Today at the Pittsburgh Tech Shop, I took a class in sand blasting and powder coating. Powder coating is a fantastic technique for painting just about any metal you can think of. Not only that, it's fairly straightforward, safer than other methods, and gives you a nice glossy finish. This Instructable is the documentation of the class in which I powder coated a sheet of metal and a key that I had lying around.
I will discuss the process from start to finish beginning with material preparation, the sandblasting cabinet, cleaning the material, the painting process, and baking.
More information about the Pittsburgh Tech Shop can be found at http://techshop.ws/
I made it at TechShop!
Step 1: Before you start: The Setup
Powder coating is a straightforward process but requires access to certain resources (which the TechShop happily provides). Make sure that you have access to all of the following tools and materials before beginning:
Time: about 2 hours for a small project
-compressed air (dry and filtered)
-air supply (regulated from 30-90 psi)
-appropriate media for the blasting cabinet
-powder coating gun
-spray booth with filtration system
-curing oven large enough for your piece
-heat resistant gloves
-powder coating media
-polyester tape (for masking)
-wire (for hanging)
-paper (for filling holes you don't want sandblasted, e.g. threaded areas)
-trisodium phosphate (for cleaning steel) OR Simple Green (for other materials)
It is also advisable to wear a long sleeved shirt made of a natural material such as cotton as well as closed toed shoes.
[Source: TechShop course handout #FIN105, available at the front desk upon class signup]