Do you have furniture that is starting to show wear and tear? Are the hinges starting to get stuck? Do the screws start to come out?
Well, do not worry. There is a good chance that your furniture needs a new coat of paint. Or there is a better option to try powder coating for your old, dull wood.
I believe not many people are aware of how to powder-coat wood. Or whether they can actually powder-coat wood in the first place.
To put it simply, the answer is yes. Wood furniture or other objects made of wood can be powder coated with a bit of pre-treatment, and it’s one of the most effective ways to protect them from fading, warping, and other possible damages.
The only concern is with the wood coating process and technology which have certain limitations. With powder coating, you can coat only certain wood types, and it will require special considerations when it comes to curing.
If you are eager for more info, this article will get you to know everything related to powder coating wood furniture.
What types of coatings are available, and what kind of wood should you not powder coat? You will also find some tips on preparing your furniture beforehand so that your powder coating job goes smoothly.
How to Powder Coat Wood?
Powder coating is basically an electrostatic process of coating objects with a dry powder that protects and prolongs the life of the object.
Below is a step by step instructions you will need to follow…
Step 1- Clean and Prepare the Surface
To powder coat your wood furniture, you will first need to sand and refinish the surface nicely.
It is important that you remove any dust, dirt, oil, grease, etc., that may have built upon the surface of the wood over time.
The prepping process basically includes sanding down the surface itself (including any rough edges) and preparing the surface for the coating process by putting up a wood primer.
Step 2- Dry and Pre-Heat
Once the wood surface is cleaned and prepared, it should be dried and pre-heated for getting the powder coating which will most of the time include exposure to wood at high temperatures.
The pre-heating process can be completed by using either convection, UV (Ultraviolet), or Infrared methods.
During this, you should heat the wood to about 212 to 266 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 to 15 minutes.
Remember, if there is any excessive moisture content present in the wood, gases may release during the process, which can interfere and can cause adhesion or finishing issues.
Step 3- Apply the Powder Coat
Once the wood surface has been dried and seasoned properly you can start by applying the powder coat.
Generally, it will require charging the thermoplastic powder electrostatically and applying it directly with a sprayer gun at a temperature between 18 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are powder coating more than one wood surface in your factory at a time, make sure they are spaced properly to allow them to cool down without any interference.
Step 4- Finally, Take Time to Cure the Wood
After applying the powder, it’s essential to allow the wooden boards or furniture to cool down and cure completely.
To effectively cure the wood, you will need either a laser cure oven, convection, infrared, or a combination oven.
During the process, thermoset powder is exposed to high temperatures (250 degrees or less), which will begin to melt and flow out.
It will eventually form a higher molecular weight polymer to complete the crosslinking curing process. The chemical transformation achieved during the process is irreversible.
The success level of this step will decide the longevity of the coat on the wooden surface. So, make sure you complete this step cautiously with extra patience.
Types of Wood You Can Powder Coat
Three different types of wood can be powder coated: hardwood, softwood, and plywood.
The most common type of wood used in furniture is hardwood. It’s sturdy and long-lasting, but it’s also prone to getting dirty.
Softwood is a more delicate type of wood typically used for furniture that won’t require as much strength or durability.
Because it can withstand the technology, it’s usually less expensive to powder coat hardwood such as oak, walnut, Sapele, and ash.
It can be a great choice if you want to keep your furniture, doors, window frames, chairs, or tables looking new for a long time.
Plywood boards, including MDF (Medium-density fibreboard) and HDF (High-Density Fiberboard), comprise different types of wood and resins glued together.
Because the material is solid and durable, you can powder coat them, too, with good surface preparation.
Types of Wood You Should Avoid Powder Coating
Besides the materials like rubber and plastic (that can melt at high temperatures), there are certain wood types that cannot be powder coated.
Particularly the wood that has a high moisture content, laminates, wood composites, and plywood with lower bond strength cannot be powder coated very efficiently.
You also shouldn’t coat the wood plank with powder if it’s treated with chemicals or if it’s infested with any sort of insects, molds, fungus, or other organic growth.
Wood with finishes such as oils, waxes, varnishes, paints, or stains is also a not suitable candidate for the ultraviolet-cured powder coating process.
If you want to apply any coatings on them, it’s important to remove the previous layer for better powder adhesion.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Powder Coating Wood Furniture
Powder coating your wood furniture offers various benefits, and some of the most common ones include the following:
- The coat is consistent, thicker, long-lasting, and ultra-modern.
- It’s eco-friendly, non-toxic, and less flammable than other solvent-based wood finishes.
- A powder coat does not need long drying times; hence more units can be created in lesser time.
- With relatively lower cost, your furniture will look more expensive, luxurious, and beautiful with a fresh color coat of powder.
- The polished-looking coat will protect your wood from rot and make it resistant to bacteria.
- Your furniture will be less likely to require regular cleaning and care than with other types of wood finishes.
- Powder coating will also make your wood feel harder and more durable and will ultimately increase the life of your wood furniture.
With various advantages, a few challenges come with powder coating your wood furniture.
First and foremost, applying the powder properly requires time and effort due to certain temperature requirements. Most of the time, you may need to take your furniture to a professional to get the coating done correctly.
Additionally, some wood types are sensitive to water or heat and may not be compatible with powder coating. And depending on the type of coating used, different wood types may require an extra level of care.
How long will the powder coat finish last?
The powder coating finish on metals can last as long as 20 years.
But for wood, it will most likely last lesser, anywhere from 10 to 12 years. It will generally depend on whether your wood items are placed outdoors or indoors. This is due to exposure to external elements like rain, snow, wind, etc.
It is, therefore, crucial to be consistent in your applications and to take care of the finishing regularly, which will help keep it in good shape.
Which type of powder coating is best for my wood?
Many types of powder coatings are used depending on the different types of wood. So, it is essential to choose the suitable powder for your home or office furniture according to the wood type.
From the plethora of powder coating types, some of the most common ones include epoxies, polyesters, epoxy-polyester hybrids, urethanes, and fluoropolymers.
It’s best to talk to your contractor or a professional coating expert to know which one of best suited for your wood type.
How long does it take to complete a powder coating project?
Powder coating projects take roughly four to five hours to finish on average.
However, the amount of time you need to devote to each step will vary depending on the type of furniture you are powder coating and the difficulty level you are working at.
No matter what type of furniture or surface you have, you should spend around an hour per item for basic cleaning and preparation for the powder coating project. More challenging tasks or surfaces may need more than that.
In the current market, powder coating is a high-quality finish used on a wide range of materials, including wood surfaces used in the home décor space.
Coating your wooden furniture with powder can give it a beautiful finish and protect it from day-to-day dents and scratches.
If you’re not sure whether powder coating your furniture is the correct option for you, speak with a professional to learn more about the numerous types of powder coats and finishes available.
Hi, I am Mark Garner a professional carpenter, woodworker, and DIY painter. I live in the small city of Peoria, Arizona as a semi-retired woodworker. I have started this blog with a simple motive to help you with my wood experience in this sector. If you like to know more about what I love doing and how it all got started, you can check more about me here.