Is your once clean and powder-coated aluminium looking tired and worn? In this post, we look at how an on-site spray painting powder-coated aluminium service can rejuvenate existing PPC aluminium areas that look worse for wear.

The post is aimed at commercial properties, and the roles that may find this useful are property owners, construction and refurbishment company employees, specifiers, architects, and property management company employees.

VANDA COATINGS OFFER FREE SURVEY AND QUOTES FOR OUR POWDER COATING SPRAYING SERVICE

We investigate why the existing powder coating fades and eventually fails. Then, we discuss the age-old dilemma of whether replacement or refurbishment is the answer.

We will then examine how spray painting over the powder-coated substrates can revitalise existing surfaces, compare working on a DIY basis versus using professional spray painters, and compare how brush painting compares to spray-coated aluminium. 

Toward the end of the article, we look at what paint coatings should be used, followed by a list of powder-coated objects that can be sprayed.

What is Powder Coating?

The powder coating process involves applying a protective and decorative finish to surfaces, usually metal, but it can also be used on plastics and other materials. Simply, it involves spraying a fine powder of pigment and resin onto the surface.

Then, when the coated item is heated, the powder melts, resulting in an even, durable coating. This process creates a hard finish resistant to chipping, scratching, and fading. Think of it like painting with powder.

Powder-coating objects occur in a factory environment with large ovens capable of this process.

A Complete Guide to Powder Coating

Why does Powder Coating Fade?

Faded powder coated panels on a building
Powder Coated Surfaces Have Faded

Powder coating can fade as it ages due to sunlight and environmental factors like moisture, heat, and pollutants. The sun emits UV radiation and breaks down the pigments in the coating, causing them to lose their colour intensity and fade.

Additionally, moisture and contaminants in the air can gradually degrade the protective properties of the coating, leading to fading and dullness. Think of it like leaving something colourful outside in the sun for a long time—it eventually loses its vibrancy because of exposure to sunlight and other elements.

For further details, check out why powder coating fades.

Why Does Powder Coating Fail?

Powder coating can eventually fail, sometimes soon after installation, for several reasons:

Surface preparation: If the surface isn’t properly cleaned or prepared before applying the powder coating, it may not adhere properly, leading to peeling or flaking.

Poor application: Incorrect application techniques, such as applying too much or too little powder, uneven coating thickness, or improper curing temperatures, can result in defects like runs, sags, or inconsistent coverage.

Substrate issues: Coated material (substrate) may have defects or contaminants that prevent proper powder coating adhesion, leading to adhesion failures or delamination.

Environmental factors: Exposure to extreme temperatures, moisture, UV radiation, and chemicals can degrade the powder coating over time, causing it to crack, fade, or peel.

Quality of materials: Inferior quality powder coatings or improper storage of coatings can affect their performance and durability, leading to premature failure.

Mechanical damage: Impact, abrasion, or scratching can damage the surface of the powder coating, compromising its integrity and leading to failure.

Examples where powder coated surfaces have started to fail
Examples where Powder Coating is failing

In summary, powder coating can fail due to issues related to surface preparation, application, substrate quality, environmental exposure, material quality, and mechanical damage. The correct preparation, application, and maintenance are essential for ensuring the longevity and performance of powder-coated surfaces.

Further information: Why does powder coating flake off, bubble, chip or crack?

What is On-Site Spray Painting of Powder-Coated Aluminium?

On-site paint Spraying of PPC Aluminium is a service that allows trained professionals to prepare, treat, and apply paint using spraying techniques to previously powder-coated surfaces. Specialist paint coatings (decorative and protective) add a barrier to the existing substrate and make the surface look brand new.

Replacement Versus Refurbishment

Refurbishing existing powder-coated items and replacing them both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Re-Coating Existing Powder-Coated items

Advantages:

Cost-effective: Refurbishing is often much cheaper than replacing it because it eliminates the need to purchase new items.

Sustainability: Refurbishing promotes sustainability by extending the lifespan of existing products and reducing waste.

Preservation of original design: Refurbishing allows you to maintain the original design and features of the item, which may have sentimental or aesthetic value.

Faster turnaround: Refurbishing typically requires less time than sourcing and installing new items, minimising downtime for businesses or individuals.

Customisation options: Refurbishing offers opportunities to change colours or finishes, update designs, or add new features according to specific preferences.


Disadvantages:

Compatibility issues: Refurbishing may not be suitable for all items, especially those with significant wear or damage that compromises their structural integrity.

It is less durable than powder coating, although advancements in liquid coatings have lengthened warranty periods.

Replacing Powder Coated Items

Advantages:

Longer lifespan: New powder coatings typically offer better durability and longevity than refurbished coatings, providing extended protection against wear, fading, and corrosion.

