Stainless Steel Handrails Finishing: Should You Choose Powder Coatings or Liquid Paint?

Are you designing custom stainless steel handrails for your porch, patio or interior stairways? Choosing the right finishing technique for your handrails can significantly influence their appearance, durability and performance. The two most common finishing options are powder coatings and liquid paint. How do you determine the best technique for your project? Read on for a detailed comparison of powder coatings and liquid paint that will enable you choose the best finishing option for your stainless steel handrails.

Scratch resistance

If you have small children or pets in the home, you need to choose a finishing product that can withstand scratches from paws and sharp objects. In this case, powder coating would be the best choice as it does not peel when scratched or exposed to impact. This property helps prevents exposure of stainless steel to the elements. This minimises the risk of corrosion and deterioration of the metal.

On the other hand, liquid paint can easily peel away when the handrails are scratched or dented. Not only will this create an eyesore, but it will also expose the stainless steel to corrosion. You will have to repaint the handrails so as to restore their appearance and protect the metal.

Long-term performance

When choosing a finishing technique, you should not be blindsided by the immediate performance of the product. What matters is how your handrails will be looking after years of use. Painted stainless steel handrails have a beautiful appearance for the first few years. However, some paints tend to fade over time when exposed to UV radiation. This can be a great concern if your handrails will be installed on your porch or patio stairs.

Powder coatings are bound to maintain their color for decades even when exposed to UV radiation. They do not fade or wear, and this makes them suitable for external applications. If you choose liquid paint over powder coatings, make sure that you go for a quality product that's resistant to UV radiation.

Cost factor

The cost of finishing is an important factor that will ultimately determine the technique that will be suitable for your budget. The cost of using powder coatings tend to be higher than that of liquid paint due to the type of product, tools, and expertise that's required to achieve a smooth and even finish. However, since they are durable, you may not incur additional cost of refinishing the handrails in the future.

Always compare the cost of finishing alongside other factors such as performance and durability to ensure that you end up with the best stainless steel handrail.