How to Get Started Powder Coating – The Basics

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Let’s Start Powder Coating!

Powder coating is a fun and creative niche market for everyone. There are many powder coating operations all around the world from garages to multimillion-dollar facilities. If you want to start powder coating and be one of the successful ones you’ll need assistance from  suppliers in the industry to help you avoid many of the pitfalls that affect beginning companies.

Be sure to ask questions and make good use of all the advice and help available from the industry equipment and product suppliers.

The rest of this article lists a few essential items and equipment that are required to help entrepreneurs and businesses set up a brand new powder coating operation. All of these must be considered whether you’re going with all batch equipment, a fully automated (conveyor) system, or something in between.

Pretreatment (Chemical or Mechanical)

Pretreatment is a very crucial step in the powder coating application process. The type of pretreatment will vary significantly depending on what is being powder coated.

blasting cabinet

Blast Cabinet

Abrasive blasting and/or chemical cleaning (etching) are the most common practices of preparing the substrate (typically iron phosphate or zinc phosphate). These methods remove soils and create a profile on the substate, which gives the powder a surface to adhere to.

The Abrasive Cleaning/Blast Media/Blasting Equipment category on PCO can be a great source of information. See also Stripping Chemicals & Equipment and  Pretreatment Chemicals categories.




powder coating powdersPowder Coatings

Depending on the project you’re working on and on what substrate, you’ll quickly learn there are many different powder coating chemistries, characteristics  and colors to consider. Work closely with your powder supplier to figure out what kind of powder works best for your application.

Check this chart of the different powder types and the characteristics of each.

***Here is PCO’s Powder Coating Suppliers category.


Powder Coating Gun

To apply powder coating you will need a powder coating gun and system. There are multiple powder coating systems from hobby guns to multi-gun automatic systems.

Cup Gun

One can use including cup guns , box feeders, hopper units and large automatic units. Here is where you talk to the powder gun suppliers to figure out what kind of gun works best for you.

***Check PCO’s Powder Coating Spray Gun Suppliers category for a list of gun suppliers to contact.



manual powder spray boothPowder Booth

You’ll need some kind of area (Powder Booth) in which to spray your powder. The two primary forms of powder coating booths are recovery and non-recovery booths, i.e ones that recover the over-spray powder and ones that do not (“spray to waste”). It is essential to have a booth that has a great ventilation and filter systems to properly filter out the powder. Lighting is also important with 100 kindle from ceiling to floor as the industry standard.

***Link to PCO’s category of Suppliers of Powder Booths


batch oven

Batch Cure Oven

Cure Oven

Powder coating ovens come in all sizes and can be custom-built for operations. The two common choices of ovens used are infrared and convection ovens. It is important to keep in mind when installing an oven that will fit the largest parts. Great air circulation is also critical to ensure the heat is evenly distributed on the substrate.

***Find the oven you need here on PCO:  Cure Oven Suppliers



hooks for powder coatingHooks & Racks

You’ll also need hooks and some kind of rack(s) on which to hang your item as it passes through your cure oven. Racking systems can be very simple or complicated, but the goal is always to be able to hang your item to spray and cure efficiently.

Many companies that have fabrication capabilities tend to design their own racks. Sturdy racks to hang the powder coated parts from without being unbalanced are key for proper grounding. The importance of proper grounding can not be overemphasized. Read this great article about grounding: Proper Grounding Techniques for Powder Coating

If you need help with your racking, a company who specializes in supplying just hooks and racks is your best choice to call for help.    ***Hooks & Racking Suppliers  

***Most masking product suppliers also sell hooks and racks: Masking Suppliers


PPEProtective Gear/PPE/Safety Considerations

Gloves, face mask, goggles, respirator and body suit are recommended for protection.
Read this article: Powder Coating Safety Considerations

***Safety Equipment & PPE suppliers



There is no question the powder coating process can seem daunting at first. However, with the correct tools and assistance you will be able to start a new hobby or business with the items listed above, keeping in mind, of course, this is a very basic guide. For more detailed how-to-powder-coat information – literature, training classes, podcasts, resources, etc. – visit  PCO’s Powder Coaters Corner.

There are also many Training Classes and Webinars available to you.
Take advantage of these when you can.

Also, Powder Coating Consultants are available to call when/if you need more in-depth, more technical or difficult answers,

***Click  How to Powder Coat/The Powder Coaters Corner for more information, links and resources.