Paint or Powder Coat? That is the Question

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SendCutSend is thrilled to finally announce that we’re offering powder coated sheet metal for our customers, giving all your parts a clean finish that will keep them protected and looking badass for years to come. We want to help you make the best decision for coating your projects, so let’s talk about the pros and cons of painted vs. powder coated sheet metal.t away) form a rustic, rust-like finish that will last for decades.

One of the best ways to protect sheet metal from weathering is by coloring it with paint or powder coat. SendCutSend offers plenty of corrosion-resistant metals, like stainless steel and titanium, but other metals like brass and copper take on a rich patina after a few years in the rain and sun. While we always love a good bare metal look, and it’s perfectly fine for applications like sprockets, gears, and brackets, sometimes a little color is needed for that extra weathering protection.

Color me happy

With painted projects, you have literally millions of great color options with plenty of variation in hue and shade, whereas powder coating is often limited to a few dozen colors. The sheer volume of choices for color is the biggest pro for painted sheet metal projects. There is nothing stopping you from just painting one of the sheet metals we’ve already mentioned and it may seem like the easiest DIY option. But does it adequately protect your projects in the long run?

Up against the elements

Painted sheet metal designs that are exposed daily to outdoor elements will need to be repainted every 2 to 4 years for long-term protection.  Depending on where you live, you may need to repaint even more often than that as the paint will break down faster with extreme UV exposure. That’s a lot of time spent on a ladder repainting the metal sign hanging outside your business. Not to mention all the time you spend preparing the sheet metal for painting, including sanding or bead-blasting and a few coats of etching primer, epoxy, and polyurethane sealer.

Powder coated sheet metal is a significantly more stable option for colored outdoor designs. When prepared correctly, powder coated sheet metal can last an average of 20 years in direct UV exposure before needing redone. Outside the obvious benefits of real long term protection for your projects, powder coating will save you time and money because you don’t have to redo the finishing or buy new paint every few years. Powder coated sheet metal is, for the most part, a one-and-done deal. That kind of convenience alone makes powder coating worth everything.

How does powder coating work?

Where paint goes on wet, powder coat is applied electrostatically, using a spray gun that shoots out tiny particles which then adhere to a charged metal surface. The powder coated sheet metal is then placed in an oven to cure for a few minutes, about as long as a quick coffee break. The result is a thick, hard coating that is more durable than the one provided by a simple coat of paint. Because of its unique chemical makeup and the method used to apply it, powder coating contains none of the nasty solvents or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that paint does. This means that powder coated sheet metal is green and eco-friendly!

Speaking of green…

We’ve spent all this time talking about the color options for paint and the pros and cons of long-term exposure for painted and powder coated sheet metal. But we haven’t even told you about the awesome colors that SendCutSend is offering for powder coating! 

We currently offer 4 colors with 3 different finishes in black:

  • Flat Black: Axalta Black Magic 2 (0-9%   Gloss)
  • Gloss Black: Cardinal BK12 (90%   Gloss)
  • Texture Black: Cardinal BK176 (10%   Gloss)
  • Gloss Green: Emerald Green RAL 6001 (85% Gloss)
  • Red: Cardinal RD03 (90%   Gloss)
  • White: Tiger Bengal White 49/11111 (90%   Gloss)
  • Yellow: YL01  (90%   Gloss)

Ordering custom powder coated sheet metal online

Just as we’ve made laser cutting a simple, fast, and affordable process, we’ve made getting custom powder coated sheet metal easier than ever. Now when you upload your design to our website, you can simply select powder coating for your part, as well as the color you want applied to it. Powder coated parts must be larger than 3” and no single dimension can be larger than 23”. 

Quick note: at this time, we do not offer tab removal on powder coated parts. This means that micro joints and tabs may be visible through the powder coating, especially on parts made of thicker metals. Tabs are typically 0.015-0.030″ in width (depending on the material) and about 0.010″ in height.

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We proudly use hardware by PEM

Flush Standoff, 4-40, .250" Zinc plus Clear Chromate

Thread Size4-40 x .250″
Hole size in sheet (+0.003/-.0.000).168″
Minimum sheet thickness0.040″
Maximum sheet thickness.125″
Fastener materialSteel
Minimum distance hole C/L to edge0.230″
When determining the distance between two or more fasteners, you can calculate the distance by the formula, C/L to edge + 1/2 the diameter of the second mounting hole..314″
Recommended panel materialSteel/Aluminum
Coating typeZinc
Aluminum material ranges (5052, 6061, 7075)0.040″-0.125″
Steel material ranges (CRS, HRPO, HR)0.048″-0.119″