How to Paint Over Powder Coated Metal

Powder Coated Metal is often used in the building process as a material used for window frames ( mullions and transoms), storefront, doors, and other architectural metalwork.

It is used because of the durability of the finish and quality of finish.

Due to the popularity of using this material we are often asked if painting over powder-coated metal is an option.

Despite the advantages of using powder-coated metalwork, the substrate can still suffer from damage and scratches over time.

The coating can also age and fade, so building owners may decide to recoat

painting over powder coated metal

Can you paint over Powder Coated Metal?

The short answer is yes.

The method of overcoating will be entirely based on the existing condition.

It is strongly advised to check the existing condition.

Sometimes the powder coating may have failed due to age and lack of maintenance.

After treating the powder coating and cleaning thoroughly we advise masking off surrounding areas like windows and brickwork and masonry with painters tape and general masking paper.

Lots of storefronts and office windows are manufactured from powder-coated metalwork

Is it difficult to apply a Liquid Paint over Powder Coat?

Yes if you just want to apply a coat of liquid paint.

When painting over powder-coated metal, the answer to successful adhesion lies in the preparation work.

Powder coating is carried out in a factory environment and often cured at high temperatures.

This means that the final finish is hard-wearing very flat.

The flat finish isn’t an ideal substrate to apply a liquid paint straight on top off.

So this means creating a rough surface by sanding the existing finish to create a bond.

It is suggested that the powder-coated surface is sanded with light grade sandpaper and scotch pad.

Any dust and dirt created in this process should be cleaned away using an appropriate solvent cleaner.

For areas that are big, for example, a larger powder-coated aluminium panels it may be beneficial to sandblast.

If the powder coating has failed and the substrate is beginning to show signs of rust then simple sanding may not be enough and the option is to mechanically sand or sandblasts back.

Powder Coated Metal that has started to rust
Powder Coated Grill that has failed. Rust shown on bottom lips.

What Paint Should be Used to overcoat Powder Coating?

Powder coating is a hard finish that generally comes with life to first maintenance of at least ten years.

A hard-wearing paint designed to meet the demands of environmental conditions should be used.

Coating companies can suggest the best system suited based on finish and environment.

There are a variety of options available and all major brands should offer a suitable product.

A standard paint will not adhere so it is definitely worth taking advice on this.

It is also advised to carry out a small trial sample to ensure that there isn’t a reaction.

How Should the Paint be applied?

We advise that the paint is spray applied according to the manufacturer’s datasheets.

An HVLP machine is ideal for this type of work and an electrostatic machine can offer a great finish with limited overspray.

Although this can be carried out on a DIY basis we recommend using trained paint spraying companies that specialise in this.


Painting over powder-coated metal can be difficult but with the right material and preparation work, it can be a successful project.