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Liquid Painting Versus Finishing

Liquid painting, for decades, was the primary process to provide a protective coating to metal surfaces.

After work piece cleaned (cleaning in liquid application were inadequate and poorly maintained)  the wet paint was applied to the surface of the part. Paint often requires multiple coats for an even finish.  With each coat, drips or other blemishes become more possible,  increasing the possibility for defects in the surface. Most importantly, products that have been painted are not as durable as other finishes and are open to splintering or chipping. The advantage of paint finish is a lower upfront cost. However, it usually costs more long term because of increased maintenance and decreased quality.

The primary difference between painting and powder coating is that powder coating is a dry process. After the application and curing process, powder coating results in a more durable finish than paint. Powder coating only requires one coat to completion, not multiple as found in the painting process. Your piece will be resistant to splintering and chipping that often accompanies a painted product. Powder coating can also utilize textured finishes, high or low gloss and an array of colors. Powder coated finishes are durable, anti-corrosive and can be made with antibacterial or chemical and UV resistant properties. For a long lasting and aesthetically pleasing finish, powder coating is a better choice than traditional paint.

Plating is similar to powder coating in that they both provide an attractive and durable exterior finish to a product when properly applied. Plating, however, applies a metal finish. What metal finish you choose will depend on what qualities you would like to have in the finished product. Zinc plating is the best choice for preventing oxidation or rust. It is the primary protective coating used in many everyday items such as bolts and washers. Nickel chrome plating provides an initial nickel-plated finish over ferrous, brass cover. It is then overlaid with chrome seal for extra tarnish/corrosion resistance.  The end result is a high quality nickel chrome plating finish that takes the strengths of each individual processes. Nickel chrome plating will give the product a finish impervious to abrasions and scuffs with high thermal resistance.

Finishing is highly preferred over painting for several reasons including durability, strength and appearance. Professional powder coating and plating is available right here in St. Louis. Talk to the experts at Microfinish about the finishing process and what choice is right for your next project!

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