Whether the object is to restore a classic muscle machine, or build that special race car of your dreams, cleaning and refinishing tired parts is almost always a major portion of the project. There are several choices in how to approach such refinishing chores, from the quick and simple spray-bomb gloss-over, to having the item professionally restored. For most of us on a workingman's budget, any work that can be done at home represents money saved, in addition to the satisfaction of accomplishing the project with your own two hands. Typically, parts refinished at home will be done with paint, be it the above mentioned spray cans, or spraying the finish with a compressor and the required paint guns.

While just about anyone can easily get set up to apply paint, powdercoating is generally thought of as a process reserved for a professional shop. Powdercoating results in a beautiful finish with the gloss and clarity of a good paintjob, however, where this process really shines is in the qualities of longevity and durability. A powdercoated finish will last far longer than a typical paint finish, retaining its gloss and color without fading, and with far more resistance to abrasion, chipping, and chemical damage. This all makes powdercoating a fine choice for any metal component where long-lasting protection and good looks are the goal.

While professional powdercoating is affordable enough to consider, unless the neighborhood shop is just around the corner, it can be a major inconvenience to send in every little item as it comes up in the course of a project. This is where it can be tempting to just pick up a spray bomb off the shelf and compromise. Consider instead just picking your own powdercoating rig off the shelf, and applying a powdercoated finish that will last for years. Eastwood's Dual-Voltage Powder Coating System (PN 11676, $169.99) allows just that, putting professional-level powdercoating ability in the hands of the do-it-yourself enthusiast.

We recently acquired one of these Eastwood units and decided to give powdercoating a try. While the process is definitely more involved than simple painting, the equipment proved to be very easy to use and effective. In fact, with the long-lasting durability of powdercoating at our disposal, we now reach for the Eastwood equipment whenever working on a part that wewould rather never have to refinish again. A recent example was a pair of vintage, out-of-production Mickey Thompson valve covers. We applied a powdercoated finish in high-gloss black in little more than an hour, and we can confidently bolt them on knowing the finish will look great for years to come.

SOURCE
Eastwood
800-343-9352
www.eastwood.com