Is powder coating more durable than liquid paint?
Yes, powder coating has a very high impact resistant rating compared to liquid paint. Double in most cases when applied over a sandblasted surface. This will greatly reduce rock chips and other normal wear and tear. The powder coated finish is also very smooth and easy to keep clean.
Should my wheels be checked for straightening prior to being coated?
Yes. It is always a good idea to check your wheels for straightness prior to refinishing as well as finding and repairing any bent spokes.
Will powder coating fill rust pits in my wheels?
Yes. Powder coating will fill in smaller rust pitting although it will not fill in heavy rust pitting. The coating generally ranges from 4-8 mils in thickness and will flow and fill some smaller rust pitting. For wheels with medium pitting we usually apply a hot sprayed base coat of 4-5 mils concentrating on the rust pitted areas and then ½ cure the base coat, sand using 100 grit sand paper, then hot spray the final color coat and then full cure in the oven. This process will fill in most medium size pitting. Wheels with heavy pitting can be coated and will look nice although they will never be show quality, it is best to replace these wheels with some better ones if at all possible.
How do I find or choose a suitable powder coater?
It is recommended to try and locate a powder coating facility where they have automotive coating experience and restoration knowledge. These people tend to know the quality of finishes we are looking for.
How much does powder coating cost vs. liquid paint?
In order to liquid paint or powder coat, your wheels should be sandblasted first. This will ensure they are clean of contaminates and will provide adhesion for the paint or powder coatings. The powder coating material is the same or less than the cost of liquid paint. This leaves the applicator’s charge for applying the paint or powder, which in most cases, powder coating costs are the same or less. this combined with the benefits that powder coating offers such as a tougher longer lasting smooth finish that is very easy to maintain Powder Coating has become the coating of choice for Ford Model A Wheels. In the past, the only setback in powder coating Model A wheels was that you could not get the powder in the original Ford Model A wheel colors.
How much more does the correct Model A wheel color matched powder cost compared to the incorrect color choices offered at all powder coating facilities?
Five pounds of powder is enough to do a set of wheels and we have found that the average charge is around $90.00 dollars for five (5) pounds of the wrong Color powder. Our tgic polyester powder which has been designed for a high quality smooth and durable finish in the original Ford Model A wheel colors for just $30 more.
My wheels have scratches and dings on the outer rim. Can I do some of the metal finishing myself?
Absolutely. The best way to do this is to have the wheels blasted first so that you can see what imperfections you are working with which are likely hidden under the old paint. We use a small right angle grinder with a 1” disc starting with 50 grit and ending with 80 grit to blend out scratches, dings and rust pits. 80 grit finish is suitable for powder coating over.
Does powder coating have a waiting/curing period before handling?
No. Once the wheels have cooled down after being removed from the oven, they can be handled immediately, including mounting tires.
How do I take care of my wheels once they are powder coated?
Powder coated wheels do not need much maintenance. In removing ordinary road grime, simply wipe with damp cloth. Any cleaning soaps or detergents that you would use on the painted body of the car can also be used on the powder coated wheels.
How can I touch-up my powder coated wheels in the event they do get damaged?
Be sure and ask your powder coater for the left over powder as this can be mixed with lacquer thinner to a brush-on consistency to touch up small damages. We usually mix a small amount in a bottle cap and use a pin stripe paint brush for ease of application.
Is there any special care needed in mounting the tires?
Yes, your new powder coated wheels should be treated carefully. Tire mounting spoons with no burrs or sharp edges are a good idea as they displace the pressure over a widened area. Do not use a screw driver with sharp edges as this will apply too much pressure to a small area which can exceed the impact rating and damage the coating. Most late model tire shops have mounting machines that are capable of mounting the tires without hurting the coating.
Will the powder coating fill-in the factory “butt welded“ seam?
No. All of the seams that I have seen are very large and could not possibly be filled in by powder coating alone unless they have been ground down or filled prior to coating.
Can I have powder coated wheels re-powder coated?
This depends on if the wheels have been properly blasted before they were coated the first time. Assuming so, you can do a light brush blast to roughen the surface of the existing powder, wash, preheat and re-coat. However, there can be some “bleeding” from color to color and it is recommended to top coat with similar colors such as beige over beige, green over green or any color over black. It is always best to sandblast clean and start from scratch. If you need to re-coat a different color over the existing coating, it is suggested that you do a test sample first.
Can I liquid paint over my powder coated wheels?
Yes. Most enamel and water based paint systems will work over powder coating. No lacquer.
Can I sandblast my wheels myself?
Yes. We recommend using garnet, aluminum oxide or copper slag. Do not blast with steel shot as this will create more work and preparation prior to coating and can possible cause adhesion failures. Be sure to blast all old paint from bases of spokes as any old paints or contaminants left anywhere on the wheel can bleed through the new coating and cause discoloration. It is very important that the wheels get thoroughly blasted and checked over well prior to coating.