Powder Coating A Frame: Tips From A Professional Bike Builder

Question on Powder Coating A Frame:

I am looking for advice on frame powder coating.  What should I do to protect threaded holes, steering head etc?  Also when it is painted, what is the best method to remove unwanted paint like for the engine mount plate, etc.?

Gavin From the UK.


The powder coater I use when powder coating a frame has heat resistant plugs that we will fill each bolt hole with. When I get the parts back I will chase each hole with a tap. Some people will put throw away bolts in each hole but you may crack the powder coating when removing them; I'm not a fan of that method.

Most powder coaters will have a powder coating friendly masking tape. You will just have to show them what needs to be covered.

To remove powder coating from contact surfaces, I will use a 3m pad on a buffing wheel or buffing grinder which we used in the Build Your Own Bike video. It gives the most uniform appearance.

Thanks, Michael Durham.

Powder coating tips:

  • Make sure you have more than enough ventilation.
  • Use a tarp to catch and collect powder. A vacuum is not to be used unless it's designed to clean up powder for powder coating.

Be very thorough in how to set up your work area, and what safety procedures to take.

However, new advanced in technology allow bike builders and metalworkers to do their own powder coating at home or in a small shop. For example, check out this new powder coating kit: Eastwood Dual Voltage Powder Coating Gun Starter Kit.

See It In Action Here:

You can powder coat a frame with this Dual Voltage Powder Coating Gun. It's really something! You can use the low voltage setting for small parts, and the higher voltage setting for larger parts (like powder coating a frame for example). And the results look very good. Almost as good as a pro shop. Most people won't be able to tell the difference.

You will need a few things in addition to this kit to get started:

  • Compressed Air (something with 5-10 PSI).
  • Electric Oven (or toaster): You'll need this to 'cure' the powder. According to the manufacturer, 400 degrees Fahrenheit is what's needed for most powders.

As always, you'll need at the very least a dust mask, even in well ventilated areas.

Frame Powder Coating Video: