because they are better suited for extreme conditions and outdoor use. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Powder Coating

Powder coating offers consumers and businesses an economical and long-lasting finish with numerous color options for any metal type. It’s also a cost-effective option meaning it will save you money. Because of that, you will reap huge benefits as you’ll enjoy a durable surface at a reasonable price. However, using this method may not be ideal for all applications. And that means it has some mishaps. Check out its disadvantages below: 

  • Powder coats break down easily if exposed to extreme UV rays. 
  • It’s not easy to achieve thin coatings with this method. 
  • Huge start-up costs.

Does Powder Coating Last Longer Than Paint? 

In the world of industrial applications, you will discover a common debate of whether it’s best to powder coat or painted surfaces. Ideally, both options boast their advantages. So before choosing between purchasing your preferred option, it seems right to understand their differences. 

First, powder coats are more cost-efficient than paint. Additionally, powder coats are safer than paints considering their active ingredient is free of toxins. By contrast, paint encompasses volatile organic compounds and harsh solvents that are dangerous if inhaled. 

Next, from a mechanical standpoint, powder coats provide greater levels of strength than paint. That means powder coats are less prone to cracking or peeling than paint. Better still, the flexibility of powder coats makes them suitable for items that bend or move.

However, paints offer the advantage of mixing and achieving vibrant colors without limitations. 

Ideally, it’s my understanding that powder coats last longer than paints. 

How Do You Fix Rusted Powder Coated Metal?

Powder-coated metal is incredibly resilient. But it will often rust if exposed to extreme moisture. Also, other stress factors such as unwanted chemicals can wear away your powder coated surface. But what’s the best way to fix a rusted powder-coated metal? Find out below: 

First, peel down any chipped or loose particles on your metal, then use a wire brush to scrape off the rusty spots. Ensure you peel down the entire rust as any leftovers will inhibit new coat adhesion. When through, use high-quality sandpaper for sanding the damaged spot to match the entire surface.

After sanding, it’s wise to brush a coat of primer over the rusted spot other than spraying. This way, you will avoid overpaying on your powder coating. This is done using Rustoleum textured black for best outcomes. After priming, apply a new coat of powder coating and let the surface cure. 

Is Enamel Paint Good for Metal? 

Most of today’s paints are designed for fibrous and absorbent materials. Therefore, metal needs a lot of focus when painting over it. Not all paints excel well on metal surfaces, but enamel is a viable choice for applying on different metal types.

Enamel works great on both smooth and hard surfaces. It adds appeal to metal substrates, but its major drawback Is it elicits strong odors, meaning you have to practice proper ventilation when working with it.

Also, enamel has a thick consistency, so you have to thin it with special solvents before painting metal. 

Here is how to paint enamel on metal: 

Step 1: Sand

First, use sandpaper or a wire brush to remove the loose previous coating, peeling paint, or any rust spots. After that, rinse your sanded spots with clean water to remove the lingering particles, then dry the surface with a clean cloth. 

Step 2: Drop Cloths

Once the surface dries, lay drop cloths or newspapers on the floor to prevent enamel paint spills. It’s wise to protect your floor as enamel paint isn’t easy to remove once it spills on the floor. 

Step 3: Apply Chemical Remover

Next, use a soft rag to apply a chemical remover on the metal surface. Use a brush to access the confined spots on your surface. The importance of using a chemical remover is to peel down the stubborn oils and dirt on the surface. Thereafter, allow the metal to dry before proceeding. 

Step 4: Prime then Apply Enamel

Now that your surface is free from adhesive failures apply a light coat of primer. Be sure to coat the entire metal surface before adding the next coat. As usual, let the primer dry for 24 hours, then apply your new enamel paint. 

What Do You Clean Metal with Before Powder Coating? 

As spoken of earlier, using powder coating is the surest way to protect your metal against wear and tear and rust. But if you plan to use this coating, it’s good to practice understanding the basics of the process to achieve demanding results. So what do you clean your metal with before powder coating?

The best formula for cleaning your metal surface is using a degreaser. This solvent removes oils, dirt, and other unruly impurities on your metal. But be watchful when applying this solvent with a rag, as the rags can absorb the oil you strive to remove. 

Other methods of cleaning metal before powder coating include steam cleaning to break down the oils. Or, you can blast with sand to clean a larger surface of your metal. 


Cleaning your metal surface offers your powder coating a better bond to the substrate, prevents flash rust, and holds out exterior weathering. 

Can You Outgas Powder Coating?

Outgassing usually happens when caught-up gases are released in your powder coating in the curing process. When the trapped gases pave through the coating, it introduces pinholes. As such, moisture and other corrosive elements pave through the pinholes and inflict damage on your surface. 

But can you outgas powder coating? Yes, it’s possible to outgas powder coating. Mind you; I have the right solution for you in this guide.

  • Preheating the part

Preheating is arguably the best method of handling outgassing. This is achieved by preheating the surface to send out the trapped gas before you powder coat. 

  • Removing the contamination

If outgassing materializes on a surface with contamination, clean the area before powder coating. If that doesn’t work, confer with your chemical supplier on the way forward. 

