Ron Pope Motorsports                California Custom Roadsters               

paint or powdercoat frame?


New Member
i'm thinking to the future.

for you guys that have built cars in the past and have painted and powdercoated frames/chassis which did you prefer? i know powdercoating is tough and durable, but if it gets chipped your back in the same boat... My reasoning behind using paint is quick spot repairs later down the road... i'm pretty sure with powdercoating you dont do spot repairs..

i'm thinking of 3 different options.. not in any particular order.

1. A forum advertiser KBS Coatings.. has anyone used this stuff? is it any count, whats it look like when finished? the adds look good, and in the videos it looks like a good product..i know its Urethane and moisture cured, most of this type paint/coating is extremely durable
Chassis Paint Kit - KBS All-In-One Chassis Kit - KBS Coatings

2. Eastwood Co. 2K Ceramic Chassis Black, eastwood has some good stuff also
Eastwood Co. - 2K Ceramic Chassis Black Gloss and Activator

3. Powdercoat i know powdercoating is tough and near bulletproof, if its done correct, if not it can be a pain in the butt with flaking and bubbling.. if you get chips in it, its not as easy to repair.. and the repairs dont usually look to good.. only problem would be cost, i know its cheaper now than in the past, but still more expensive than painting..

After looking at the kbs stuff i'm leaning towards that for now..

give me your unbiased opinions please..
I paid 150.00 to have all my parts except the rearend and anymotor parts powdercoated. i payed another giy125.00 to bead blast all the same parts before PC. So all in all i got 300.00 in the whole deal. AND it looks great.
IMHO the single pack urethanes are as durable as powder and more tolerant of a less than optimal base coat. The two pack urethanes are way more durable than epoxy powder but frightening things to spray, safety gear is extremely important especially respirators. All the urethanes seem to touch up well which is important in a drive car.
However if its "near chrome" you want, it'll have to be powder, although the sterling silver urethanes are nice enough.
I prefer paint for the frame. For all the reasons you listed. Small spot repair, just does not work with powder. All the other parts powder coat, Radius rods, tie rods, drag links, etc. If they get damaged they can easliy be recoated.
The KBS coating is impressive. i would like to see somethig done with this first hand. I wonder about custom colors too. Would it be possible to tint the clear to match your body color?

If you've needed to use Bondo to clean up any imperfections on the frame, then I would think that powdercoating is not an option. Mine will need the bondo treatment, so I guess paint it is.
It depends, I blasted the frame myself then paid $500 to have it coated just to see it chip and turn white (it was red) so then I had it blasted again sanded primed and painted it to match the car better than it did before. Of course this was after I had the car done for a few weeks and then had to tear it down. Oh and the guy that did the coating said something must have went wrong and he would give me a deal on redoing it. So Paint is what I recommend.
It means, "in my humble opinion."

I, too, prefer paint. I like to finish off all welds with a little filler and you can't do that with powder coating. I used a single stage acrylic urathane black from PPG on both my cars. It was easy to apply and has held up very well.

I am very intimately familiar with powder coating, more than I would like at this point.:rolleyes: Long story Kid decided to have the frame and 42 other pieces we built for his RPU powder coated. The frame needed some filling to make it more perfect, so we researched and found a product called "Tiger Drylac EPO Strong", it is a filler like bondo but made to withstand the 400 degree heat of powder coating.

First we sandblasted everything and smoothed the frame with the filler, then took it to the PC for coating. He suggested clear over the black to give it depth, so we paid extra for it. When we picked up the parts a couple weeks later we were really happy with the results, and started assembling the frame, and discovered a problem, the clear coat was cracking right off the black!:eek: You could take an air nozzle and blow it right off the frame and other parts.

Now, at this point we had $ 1000.00 in PC the parts, $ 150 for the Drylac, $ 350 we paid a body shop to sand the Drylac smooth, and tons of time in the job. The powder coater stood behind his work and sandblasted all 43 pieces back to bare metal, including the frame. We then took the frame back home, bought more Drylac, and this time sanded it ourselves because the body shop said they would never sand another one, it was that tough to do. We thought about having the parts painted instead, but there is no way any painter could get the paint into all the odd places on this frame. Powder coating was the way to go because it really did suck up into every little was just the clear that didn't work.

Finally, we took the smoothed for the second time frame and parts back to the coater and he did them in gloss black again, this time no clear. Have to say we are happy this time with the results. We could never have painted the parts this nice, and at last have it back together, waiting for the motor to be reinstalled. We painted that and the transmission last night and should have it back in this week.

The point of me doing this lengthy post was mainly to mention that there is a body filler you can use on imperfections and to fill welds. After we learned how to work with it we had no problem sanding it smooth and making it look pretty nice. Here are some pictures after the second coating.




When I did a Red T, I had the frame powder coated flat Black, then molded the front crossmember, tube and spring mt. just a taste, then, what I call, cap coated the top and outside edges of the frame from just inside of the firewall.. I do not want to see the inside or the bottom of the frame, plus if you put a jack or stand to the bottom, I like to be able to touch it up easy.. and with only cap painting that small area, it is a lot easier to keep up.. My car is painted Black, so you can not tell that it is done the same way. Color just on top and outsides of the frame, and complete front tube crossmember... Plus, if you ever have to add something later, you will not pull your hair out because you are messin with your fancy, expensive paint... Just Me... :rolleyes:
We used Eastwoods system, and had a terribly long dry time..I bought all the stuff they said to use, and it just looked terrible.I am sure it was our mistake, or lack of experience.So we took it all off, and just painted it glossy will be redone someday.

Yeah, I have not posted in long time. I'm kinda shy :)
I've wondered how the Eastwood system worked. We were just talking about that for small parts. Problem is, you have to have a dedicated oven, they say not to use the one you cook in.............maybe toxic?

RPM said:
I prefer paint for the frame. For all the reasons you listed. Small spot repair, just does not work with powder. All the other parts powder coat, Radius rods, tie rods, drag links, etc. If they get damaged they can easliy be recoated.

I am in agreeance with Ron.... base/clear on the frame, it is super easy to touch up. If you get a nick in the frame, you sand a little, shot, then clear and your back as good as new.
I know this is an older post, however this is one of the few things I know anything about.
Powder applied properly, with materials that werk together can be applied in up to 6 coats, with no problems. It is very important to know the materials, and how they will react to one another... same as paint.

you can paint match any powder very simply. We provide a 2"x3" sample tile of the powder coat color upon request, and completion of the job for this reason. It can be simply taken to any reputable auto body supply store and matched with their paint match camera. works perfectly.
Josh (Streetwerkz) was very helpful informationwise when we were going through our fiasco with the clear coming off of the first powdercoat job we had done. I wish his shop was close to us because I bet he does first class work.

The biggest drawback for me to powdercoating something like a frame is filling the imperfections. With paint I can use regular bondo type products, sand it out, and be able to get a pretty smooth surface. With powdercoating you have to use something like the Drylac I mentioned earlier, and it is A) more expensive and B) harder to fair in (sand). But I really like the convenience of dropping off crusty parts and having them sandblast them and coat them.

The cost ends up being close in my opinion. Just last week I bought some epoxy primer, some Imron paint, and misc stuff like cups and thinner, and my tab for a very small box was $ 388.00.:eek: That buys a good amount of powder coating......I think my Son's tab was under $ 1500 for the frame and 42 other pieces.


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