Since we're well into fall and temperatures are, well, falling, painting season — for many of us — is over.
That means putting some important parts of our projects away until next year when things warm up. But, what if we don't have to?
No, I don't mean you need to get an expensive heating system for your garage — although, if you can swing it, I sure as hell would.
I'm talking about another potential solution: powder coating.
For one, you don't need a narrow temperature window to do it successfully — it can be done in both hot and cold environments.
For another reason, you don't have those gnarly VOCs to deal with.
Last but not least, it's extremely durable. As in, if it's applied correctly, you'll be hard pressed to find a traditional solvent-based paint to match its ability to shrug off use and abuse, and stay looking good.
Not only are there a wide variety of colors available, you can match a lot of factory finishes used on things like chassis and engine parts. And powder coating is often stable to 450° or higher — depending on the coating.
And yes, I do have some experience with it: I've had parts powder coated for some of my project cars in the past — like the LX, for which you can see a photo of some of the parts above — as well as researched how it's done and what separates the good from the bad. What I haven't done is read a book on the subject — that is, until now.
I can already tell you I have every intention of powder coating parts for the El Camino when I'm finally able to work on my projects again and I've got parts on virtually every other car — except possibly the Cobalt SS/SC — that are going to benefit from this capability, too.
I'm not going to fool you, powder coating isn't nearly as cheap as picking up a rattle can — which kept me from investing in it in the past — but, the cost of putting together a set-up for doing small parts really isn't that bad.
If you're curious about where you can find out more about powder coating, check out my review of Eastwood's Powder Coating Beginner's Guide to see if this book is what you're looking for to get you started using powder to make your parts pretty, too.