a McLaren wheel, refurbished to gloss black. It is a close up view of the wheel, with some of the white car visible either side.

When we were setting up our business, we chose to focus on powder coating. There were lots of reasons we did this, instead of adding spray painting facilities. Powder coating is more reliable, has better longevity and has the added bonus of looking a whole lot better on average than spray painting does. For your alloy wheel refurbishment, we don’t think there’s much competition.

Still, it’s important to mention that not every job is suited to powder coating; spray paint might be a better option in some cases. That’s why we’ve written this article to help you decide which is right for you.

An image of a car alloy with a powder coating in a satin purple colour
A powder-coated wheel from our workshop. This gorgeous colour is Satin Stealth Purple.

What are the differences between powder coating and spray painting?

Well, first and foremost: the cost. Powder coating takes specialist equipment and supplies. It is ideally a task for someone with a lot of training – like our team – if you want a fantastic result.

Spray painting is cheaper in many ways; It’s cheaper to buy the products and cheaper to do the work. And, if you didn’t want to pay the fees to have a professional do it, it is possible to do it yourself. Spray-painting might be a better option for those among us who always want to be hands-on in their car modding. 

Despite the low initial cost, spray paint doesn’t have the longevity of powder coat. So a lower upfront price turns into just as much, if not more money over time, as you’ll repeated top-ups. 

Spray painting is also a bit quicker; you aren’t doing quite so many hours of work, what with all the stages involved in powder coating (you can read about those HERE). If time is of the essence, then the 1-2 day refurbishment process in our workshop might not suit you. 

It’s a common misconception that you have more colour options with spray painting. Spray paint used to have a broader range of colours, but these days you can get almost any colour in both paint and powder, so don’t let that sway you. If you’re looking for a specific colour, our team will be able to help guide you.

An image of a car alloy with a powder coating in liquid copper, which is a deep, sparkling red-brown.
A powder-coated wheel from our workshop. This gorgeous colour is Liquid Copper.

What are the benefits of powder coating?

Powder coating gives a stronger, more resilient coating to your wheels. The application process means that the particles bond together over the metal. It’s less likely to be scratched and way more resistant to any chemical interference. In fact, to remove an old coat, we have to bathe alloys in acid, sometimes for a few hours, to get it to come off. That means it’ll wear a lot better than spray paint.

Powder coating also doesn’t peel, flake or fade the way spray-paint frequently does. Your wheels are likely to spend a lot of their time outside in various weather conditions (especially in the UK, where cold, wet, and windy is the norm!). Powder-coated alloys have better protection against general wear and tear; they’ll stay intact with no chipping even on gritty road surface.

The finish options for powder are unparalleled! We stock a huge range of gloss, satin and matte options in our powder coating products. Some of these colours have a beautiful depth that you can’t achieve from painting. See the pictures in this blog for just a few examples! We can get almost any colour from our suppliers, but we’ll need advance notice if you’re looking for something unusual!

An image of a car alloy with a powder coating in a satin green colour
A powder-coated wheel from our workshop. This gorgeous colour is Satin Stealth Green.

Is there anything else I should know?

If you’re eco-conscious, then powder coating is also your better option. Spray-painting involves solvents that are pollutants. These can cause health issues to people and animals within the environment and low-level ozone layer damage.

In paint, the solvent is the liquid part that carries the particles for painting. It makes sure the paint has the right consistency for adhering to surfaces. In powder coating, solvents are not necessary as we use heat and pressure to achieve this effect.

You should also know that painting can give a smoother finish in many cases than a powder coat. This is primarily true when beginners do it; the process can leave a bumpy finish when there’s contamination on the metal. At MPC, our stringent quality checks make sure your finish is perfect. 

An image of a car alloy with a powder coating in maganese anthracite, which is a deep, sparkling silver
A powder-coated wheel from our workshop. This gorgeous colour is Maganese Anthracite.

So what’s the answer?

As a powder coating company, we clearly think that powder coating is superior — but this is from years of working in the car customisation industry and experimenting with different techniques. While spray-painting certainly has its use, and we use hand painting on callipers, we reckon powder coating is the way forward for your alloy wheel refurbishment.

If you have other metal items and are unsure what is your best option, contact our customer service team HERE for help.