Powder Coat vs Paint Wheels: A Definitive Guide for the Average DIYer

When the topic is about powder coat vs paint wheels, powder coat wins every time. Do you know why? We are here to explain.

Everyone wants an eye-catchy look on their car rims. A sports rim can fulfill this requirement, and that’s why many invest in custom rims. But we believe many great-looking car rims are available in the market. You just need a perfect color to design the wheel.

Experts have many opinions about painted or powder-coated wheels. Both have their pros and cons. If you want a winner, we will pick a powder coat. Do you want to know why? We will explain here.

Paint Wheels Overview

Wet paint finishes are most common in aftermarket car wheels. The paint is applied in the same way as another painting job. At first priming, then paint over the rim with spray paint. Finally, a clear coat is applied to protect the paint from dirt, dust, and sun exposure. You can also change the paint wheels with the help of some specific chemicals. 

Paint Wheels

There are a variety of paint finishes available to paint the wheels. Gloss, matte, metallic, and satin finishes are regular to see. Durability is an essential aspect of wheel paints. Mostly it depends on the quality of the paint. 

Powder Coat Wheels

Powder coating paint works the same way as changing the color of car wheels. It is used in metal, steel, aluminum, etc. It always provides a strong finish that lasts longer than regular paint.

The process of painting through powder coat is a little different. You need a spray power gun that can electronically charge small particles of powder coat and spray them onto the painting surface.

We looked at using different powder coating techniques. We don’t know the actual names of those techniques. Rim painters prefer powder coats because it contains no solvents. This makes the powder coat more environmentally friendly and non-toxic.

Powder Coat Wheels

You can spray any car part using a powder coat, but there is a catch. You need to bake it before applying. This way, the powder coat particles mix and cure properly. The presence of small particles and the absence of solvent are the main differences between powder coats vs paint wheels.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Powder Coating?

We declared Powder Coat as the winner in this competition. Do you want to know why powder coat is the winner for rim painting? This post will help you answer to find the answer.

The benefits of powder coat, especially its protective and decorative finish, make it a winner. After electrostatically spraying, its pigment resin and fine particles make the metal surface beautiful and protective.

What We Like

Here are the PROS of powder coat wheels –

  • Durable.
  • Protective.
  • Money saver.
  • First application.
  • Consistent finish.
  • Mature corrosion prevention.
  • Versatile.

When you look at versatility, powder coat is the winner. Durability is an essential part of pigments. Powder coat is dramatically ahead of paint in this respect. A powder coat can provide a similar finish when you apply two coats of paint. Simply, it will save your extra costs. It also means that you can use it first. You can powder coat wheel costing here.

Experts believe that powder coat is more mature than regular paint. They can feel confident with its protection level. This feature dramatically improves the life of the metal surface. The longevity of powder coat is excellent in one word.

A lot has been said about the advantage. The powder coat is good, but it is not perfect. There is some lacking present in it. You need to figure them out.

What We Don’t Like

Here are the CONS of powder coat wheels –

  • Thick coat.
  • Hard to smooth.
  • Electrostatically paint gun required.
  • Need to be heated.
  • Need a baking process.

So, these are what we found out about powder coats. All the difficulties will not bother you too much. But you cannot control it properly if you are not an expert. Moreover, it requires heat, baking, and electrostatic paint guns that are new to a painter who uses regular paint. It will not be a problem when one gets used to these terms. So, if you want to use it to paint your car, you must need additional information about how long it takes to paint a car.

Powder Coat vs Paint Wheels

But in the beginning, these difficulties may bother you a lot. All in all, paint output matters. We can confidently say that powder coat wheel output is better than paint wheel. We all know more or less about the benefits and disadvantages of paints. Since we also know about powder coats, it is the perfect time to understand why powder coat is better than paint wheels. 

The answer will clear all your question about powder coat vs paint wheels. So, read this term carefully.

Is It Better to Paint or Powder Coat Wheels?

Experts always prefer powder coats over car rims more than liquid paints. Why? Let’s make it straightforward. The paint falls off against the powder coat because of the below cases-

  • Powder coat has a long-term solution, whereas paint comes with a short-term solution.
  • Paint offers fewer benefits than powder coat.
  • Durability and versatility in powder coat vs paint wheels, paint cannot match the level of powder coat.
  • You should apply a powder coat on car wheels to save money in the long run.
  • Paint is more vulnerable to scraping and shaving.
  • Powder coats offer better coverage.

The above requirements are a must to paint a car and car wheel. And in the powder coat vs paint wheels comparison, the powder coat can fulfill all the essential requirements of a car rim painter. Because of these reasons, though powder coat costs were high initially, people used it.

So, which finish do you want with a powder coat on your car rim? We think a metallic or matte finish will be the best. This metallic vs non-metallic car paint may help you in decision-making.


Is it better to paint or powder coat rims?

We would recommend a powder coat because of its perfect color, protective finish, and better performance in the long run.

Which option is cheaper: powder coating or painting for wheels?

Paint is the cheaper option, but it may not be the most durable choice in the long run.

Final Word

Both paint and powder coating can enhance the look of car rims if you choose the perfect color and finish. But more and more people use powder coats on car wheels to get the best results. If you ignore the disadvantages of powder coats, it will definitely benefit you in the long run. So, this is our pick between powder coat vs paint wheels.

Still, if you choose paint for wheels, then it is okay. It costs less money than a powder coat at the beginning. But paint is not the best choice for the long run. 

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