DIY Powder Coated Yeti Cups

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About: We are Mike and Lauren. We make videos on YouTube about money, travel, homesteading, and DIY.

My wife wanted to buy a powder coated Yeti off Etsy for $65 dollars. I suggested we make our own with a harbor freight powder coating system ($52).

Step 1: Supplies

Powder coating works by electrostatically charging paint particles so they stick to metal objects. I created a base out of an electrical box extension, cover plate, and a piece of wood wrapped in foil. This is what you attach your GROUND wire to.

Step 2: How It Works

The footswitch controls when the tip of the spray nozzle is energized.

Powder coating uses very low air pressure (between 10-20 psi). I read online that a sweet spot is when you blow your hand the skin barley moves in.

Powder coating is extremely forgiving and easy to clean up. A simple cardboard box makes a great spray booth.

Step 3: Apply the Paint

This is my first time ever powder coating and the results were amazing. I found the angle of the sprayer made a huge difference (spray with the top of the hopper parallel to the ground).

The basic process is:

  1. Ground your object with the alligator clip.
  2. Step on the foot pedal to energize the tip.
  3. Point the nozzle of the sprayer about 8-10 inches from the object being coated.
  4. Squeeze the trigger to apply smooth even coats.
  5. When it's completely covered move over to the oven.

Step 4: Bake at 400 Degrees for 15-20 Minutes.

You shouldn’t use your kitchen oven to cook the paint. We got an old toaster oven and turned it on it’s size so the stainless steel cups would fit.

Step 5: Source for Cheap Paint

I called a local powder coating shop and asked to buy a few ounces of hot pink. They ended up giving me this whole bag they had leftover from another job.

Step 6: Finished Results

We had a lot of fun doing this, and with absolutely no experience got very good results. Highly recommended DIY project!

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    60 Discussions

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    JohnC430

    1 year ago

    Great idea! thanks for sharing. how hard is the coating? does it scratch easily? is the coating electrically insulating i.e. can it withstand 120VAC? If so I have a use for it.

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    MakeMeOne2JohnC430

    Reply 1 year ago

    Regarding powder-coating as insulation, it is plastic, takes a charge yet it's non-conductive. Metallics are the exception.

    An average powder coating layer is .003" thick; once baked. As such several coats "should" provide insulation for 120 volts. I base this solely on 1000 volts ability to "arc" .250" (1/4 inch) to ground at atmospheric pressure. When in doubt/test it out.

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    JohnC430MakeMeOne2

    Reply 1 year ago

    you would have to spit at it in order to make 1KV arc over 0.25"

    30KV/inch at 1 ATM. so .025" = 30/4= 7.5 KV. I made a few 'stun guns' so i have already gone thru these calcs.

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    JohnC430JohnC430

    Reply 1 year ago

    sorry i made an error above so i am correcting it with a quote from

    'Journal of Electrical Engineering'

    "Normally air medium is widely use as an
    insulating medium in different electrical power equipment as
    its breakdown strength is 30 kV/cm"

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    xaenonJohnC430

    Reply 1 year ago

    Powder coating is fairly tough; it CAN be scratched but it takes a bit of effort. As for electrical insulation - I'm not sure I'd trust something as thin as powder coating for 120 volts. You might want to consider Plasti-Dip. I've used Plasti-Dip on tools to insulate the grips, but it's a fair bit 'thicker' coating than powder coating.

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    JohnC430xaenon

    Reply 1 year ago

    I did a search and found that if epoxy is used instead of just paint particles it has a dielectric strength of 1200V/mil using a 10 mil coating. so a 3-5 mil coating would be safe for about 500 Volts. it works up to 150C which is also plenty.

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    Jackh134JohnC430

    Reply 1 year ago

    I'm not sure if I should be worried or intrigued by your specifications! Please do a follow up if this crazy project of yours comes to life!

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    JohnC430Jackh134

    Reply 1 year ago

    by the way, thanks for the link. it says that epoxy powder coating is a great:
    A typical high potential electrical test can be performed if requested, scanning all surfaces at twice the operating voltage plus 1kV. so i suppose this answers my question.

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    JohnC430Jackh134

    Reply 1 year ago

    i just used 120V as an example.
    i designed a transformer with 30 turns on the primary at 240V which is 8 V/Turn. the wires were made of copper strip. the secondary was for 200 amps also copper strip. i needed to isolate the windings from each other and tried a few layers of paint which did not work. eventually i used mylar tape and it worked. That crazy project of mine was eventually installed in an electric vehicle built for the Marines. I did not know about powder coating when I did it in 1995. it went into production and by now i dont know how many hundreds of this crazy idea were made. so u dont have to worry about anything. None of them ever failed.

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    ManCraftingJohnC430

    Reply 1 year ago

    Powdercoating is harder to scratch than the stainless. Much more durable than paint.

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    gravityisweak

    1 year ago

    Nice! This would be great for re-coating stuff like a paintball gun. I wonder if you could solar bake the bigger stuff by using a large fresnel lens in the back yard.

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    cnaughtingravityisweak

    Reply 1 year ago

    Not sure if you realize - you would have to strip the original paint off first. You must have bare, clean metal for the powder to adhere cleanly. Even tiny amounts of dirt and imperfections will mar the final finish.

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    gravityisweakcnaughtin

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes, that's true. I've heard soaking it in acetone may do the trick. Since I have quite an old one, the original finish is in bad shape. Not sure if it was originally painted or powder coated.

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    GiuseppeV8

    1 year ago

    Great project! One question: when you said 400 degrees, you mean °F, right?

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    BG_INS

    1 year ago

    This is simply great. Can you maybe add a sketch of your complete set up, i used to work for a car brand in their paint factory. Yet i never ever thought of doing this myself.

    So you applied about 6KV, how many amps?

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    Jooks

    1 year ago

    From your experience, if you wanted to scale this up to be able to do car wheels or something of that size would the biggest cost/challenge be finding a bigger oven to accommodate?

    3 replies
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    bruce.desertratJooks

    Reply 1 year ago

    I saw (a long time ago, possibly here on instructables) where someone made a powder coating booth/oven out of an old metal filing cabinet and some electric oven heater elements. IIRC they were using it to do bike frames.

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    Jooksbruce.desertrat

    Reply 1 year ago

    Oh cool. Thanks for letting me know.

    If I'm going to take this on I'll see if I can track that down too