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Powder & Paint - What Are The Differences Between Powder Coat & Traditional Hand Sprayed Paint


At Blake & Bull we design and hand build every commission. This means that we can be flexible about the finishes that we offer, giving you autonomy over your design. 

There are practical considerations though that may change which route you take. 

The foundations

Galvanised hand built hand forged gates and railings made in the UK

Blake & Bull always galvanise. hand sprayed paint and powder coat finishes do protect the base metal, steel or iron, against the elements. However when damaged, they let in moisture which causes rust and corrosion. 

We build railings and gates to last generations. That is why we galvanise. We take care to to conceal welds and wrap joins to further improve the structural integrity and longevity of our craft.

See the finished installation of the railings pictured here

Powder Coat

Powder coating results in a smooth even finish. For a more subtle look, we recommend satin and will always take this route unless the client brief is different. 

There are many colours available to you when you take the powder coat route, but less than were you to choose a 'hand mixed' wet paint {sprayed on}.

powder coated galvanised gates and railings handbuilt in the UK

The science bit  - The coloured powder is fired through an electrostatic gun, which creates a negative charge. The powder is then drawn towards the grounded metal that it is directed at. In this case our carefully crafted bespoke railings! The metalwork then undergoes a curing process. 

How to choose - If you have a RAL no. that you are happy to confirm in writing then we can proceed with that as long as the 'mix' is available. Or we can create samples for you, they take a little while as we will prepare a large metal tile and powder coat it at your request. The small wait is worth it if you want to see the colour on metal and see the finish. 

What is a RAL No. - Powder compounds do not 'mix' like wet paint. The colour blends have to be mixed in large commercial batches and be coded using RAL No.s. This allows for continuity across trades, for example railings to match windows. 

Powder coating is more resistant to scratches, knocks and day to day wear. It is also cheaper as there is less waste {powder can be reused/collected from the spray booth whereas wet paint cannot}. 

It can be more flexible in terms of texture and 'shine' finishes. However some say it lacks the hand finished look and feel of a hand sprayed hand painted coating. The colours can be restrictive for some projects, matching existing heritage railings for example, where a more bespoke hand mixing process might be more applicable. 

Hand Spraying {Wet Paint}

Hand Painted Hand Built Bespoke Gates & Railings Made in the UK

The railings and scroll work seen here is hand painted, not with a brush but with careful and steady incremental layers of paint. This paint can be bought in a wider selection of colours, and can be hand mixed. 

Always applied to galvanised metal, it will show a little more of the character of the work beneath. 

It is easier to obtain a high gloss finish with wet paint, but it must be applied with skill and takes time. Layers need time to air dry, the metal work needs 'space' {square footage} to dry, and skilled labour to ensure the best finish possible. 

This makes wet spraying a more expensive route. 

It is ideal for heritage installations, when existing railings at the property or adjoining properties are to be matched. A hand sprayed finish can also be more aesthetically appropriate when the features, like stonework, around the railings/gate have age and character.  

More care needs to be taken to not damage painted railings as scratches, dents and chips can let in moisture, it is important to re-coat damage. 

Both wet and dry paint finishes can be maintained over the years and generations as they can be repainted in situ by brush or spray. 


Please contact the friendly team to chat about your design ideas and to find out more about what we do.