As you shop for outdoor furniture or other items, you have probably come across the term “powder coated” when looking at items made of some form of metal. But you may be wondering: What is powder coating? Is powder coated metal a good option for my backyard furniture? Where can I find powder coated metal furniture?
This post will help answer your questions about powder coated metals for backyard furniture to help give you peace of mind as you shop and purchase outdoor furniture.
Read more below to find out why you need powder coated metals for your outdoor furniture and items in your backyard.
What is powder coating?
You may be familiar with metal that has been painted. Painting is a finishing process to protect the metal. Powder coating is an alternative finishing process for metal in which a dry powder is sprayed onto a metal through an electrostatic process and is then heated in a curing process to melt and harden the powder to the metal. Many different types of powders can be used for powder coating, and these powders can come in a wide array of colors, finishes, and textures to give your outdoor furniture a unique look.
Is powder coated metal a good option for outdoor furniture and other items?
Any furniture or other items that you place outside will have to be up to the task of enduring the weather and climate of your backyard or outdoor space. As a result, you will need materials that are designed to withstand these outdoor conditions. Metals, like aluminum, steel, and iron, are known for being strong and rigid materials, but that doesn’t mean that they are not susceptible to the elements outside. Metals can corrode (yes, even aluminum), chip, and get scratched from normal outdoor conditions. Thus, having powder coated metals outdoors is a must, even for metals like aluminum and stainless steel (see our complete outdoor materials guide for why these are excellent materials for outdoor use) that can more naturally withstand outdoor conditions.
Powder coating creates a very durable finish on the metal that is resistant to chipping, scratching, and fading. Additionally, powder coating protects the metal from corrosive elements like water, saltwater, and chlorine. Therefore, a metal that has been powder coated is a highly weather-resistant and durable option for outdoor furniture. If you are shopping for outdoor furniture using metal, look to ensure that it has been powder coated.
How long will powder coated metal outdoor furniture last?
Powder coating forms a very strong bond with the metal, unlike traditional paint, which chips or tears away in strips when the paint degrades. Under the right conditions, powder coating finishes can last approximately 20 years. However, this depends upon a variety of factors, including the type of powder used and the use of your furniture.
Is e-coating (or electrocoating) the same thing as powder coating?
E-coating is another finishing process for metals that involves immersing the metal in a bath of liquid solution (e.g., paint, epoxy). Then, an electric current is passed through the solution to attract the solution to the metal until the appropriate coating thickness is applied to the metal.
One advantage that e-coating has over powder coating is that the immersion technique enables the coating to be applied to all metal surfaces in a more even manner than powder coating. Since powder coating is sprayed on, it may miss or not evenly apply the coating in some tough-to-spray areas (e.g., some corners where metal pieces connect).
Can metal outdoor furniture be e-coated and powder coated?
Yes! You can find furniture pieces that are both e-coated and powder coated. Why? E-coating provides better coating coverage than powder coating, but e-coating is not as UV-stable as powder coating. So, combing the two coating processes (powder coating on top of e-coating) creates a very durable finish that is well-suited to handle outdoor conditions.
Where can I find powder coated outdoor metal furniture?
Most outdoor furniture manufacturers will provide some type of metal furniture options that are powder coated. Even though aluminum and stainless steel are naturally corrosion-resistant, these metals can still corrode. You will find some manufacturers that powder coat these metals to have a more durable material.