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The Difference Between Painted and Powder Coated Fencing

Standard paint and powder coating—what’s the difference? Fences require aesthetic appeal and durability. The right coating is essential to achieve these qualities. The two most common types of fence coatings are paint and powder. Standard paint is simple to apply with basic paint brushes. However, paint requires regular maintenance to keep looking sharp. On the other hand, powder coating requires specialised equipment for application but offers greater durability. Let’s delve into the differences between these two types of coatings, and their environmental impact and help you decide which is best for your fence.

Coating characteristics

Standard paint typically comes in tins in a liquid form. The painting process often involves applying multiple coats, starting with a primer to ensure adhesion and durability. Liquid paint dries through the evaporation of solvents, which can take varying amounts of time. Drying time will depend on the paint type, the season and the climate. Paint coatings are available in a range of colours and finishes. This makes them versatile for various aesthetic preferences. However, they may require regular maintenance, such as touch-ups and repainting, to maintain their appearance and protect the underlying fence material from rust and corrosion.

Powder coating uses a dry powder. The powder is comprised of fine resin and pigment particles that are electrostatically charged and sprayed onto the fence’s surface. The coated item is then placed in an oven where the powder melts and forms a smooth, consistent colour coat. This curing process ensures a strong bond to the surface, resulting in a finish that’s highly resistant to chipping, scratching, and fading. Powder coating is known for its durability. Additionally, it’s environmentally friendly. It contains no solvents – paint gives off solvent vapours as it’s applied, dried or cured or if it comes in contact with skin. Powder coating produces minimal air pollutant emissions. Also, excess powder can be collected and reused, minimising waste.

The application of paint and powder coating 

Standard paint is applied with a paintbrush, paint roller or spray gun. Paint is easily accessible and it’s available in a wide range of colours. Application may require a primer and multiple liquid-based paint coatings for a thorough application. Multiple coats may also need to be applied for adhesion and durability. You should consider the season when applying paint. This is because cooler weather can influence how effectively paint dries. This is particularly important for fences as they’re in the outside environment. 

Powder coating involves applying a dry powder to a surface. It sounds simple, however, it requires specialised equipment and experience. We have over thirty years of powder coating experience. This allows us to achieve beautiful finishes on all our fences. Before powder coating is applied, surfaces are expertly cleaned and treated. Powder coating involves heating the metal and dipping it into an in-house powder bath. Here melted particles form a film on the metal part. It can also be done using an electrostatic spray gun. By applying the coating with a spray gun coloured powder sticks directly onto the metal. After the metal has been powder coated the final step is curing. The heat during this process melts the powder, entirely adhering to the metal and resulting in the particles bonding and a smooth, even finish. Powder coating requires colours to be planned carefully in advance as it must be applied to materials before they arrive at their destination. 


Depending on the material being painted and the environment, standard paint coatings require regular maintenance. Rust, flaking and chipping are typical with paint and affect its durability, especially when subjected to harsh weather, UV radiation, or physical wear and tear.

Powder coating in contrast creates a thick, adhesive finish. It lasts longer than the typical coat of paint. The curing process during application ensures a strong bond to the metal surface, resulting in a coating that’s highly resistant to the wear and tear of standard paint. 

Cost vs durability

Paints are cost-effective and accessible. There’s a wide range of painting products available to maintain the durability and aesthetics of painted fences. For metal fences prone to rust, rust defence applications and specialised iron paints are available to keep a sleek look. Similarly, specialised wood paints are available for wooden fences prone to chipping. 

Whilst paint can be selected and collected from a shop, powder coating is specially pre-fabricated. The initial outlay is higher due to the expertise and equipment required, however, the durability is far superior. There’s also a huge range of powder-coated fencing colour options suitable for every house, pool area, commercial property and garden. As a certified Architectural Dulux Powder coating user, we have access to the best in the industry colour range. l

Explore our powder coated fences 

Whilst standard coatings are accessible by anyone and easier to apply with basic tools, they require more frequent maintenance and produce more waste. Powder coating offers superior durability, and less maintenance, and is a more environmentally friendly option. At Toughguard our specialised equipment for application and curing makes powder coating a breeze. We have an endless range of powder-coated fencing options suitable for every house, pool, commercial property and garden. Contact us for any questions about powder coating fences and our colour range.