When finishing a metal surface, there are two main options for coloring – let’s look at some pros and cons for each.


Once dry powder has been sprayed onto a product, it is placed in a curing oven. This process builds an even coat, creating a beautifully smooth, hard-wearing finish, due to the coating particles having a higher electrostatic charge, compared to paint.

However, there are a couple of disadvantages. Powder can struggle to produce a thin finish on objects requiring a light coat- which is where paint can be advantageous. Attempting to thin powder can result in surface bumps, like orange peel.


Powder triumphs in terms of strength and durability. Paint can flake away over time – and much quicker than powder. The best powder coating products provide tremendous endurance in all environments.

The color in powder also lasts longer due to the retentive properties of polymers, which generally withstand chalking effects of moisture, heat, and UV rays. Paints, however, gradually undergo a collapse in resins and fade from prolonged exposure to the elements.

Metal, in all kinds of machinery and vehicle bodies, is going to go through a lot. A powder finish has a thickness that is strong and difficult to crack or peel. Powder finishes are bendable, and this makes powder a better choice for objects that alter shape, as well as anything with moving parts.


When finishing metal, we bet you are going to want your color sprayed and in place fast. Here, powder wins again. Painting metal can be time-consuming, as a coat needs to dry before another can be applied. With powder, you only have to apply a single coat, which adheres to the surface fast, meaning it is in place and dried rapidly.


Paint generally provides a cheaper option, although this doesn’t necessarily mean it is cost-effective.

Powder coating can be complex, as the process requires electrostatic equipment, spray materials, and an oven, which could be too expensive for minor applications like small-scale sheet metal. However, for large surfaces paint needs more coats and is likely to wear down quicker, which means maintenance could be costly. While powder is initially pricier, it needs less upkeep and endures longer. This means powder can often offer the best value for money over time.

Health and Environment

Powder coating doesn’t involve fluids which then evaporate and release volatile organic compounds (VOC)like paint. The process is generally cleaner and has fewer health-related risks.

Powder coating also offers wastage of under 5%, compared to the approximately 70% wastage experienced with painting.

Our Verdict

In many areas, powder coating can be the best choice. It is durable, easy to apply, quick to dry, and good value for money, long term. It is also more environmentally friendly.

Painting can be better if you need to coat your metal object inexpensively, you only need a very thin coating, or the metal cannot be heated.

Which one is best for you will depend on the kind of application, and the products involved. We recommend you always consult an expert, such as Orduna Iron works, to understand your options.