Updated: Jan 8
Powder coating is a process that involves the application of paint in the form of dry powder to metal surfaces. The powder is electrostatically charged and applied to the metal through spraying or dipping. The coated parts are then cured in an oven, creating a durable and thick finish. This method is commonly used for coating aluminum, car parts, and bicycle components and is known for its durability and ability to create thicker coatings than traditional liquid paint.
Establishing the Location and Legal Requirements
Securing appropriate premises for your operations is necessary when establishing your powder coating business. These premises should be located in an area zoned for industrial use, as the powder coating process involves using resins, curing agents, pigments, and chemical additives. Before applying for a business license and permit, it is vital to ensure that the premises have been approved. These applications require information about the location and facilities of the business.
To legally operate your powder coating business, it is necessary to obtain a license and registration through the office of the secretary of state in your state. If you plan to operate the company under a different name, you should also register a "doing business as" or DBA name with your secretary of state. In addition, it is essential to register for a state sales tax license and to apply for any necessary permits to work with any needed chemicals. In some states, these permits may only be issued after an inspection of the premises to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.
Essential Equipment for Powder Coating Operations
Acquiring specific equipment, including a powder coating spray booth, spray guns, and a curing oven, is necessary to establish a powder coating business. The spray booth should have proper ventilation and exhaust ducts to safely handle the fumes produced during the coating process, as the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recommended. An air compressor is also required to operate the powder coating system effectively.
Utilizing Curing Ovens
Various sizes of curing ovens are available, and it is possible to utilize a household oven for this purpose by installing a heat shield to protect the coated parts. In addition to an oven, it is necessary to have a tub for cleaning parts with solvent, a drying area, and workbenches equipped with vices or other holding devices to support the parts during the coating process.
Importance of Proper Pigment Selection and Blending
To effectively operate a powder coating business, it is necessary to have a range of pigments and blending materials on hand. Basic shades, including black, white, gray, and cream, can be used for many projects. 710 Performance prefers Columbia Coatings, Tiger Drylac (North America), and Prismatic Powders to purchase pigments. In addition to pigments, it is necessary to have solvents for cleaning, masking accessories to cover uncoated areas, paint strippers, and industrial solvents.
Understanding the Initial Investment and Revenue Potential
Starting a powder coating business can be costly due to the expenses associated with acquiring the necessary equipment, especially for more professional projects. According to 710 Performance, the total cost of equipment such as a coating booth, oven, sandblaster, coating tools with compressor, pretreatment washers, and powder can exceed $72,000, not including overhead costs for the business space or other fees and protective equipment. The income generated by a powder coating business may vary based on demand and regional pricing, but it is advisable to aim for at least a 50% profit margin on each project to ensure sustainability.