Other alternative methods include improving the substrate and powder formulation or changing the curing technology.  

What Materials Cannot Be Powdered Coated?

Powder coating fulfills various purposes on surfaces: it offers materials a colorful and lasting finish that’s water-resistant, abrasion-resistant, etc. Many surfaces readily accept powder coating, with the commonest material being metal. 

The following list displays how different materials react with powder coating: 

  • Wood

Wood doesn’t obey powder coating for two reasons: it cannot resist extreme conditions and is not a good electrical conductor. However, you can combat the first issue by utilizing a low-temperature process, whereas the second, you can opt for an electrostatic wood like MDF. Without these two attempts, the powder coat won’t adhere to the wood.

  • Glass

Glass cannot accept powder coating unless you place a piece of metal on either side of your glass. 

  • Fabric

Fabric can’t tolerate high temperatures, so it’s best to use other processes such as dye sublimation to attain your preferred look. 

These and other heat-sensitive substrates are not ideal for powder coating. 

How Do You Remove Scratches from Powder Coated Metal? 

Powder coating is a straightforward process that elicits a durable finish. But occasionally, it gets susceptible to destructive elements that result in unsightly scratches on the surface. That means despite their durable qualities, powder coats can accept damage when exposed to enough impact or sharp objects. 

But the question is, how do you remove scratches from powder-coated metal? 

The process is relatively simple. First, use a rigid wire brush to remove the fluffy coatings from the affected spots. A putty knife can also work exceptionally well in this step. Next, pass medium grit sandpaper on the affected spots as coarse-grit sandpaper can leave visible scratches on your surface. 

After that, tape off the repaired area with high-grade tape to impede the adhesive from transferring to your surface. Follow with applying a coat of metal primer on the sanded area to prepare the surface for new coatings. Ensure you follow the user’s guide on the drying duration per coat. 

After the drying duration collapses, apply your desired coating rated for use on metal surfaces. Then follow up the drying recommendations as stated on the product label. 

How Do You Polish Powder Coated Metal? 

You can treat powder coating like other paint finishes, and it will benefit from ordinary washing. Doing this prolongs the aesthetic life of your powder coating. This coating is also favored because it integrates little or no maintenance. That said, let’s now focus on the substantial steps of polishing powder-coated metal. 

Step 1: Select a Mild Detergent.

First, choose a reputable mild detergent to get the best results. Next, fill an empty bucket with water and pour in a cup of mild detergent. Mix the two solvents thoroughly to combine the detergent’s molecules. 

Step 2: Clean the Surface

After mixing the solution, insert a soft rag into your cleaning solution and remember to wring out your rag until it remains damp. Then clean your powder coated surface using minimal pressure. You will want to apply firm and regular strokes and aim to attain even coverage with two passes. The essence of doing gentle strokes is to avoid damaging the existing coating. 

Step 3: Apply Detergent

After applying the cleaning detergent, rinse the surface with a soft cloth dipped in clean and detergent-free water. This step requires rinsing the surface numerous times to remove the lingering cleaning solution completely.

Also, remember to rinse the rag after every cleaning or use a new cloth after every rinse. Don’t proceed to the polishing stage until your surface is relatively clean, as polishing a contaminated surface might damage the finish. 

Step 4: Apply Polishing Formula

When the surface is dry and ready, apply a quality polishing compound. You should choose the polishing compound with care to ascertain that it’s suitable for your powder coated surface. Applying it needs a soft clean cloth, and be sure to check the instructions to learn how to use this compound. After applying the polishing compound, let it dry regarding the manufacturer’s instructions, then wipe out any excess. 


Don’t worry if you apply too little of this compound. You can handle that by topping up with thin coats until you settle on your desired level of sheen. 

Step 5: Wax

After applying sufficient layers of the polishing compound, allow it to dry, then finish the process by adding a layer of automotive wax on the surface. Once the automotive wax hardens, use a polisher to establish the shine. Ensure you walk through the product’s instructions to see if it’s ideal for powder coated surfaces or not. 


Avoid using white spirits, turpentine, thinners, and other contentious solvents on powder coatings. Also, don’t knead your powder-coated surfaces excessively, especially metal substrates. 

As usual, don’t let paint splatters or excess sealants dry on your powder coatings. That’s because once they dry, removing them is quite a hassle. 

Final Thoughts

Powder coating is a fast-growing technology for adding durability to various substrates, including metal. This process accounts for a larger percentage of all industrial-based finishing applications. It’s also known for its resistance to destructive elements. But due to foreign variables, powder-coated surfaces like metals begin to degrade. When that happens, several questions will run in your mind, including…

Can Powder Coated Metal Be Painted? 

Yes, it’s possible to paint over powder-coated metal, but the process isn’t that easy. You need the correct choice of supplies like compatible primers and paints to meet your desired appearance requirements. Also, such supplies should withstand exposure to harsh elements and match your powder coating’s performance. 

Thanks for reading this post, if you have anything to share in a bid to make this post better: it could be a question or suggestion, kindly do so in the comment section below.