Powdercoat, Paint or Corten - Metal screens direct
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Powdercoat, Paint or Corten

Designers can create normalcy out of chaos; they can clearly communicate ideas through the organising and manipulating of words and pictures.

— Powdercoat, Paint or Corten

The commissioned piece has finally been constructed. Now it’s time to pick a finish. You have some options which are a good start, thank you technology! The most common finish for residential is currently latex paints or Acrylic blends. But for the purposes of this comparison, we will be referring to the higher quality Thermosetting polymer, polyurethane. Polyurethane is more commonly used for applications requiring a very high-quality surface finish and metallic additives. which is why is the paint of choice for automotive.

Paint (2 pack)


2 Pack polyurethane is applied wet from a gravity fed spray gun in a pressurized both. Often 2 or more thin coats are applied over 1 to 3 hours then the finish is baked with infrared or gas burner to a high temperature to achieve a cured finish.

There are a few advantages to using 2 Packs but also some drawback that we’ll discuss.

2 pack has by far the largest selection of colours. virtually any colour can be reproduced by Computerised spectrum analysis and interpretation into a paint formula that a technician can mix with a set of standard colours. 2pack also allows for reliable and accurate site repair in the all too common event of damage during installation.

The major drawback for 2 pack is the cost of the raw product and as it is a manual process with many steps and careful preparation, the increased labour component associated with its application comes into play adding to the overall cost. 2 pack paints generally require a higher standard surface finish as the paint layers are very thin. potentially resulting in visible shrink back after the part has fully cured. this can be successfully mitigated by a very high stand of preparation prior to paint application.


Powdercoat is a powder. whoever named this finish was truly a wordsmith. It is applied dry with an electrostatic field to assist in adhesion, minimise wastage and even out the material over the surface of a product. It is baked in a gas-fired oven at over 200 degrees Celsius to finally smooth and cure the surface.

Like paint, it has some things going for it. but also some drawbacks. Powdercoat is available in huge range of colours and even textures of vary gloss levels. As the Coating is quite thick it is extremely durable to wear and abrasive tare as well as some resistance to impacts. It’s thickness also contributes to its reliable quality of finish, as the material tends to more easily cover minor surface imperfections. Its application is a simplified process relative to that of 2 pack paint. with a corresponding reduction in the labour component of its application, reducing cost significantly over the fussiness of good 2 pack application.

In general, we recommend powdercoat over 2 pack in the majority of projects the only exception being if we are unable to match a Powdercoat colour to the specific requirement of a project. Making 2 pack the only goto in this advent.


Corten deserves its own episode. But ill cover some key aspects here. Corten is relatively new phenomena as an architectural finish. It has a very charming elemental finish that will vary significantly depending on the specific alloying ratios in the steel. As well as the atmospheric conditions it is exposed to over its lifetime.

Corten can is generally cheaper than the above finishes as there is no application whatsoever.  The finish cannot be damaged over time by UV as the plastic will and it will need no refinishing in the case of scratching.

As a downside, it can produce staining and may rub off on cloths ruling out as furniture. The Colour generally cannot be guaranteed batch to batch as the material will be alloyed slightly differently of production cycles. It is also not completely stable, undergoing constant corrosion over time. This corrosion can be stabilized somewhat but will depend heavily on the atmospheric conditions it is exposed to over its life. Personally, I love. I can be done so so poorly but when used appropriately it is a majestic finish like no other.

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