Because powder paint is baked or bonded to the metal, we believe under normal earthly conditions, it won't crack, peel or fade. Those doing restorations, refurbishments and custom work have to remove the paint from the cab, fenders and bed. Ditto for suspension components. This is true, too, for powdercoating. Surprisingly, many powder paint shops offer paint stripping via sand or particle-blasting as well as through other means. While this prep costs extra, it is worth it. Consider what a few hours of your time is worth.
One could powdercoat most of an entire vehicle, piece by piece but most powdercoat only the frame, rear end, suspension parts, valve covers, intake manifold, engine block and heads, air cleaner, hood hinges, etc. Care to have a multi-colored, ever-lasting engine compartment or chassis? Andrews Powdercoating and other shops nationwide offer as many as 600 colors including candies and clear. Special custom color matches can also be done.
If you live in a humid area where moisture, salt air, as well as winter road salt causes surface rust, paint peeling and bubbling, powder painting eliminates all of that. So then, what "chassis black" paint glosses are available? There are at least four hues: flat black, semi-flat black, semi-gloss black and gloss black.
If something more colorful is in your future, there is a veritable rainbow available-and then some. As just stated, there are at least six hundred colors, including hot fluorescents, trunk spatter paint, antiques and hammertones. With all these colors available, consider if you will a street or show vehicle void of chrome. We have many times seen color-keyed inner fenders, valve covers, intake manifolds, hood underside-you name it.
Imagine an engine compartment with multi shades of red, topped off with a dab of orange or purple. There is no end to what shades might best visually offset each other. We're not just talking metal parts, either. Powder painting has also progressed to plastic parts and wood in recent years.
As far as maintenance goes, generlly speaking, none is required other than owner preference. It goes without saying that you'll want to clean as-necessary, just like you would anything else. The frame we had powdercoated 20 years ago in semi-gloss black looks just as good today. If you wacked the powder painted frame with a hammer hard enough to dent it, the paint will dent too but then pop back out. You could probably crack the powder paint if you really tried, but that's not the point. It has been said that Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company powdercoats all components of its motorcycle drivetrain and uses clear powdercoat on its tanks, frames and fenders. That's pretty convincing.
This story was aimed at both future restorations and those who plan to keep their car/truck/tractor/motorcycle/boat and do not want to continually sand off and repaint rusted, cracked, peeling areas. This story was also written for those planning major vehicle modifications. Powdercoating is for those who do not want to repeat their work ever again. Research reveals there are over 5,000 powdercoating shops presently nationwide. Most are in urban areas. Rural America seems to offer an enterprising person the best chance for self-employment. We also hear that some are doing so in their retirement years. Have at it.