The benefits of powder coating and metal treatment when restoring cars

Filed under: Classic News |
Restoring a classic car is a labour of love, and you want the finished product to reflect the time and effort that has been put into the project. Buying a classic car already restored is always an option but having the connection of working on the car yourself is always gratifying. With that being said, there are obviously some areas where you’ll need to consult professionals for the job to be done to the standard you’d expect and desire.

Dealing with the paintwork of a car during a restoration is one of the most critical aspects of the project. When you’re driving along, the most common feature of a car that other motorists and pedestrians look at is the body shape of the car, and then the colour of the paint. Even if other people’s opinion on the car doesn’t matter to you, how you feel the car looks is important, and the paint is a big part of this. The difference in the quality of finish between a professional and an enthusiast who feels they can ‘probably do a good job’ will be significant, so it’s important for something as major as the paint to have it restored properly.

When looking at the options available to restore the paint on a car, there are several things to consider. The first decision obviously will be the colour. For some restorers, returning the car, or as close as possible, to its original colour is the best way to go. However, for others, it may be a case of they always wanted to have this classic car in a particular colour and by restoring it themselves and having it repainted allows them to achieve this.

If you are applying new paint to a car surface, it’s almost impossible to match the fresh paint with what’s already on the car. Often the simplest thing to do is strip the bodywork down and paint the panels. To achieve the best possible finish, whoever is doing the work for you should be properly cleaning the panels and preparing them for the new paint. Shot blasting is an excellent way of removing the old paint and leaving the metal surface smooth and free of any imperfections.

When it comes to applying the paint, again are various routes you can go down. Wet spray painting is a popular choice, but one which often goes overlooked is powder coating. This process works a little differently to wet spray painting as it uses a dry paint powder. The paint particles can attach to the metal surfaces due to a difference in electronic charge. The surface which the paint is being applied to is ‘earthed’, while the paint particles pass through an electrostatic gun and become positively charged. This difference in charge attracts the paint particles to the surface, and then the metal piece is baked in an oven at high temperatures. By doing so, a chemical reaction takes place, and the paint forms a hard and durable coating while still being able to achieve a variety of finishes.

Along with panels, powder coating is often used on wheels. The durable finish produced makes it an excellent option for coating wheels as it can help protect them from chips and scratches which are common.

Aside from the paint, when restoring a car its often important to give the internal components some TLC, particularly with a classic car. Doing a throughout check over of the internal elements of a car your restoring is wise for two key reasons. Firstly, it allows you to identify parts which may need to be replaced for safety reasons. When you’ve worked so hard restoring a car, you don’t want it to break down the first time you drive it because of an old part. Secondly, it gives you a chance to strip down some of the significant elements and give them a deep clean. This will not only allow you to examine them but also improve their performance.

One of the best ways to clean car parts such as engine or gearbox casings, cylinder heads and blocks is with aqua blasting. This type of metal treatment is sometimes known as vapour blasting or wet blasting, and it provides a more gentile cleaning than shot blasting we mentioned earlier. It’s a great way of restoring engineering components and giving your car a new lease of life.

Overall, restoring a car can be a labour-intensive process which takes time. Ultimately though it’s what you end up with that makes it all worthwhile, and we hope the methods highlighted above give you some ideas if you’re in the process or thinking about restoring a car.

This article was written in collaboration with Stovrite who are experts and offer some of the highest quality powder coating Newcastle and the North East area can find.