Spray Paint/Powder Coat?

I don't understand the difference, in terms of longevity and appearance, of painting a sheet of perforated steel with black paint from a spray can, or having it powder coated black. The holes in the steel are very small diameter (1/16") and close together (1/8" centers). This sheet of steel "screen", about 3' by 4', will be going into a screen door, replacing the older and deteriorating mesh screen currently there.
I'm concerned about some of the holes filling with paint, but that seems a risk in either case.
On what basis would you decide between these two approaches to coloring the raw steel black? Do you have other suggestions for this project?
Thanks.
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CWLee
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My main basis for determining would be that I would not know where to take anything locally to have it powder coated. Clearly the advantage to powder coating is that it's a much tougher, more durable coating. Whether that makes sense in this application vs the cost/ease of having it done would be the real determining factor. I would think any place that would do this likely has some minimum which might be more than this job is worth.
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A local shop quoted me $30 for a 3' x 4' sheet. That looks good to me, compared with the time, effort, and cost of the spray can route - but I'm still exploring my options.
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wrote:

The powder coating will last at least 5 to 10 times longer though. I have powder coated outdoor furniture that is well over 20 years old and has just dulled slightly over the years.
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powder is typically tougher and ticker than paint. It will also cover every arte of the steel as it is electrostaticly coated, and not subject to your angle of attack. I think in this case a can of spray paint is the way to go, specially if the metal screen is close.

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Spray painting @ 2 cans would be less than ten bucks for GOOD paint. Powder coating might be ten bucks a square foot.
No doubt about it that powder coat would last longer, as it is baked on, and has a surface sealing glaze.
If it was me, I'd just clean it REALLY good, then spray it with Rustoleum or Krylon. And then, you can touch if up every couple of years.
With either process, the talent of the painter will determine if the holes are plugged or not. If you spray it, figure on about four VERY light coats, with a couple of hours in between. The only thing that can clog the holes is putting too much paint on at once.
Spraying it is the way to go. Hang it up with two pieces of wire, one at each corner. Do it in a pattern of straight lines across the piece. Let it dry for two hours, then turn it ninety degrees. Repeat until you think it's covered. On your first coat, it should look like you've missed it and some of the metal should show through. That's how light a coat you want to keep from clogging the holes.
Steve
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Read the directions on the can, most spray paint will bubble and blister if you recoat after an hour.
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CWLee wrote:

so well. Seems like you have a choice between plugging some holes with paint or leaving spots of steel unpainted and eventually rusting. Is this for security?
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It is for security. In this community I could probably count at least 100 similar screen doors within a half-mile radius. Most of them are on steel grill screen doors (which one can buy at the local HD and Lowe's as well), whereas mine is an opening in an otherwise solid wooden screen door.
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