Monitor Temperatures using an Infrared Thermometer

Having consistent and accurate oven temperatures is very important when powder coating.  Knowing what temperature your part is at when it is in the oven is essential.  I will be talking about how to do this using an infrared thermometer.

powder coating part metal temp ir thermometerAn infrared thermometer, also called IR thermometer, also called  IR Temp Gun can measure the temperature of an object without actually touching it.  They display the temperature on an lcd screen.  They also usually have a laser pointer to help you accurately read temperatures. I'm sure you can see how a tool like this would be helpful when powder coating.  In case you don't see the importance, take a look at this scenario to see how great these tools can be:  You just finished spraying your powder on your part, and you stick it in the oven. Lets use an example cure schedule of 400 degrees F for 10 minutes(your powder will specify your cure schedule). So you have the part in the oven, you shut the door and you set the temperature for 400 degrees. You DO NOT start the 10 minute timer when you shut the oven door. The 10 minute timer starts when the entire part itself has reached 400 degrees. The easiest way to tell when your part has hit 400 degrees is with an infrared thermometer.

Materials you can Powder Coat

Powder coating can be used to coat many types of materials. The most common material is metal, but you can also powder coat wood, plastic, composites, glass, and MDF. The first consideration for coating objects besides metal, is can it withstand the temperature. Most plastics will melt when subjected to 400 degree heat for any length of time so it is important to research exactly what your object is made of before you try to powder coat it.

powder coating glass
This glass vase was powder coated red for Valentines Day.


Powder is one of the most difficult parts of the whole process, choosing one that is. There are literally thousands of different kinds of powders in different colors, textures, and gloss levels. Then add in the fact that you can mix powders(Beginners, don't do this yet!) and do multiple coatings to achieve even more looks. It is baffling, I spend a huge amount of time selecting colors.  If you would like to know some reputable websites to purchase powder from, check out my recommendations.

Powder Coating Ovens

building powder coating oven
In order to powder coat, you will need some type of oven in order to cure the powder coating.   You will need an oven that is capable of sustaining 450 degrees and it will have to be large enough to fit your powder coated objects inside of.  There are several different options available to a beginning powder coater and they will be discussed in this post. 

The cheapest powder coating ovens that you can use to start with if you don't want to spend too much money are: a toaster oven, a household oven, or a propane grill. You can also get lucky and find a cheap commercial oven.  If you have a larger budget, you can build or buy a large dedicated powder coating oven.  Powders coating ovens are one of those things where the price goes up gradually with the size until you pass household oven and then the price jumps into the thousands of dollars range. An oven you could fit 4 wheels or a bike frame would cost you $2000 or more. If you want to an oven that will fit a car, you're looking at $10,000 to $20,000.  

What is Powder Coating?

First I will cover the very basics of what powder coating is.

Powder coating is the process of applying a paint in the form of powder. Regular liquid type paints are pigments and binders suspended in solvents. Powder coating is solvent free so you are just using the dry pigments and binders. Once the powder is sprayed on your work piece, it must be baked from 350 to 400 degrees F for 10-20 minutes.  Each powder has its own specific curing schedule and you should always that schedule when dealing with that particular powder. When the powder is heated, it melts into a liquid, connects together, cures, and once cooled, is dried to a hard, beautiful finish.

Powder Coating: Simple Step-by-Step

Here is a powder coating infographic that covers the very basic steps of powder coating. This is the most basic of the basics, but it serves to show you what order the steps should go in. Go to this article to see a much more thorough explanation of the preparation steps: How to Prep for Powder Coating.  Below the infographic, you will find links that expand each step of the process.

Welcome to Powder Coating: The Complete Guide

Welcome to the complete Powder Coating: The Complete Guide.  My name is Sean and here I will discuss in detail how to powder coat. If you have no idea what powder coating is, I first suggest reading "What is Powder Coating".  The main focus of this guide is DIY powder coating but there will be plenty of information here for anyone that powder coats.

Being able to powder coat means being able to apply beautiful durable finishes using relatively low cost equipment and the basics can be learned quickly.  The best part about powder coating is that you don't need a large elaborate collection of equipment to do it yourself.  The equipment definitely helps and improves the time spent and the final product, but how involved and how much money you want to spend on equipment is up to you.  Powder coating is a great hobby and if you are willing to put in the time to learn it properly and invest in the right equipment, it can be a great career as well.

powder coated shifter assembly
Only a few weeks after I received my first powder coating gun and no prior experience, I took this shifter assembly from this condition..
powder coated shifter assembly
to this condition.  This guide will teach you how to achieve the same results.