DIY home powder coating

rear wheel2
coated rear rim

So a little over a year ago I decided I wanted to start doing my own powder coating.  It was out of necessity and convenience for my motorcycle parts.  Paint just doesn’t hold up like powder coat.  I went to college for collision repair and refinishing so I was intrigued by how this magic powder worked.  Some people think you have to be talented to paint, powder coating is almost fool proof. I started by buying a cheap powder gun that has a built in fan. (no separate compressor needed)

powder gun
110v powder gun that you can get on ebay or amazon

Next was to get an electric oven so I could cure the parts.  I ended up getting one for free from a coworker that was remodeling his house.  Free is always good. You can usually find cheap or free electric ovens on craigslist also.  I tried a couple different powders and have found that eastwood offers the best quality powder and they have many colors to choose from.

eastwood color chart
Eastwood color chip chart

I picked up a sandblast cabinet and I was ready to start coating.  Over the last year I have made enough money to upgrade my equipment and started doing motorcycle parts for a custom motorcycle shop.  It’s neat seeing a custom motorcycle and being able to say that I had a hand in making it look that way.

So let’s start with a motorcycle rim.

stock rear rim
Stock sv650 rear rim

 

First you have to remove all the paint by sandblasting or you can use a chemical stripper. Next is figuring out how to hang or suspend your part in the oven.  I use re-bar to make jigs that I can bolt to the oven racks to hold various parts. Next is cleaning the rim with brake cleaner.  This is the most important and crucial step to a quality coating.  Any dust or dirt will show up just like if you were painting a part.  Some parts may need to be masked off so powder doesn’t get on them.  A special high temp tape is required.  Silicone plugs or bolts can be used to keep powder out of holes.  The powder works with static electricity.  The gun puts a positive charge to the powder and a ground wire is attached to the part you are coating.  You just stand back and dust the part with powder.  Any extra powder will simply fall to the ground.  It is nearly impossible to put too much powder on so you don’t have to worry about runs!! Once coated you can put the part in your preheated oven for the specified time and temperature.  Different powders and different manufacturers recommend different times and temperatures so read the labels carefully.

rear wheel1
coated and cured rim
Picture0123161427_3
Before and after…..

Picture0123161427_1

 

 

So Let’s recap.

Powder gun $35,  Oven- Free, Sand blast cabinet-$70, Powder-$9-$22, Brake cleaner-$2, High temp tape-$10.  It’s pretty low cost to get started.  If you have any questions feel free to comment.  Eastwood has some great how-to videos also.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and coat some parts!!

Jon Kipp

I have a motorcycling background that goes as far back as grade school. Having grown up around, drag raced, commuted, done track day riding, and currently plan to race in a 650 class, Chad feels I can bring quality technical information to this blog.

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