How long will powder coating last?

The life of any paint relies on the following:

1. Meticulous care with application

For external use the paint system should be:

  • microscopically smooth finish.
  • a good paint system.
  • applied to a clean corrosion inhibited surface with a good key.
  • made up of different resins which do different jobs for different environments.
  • of sufficient thickness to act as a barrier in order to protect the substrate.

2. Where it's situated

The more hostile the environment (i.e. as with the bus stop shown, which is 750m from the sea, or in a swimming pool), the more the paint system is going to be stressed.

3. Good quality powder coating

If the paint is cheap and poor quality it is more likely to be porous which will lead to under paint rust. Good quality pigments and resins are expensive and so cheap paints are more likely to fade and breakdown in ultra violet, which can lead to the surface oxidising (chalking) of its surface. The cheaper pigments are more likely to fade.

4. Powder coating maintenance

If a polished steel tube is fitted on the beach with no paint or corrosion inhibiting compounds, and left, it will rust over night. If it is cleaned and polished every day by the people rubbing their hands on it, it will remain a polished steel tube. Therefore, a poor paint system will remain sound if it is cleaned enough.


This is simplified to make a point but the opposite is also true. A good paint system will also struggle if it is never washed but is in a corrosive environment. It can be seen by looking at the picture of a bus stop the area exposed to the rain is not suffering from any breakdown. However under the shelter where the corrosive elements are never washed off, the galvanising is experiencing catastrophic break down.

This is why all warranties require a cleaning schedule.