Modern features: Replacement items may incorporate updated designs, materials, or technologies that enhance functionality, efficiency, or aesthetics.


Disadvantages:

Higher cost: Replacement typically involves higher upfront costs than refurbishing, especially for larger or more complex items.

Environmental impact: Replacement contributes to waste generation and resource consumption, which can have negative environmental consequences.

Disruption: Replacing items may require downtime for removal, installation, and adjustment, potentially disrupting operations or activities.

Design changes: Replacement items may differ in design or specifications from the original items, potentially affecting compatibility or aesthetics.

Availability issues: Replacement items may only sometimes be readily available, especially for custom or specialised products, leading to delays or difficulties in sourcing.

Ultimately, deciding to refurbish existing powder-coated items or replace them depends on cost, durability, aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability considerations.

How to paint spray PPC Aluminium- Our process

A summary of how Vanda Coatings re-coat previously powder-coated aluminium:

1. Clean the Substrate: Remove all dirt and grease from the aluminium surface using a soft brush or jet wash. Rinse off any alkaline degreasing detergent and let it dry.

2. Remove Corrosion: Mechanically strip off any corrosion deposits, such as white or red rust, using tools like nylon pads or power sanders. Wipe the substrate with tack cloths to remove dust.

3. Abrade the Metal Surface: Sand the substrate to remove the gloss from the powder coating and create a surface for the new coating to adhere to. Feather edges if powder coating remnants are present and clean off any residues.

4. Mask off Adjacent Surfaces: Protect adjacent areas with plastic sheeting, decorator tape, or masking paper to prevent overspray damage.

5. Prime the Substrate: Apply an aluminium primer immediately after cleaning and drying. Choose a primer compatible with the alloy and ensure it adheres to the abraded surface.

6. Spray Apply the Topcoat: Select a topcoat in appropriate colours and gloss levels for painting over powder-coated aluminium. Ensure compatibility with the primer or direct application onto the aluminium. Professional spray painters can recommend suitable products for the job.

Painting Powder Coated surfaces. Before, During and After Stages
Painting Powder Coated surfaces. Before, During and After Stages

A detailed version of the process can be found on how to paint powder coating.

Discover how our on-site spray-painting service can transform your property. Contact us to learn more.

SELECTING THE CORRECT COATING TYPE

After preparation, the coating type applied over powder coating can make or break the project. Specialist commercial-grade coatings should be applied. These are harder wearing and designed to protect against the UK climate. Most are provided with a warranty period from the suppliers.

For most projects Vanda undertakes, we use two-pack acrylic coatings proven in their application.

WHAT COLOURS CAN BE SPRAYED OVER POWDER COATING?

Most powder-coated aluminium windows and doors are installed in a RAL or BS colour. However, we can source over 250,000 colours from our coating suppliers.

WHY CHOOSE VANDA COATINGS AS A PREFERRED PAINT SPRAYING CONTRACTOR?

We are one of the original companies in the UK to offer this service, starting in 1997 by re-coating shell forecourt shop fronts.

Since then, we have expanded to recoat powder-coated surfaces on properties all over the UK, ranging from small shopfronts to large commercial premises. We have experience re-coating thousands of projects involving powder-coated objects.

It is the same company; we haven’t gone through many different guises or risen from the ashes, so we are tried and tested. Many companies will offer huge warranties on services, yet they have only been in business for a short period of time.

We are accredited—CHAS, Constructionline Gold, and Safecontractor approved—ensuring that we exceed the requirements for health, safety, and environmental duties.

Our company is a living wage employer, and we invest in our employees and equipment.

BENEFITS OF PAINT SPRAYING POWDER COATED ALUMINIUM

  • Best quality finish achieved on site- can make items look brand new.
  • Vast range of colours to choose from
  • Durable and extends the life expectancy of the items.
  • Cost-effective alternative to replacement
  • Speedy solution means less disruption

For further details, check out on site spraying- a guide.

What Powder-coated objects are typically spray-painted onsite?

An extensive range of surfaces and objects that have been previously powder-coated can be recoated on-site. Typically, these items are:

  • Aluminium Windows and Doors
  • Shopfronts
  • Metal Gutters, downpipes, and trim.
  • Roller Shutters
  • Lift Doors
  • Staircases

This list isn’t exhaustive, and if there is a project where the item has not been mentioned, please contact us with the details.

FREE POWDER-COATED ALUMINIUM PAINT SPRAYING QUOTE

Vanda Coatings understand the complexities of painting over existing powder-coated surfaces. Our trained professionals can spray most powder-coated objects on site. Please feel free to contact us for a free quotation.

Please enter details for areas that require paint spraying on site.
Anthony Jones
Anthony has over 24 years experience of spraying on construction and refurbishment sites. Starting in 2000 as a business development officer before progressing into estimating and contracts management.