Why is Powder Coating the Best Choice for Retail Fixtures?
For today’s retailers, there are a whole lotta things to worry about. Customers might finally be coming back to stores, but might not be spending. A dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to—both for you and them. Investors want to see publicly traded retailers’ environmental scores. And public or private, you’re still doing all you can to stay in the black.
There are many ways to improve your store. Why not consider one that’s going to provide you cost savings, long life, minimal maintenance, and a good look. Yes, today, we’re talking about powder coating, and the reason it’s an ideal option for retailers looking to transform their fixtures.
When compared to paint, powder coat offers a variety of benefits. From durability to design choice, here are just some of the reasons that opting for this coating option can benefit you.
Environmentally Friendly—in More Ways Than One
In today’s ESG-driven world, your environmental impact is being closely scrutinized. And it’s not just your company that’s being watched—it’s your entire supply chain.
Now for retailers, your fixture manufacturing partner might not be the first place you look when you’re evaluating supplier environmental impact. But every little bit counts—and the choice to powder coat your retail fixtures can have a shockingly large effect when you start to do the math.
Between initial coating, ongoing maintenance, and refurbishment, retailers who opt for powder coated fixtures can rest easy—and breathe easy. Here are just some of the reasons powder coated fixtures are environmentally superior to painted ones:
When it comes to clean air, VOCs are the enemy. What are they? In short, they’re carbon-based compounds that break apart in ambient environments. Once they break apart, they react with nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide in sunlight to create ground-level ozone and other nasty stuff.
And paint is one of the largest sources of VOCs—second only to automobiles. Unfortunately, VOCs are just part of the painting process, especially when it comes to industrial applications.
Paint consists of a few main ingredients: Pigment, Binder, and Solvent. By their nature, solvents have to be volatile if they’re going to dry. Though coatings have consistently become more environmentally friendly in commercial applications, industrial coatings often require specific substances to last. Still necessary in some applications, yes. But decreasingly so in metal coating.
Powder coating, on the other hand, is simply powder, electrostatic attraction, and heat. No solvents. No liquid. And with the right recovery systems, almost no waste—up to 98-100% of powder overspray can be reclaimed, recovered, and reused.
Better yet, without solvents, even wasted powder coat isn’t going to start mixing with or contaminating water. Cleaner air, cleaner water, and cleaner operations.
Built to Last
The reduced VOC emissions is just one advantage of powder coating fixtures. Another benefit? Lifespan.
We’re not going to say that powder coating lasts forever (we wouldn’t have a refurbishing practice if that was the case), but when compared to paint, the difference in lifespan is palpable.
Retail environments are high-touch spaces. Whether they’re holding merchandise or sitting in the back, fixtures, hardware, and merchandising accessories have to put up with a healthy amount of abuse. Throughout its life, both the fixture—and its coating—are going to deal with constant wear and tear. And this is where powder coat stands out.
There’s a reason that everything from hubcaps to heavy machinery use powder coating. Because it lasts.
Whereas paint is applied wet and adheres to a surface as it dries, powder coating fuses. During the curing process, powder coating becomes one with the surface. And it becomes pretty damn hard to remove without specialized tooling or processes—requiring temperatures north of 650F, abrasive media, and/or specialized chemicals.
Your fixture manufacturing partner may benefit just as much as you from having minimal VOC output. And we don’t exactly hate the efficiency of the process. But once it’s in the store, the benefits of powder coating really start to manifest. Why? Because it doesn’t get easier than powder coat.
Not only is a powder coated fixture going to give you a durable, long-lasting coat (up to 20 years), it’s going to be easy to maintain and easier to clean.
There’s a difference between simply being durable and being low maintenance.
Paint can be durable. It can offer a protection to a fixture. But it can also require a lot of additional effort to maintain. Powder coating is both durable and low maintenance. It’s thicker, making it harder to damage. It’s bonded better, resisting chipping. And as mentioned before, it takes some significant effort to remove it.
Easy to Clean
Few consumer or even commercial solvents can cause damage to powder coating. So unless you intend to clean your shelves with brake cleaner, your powder coating should stand up to the test. Paint often requires specific cleaning processes and sometimes, cleaning solutions.
Paint is great at delivering a wide range of color options, textures, and gloss factors. So is powder coat. With dozens of powder coat vendors, each offering their own blends, you can get exactly what you envision.
Hammer tones, matte smooth, or high gloss, an endless selection of colors, and consistency. Better yet, powder coat doesn’t show direction. Whether powder coat is applied horizontally or vertically, the application process ensures that the end product looks the same.
Colors and Color Matching
We work with you to transform your vision into reality. And no matter the color you need, we’re ready to match it. Whites, blacks, greys; bronze, silver, and gold; soft pastels or bright primary colors—it’s all possible. Want powder coating that looks like chrome? Want to add metals and special effects? We’ll find the supplier to make it happen.
Gloss & Textures
One of the most interesting elements of powder coating is the availability of texture—and the amount that this texture stands out. As powder coating is thicker than paint, even your smallest parts will gain a unique look and feel. Here are just some of the options you have:
- Sand & Wrinkled: Minimal gloss, high durability.
- River Vein: A unique look that leaves water-like channels on a material.
- Hammer Tone: Scratch resistant, comparable to a golf ball or orange.
- Matte: Good for high-touch environments and can hide imperfections from ongoing use.
- Gloss: Decent reflection, but not truly defined.
- High Gloss: Near mirror finish, easy to clean, but shows off surface imperfections.
Add to this options like clear, pearl, or multicolor looks including granite, confetti, rusty and weathered appearances; whatever the appearance you’re going for, we’ll help you get it.
It’s not just color, texture, or gloss levels—powder coating can do so much more. As a coating application used anywhere from medical equipment to heavy machinery, it can probably do anything you need in a retail environment.
For example, if you’re in the food & beverage space, an antimicrobial additive could make life easier. There are different durability levels, materials, and additives that can further impact the appearance, use, and more.
Custom Fixtures by Morgan Li: Your Vision Delivered
Bring us your wildest designs and boldest plans. We’ll make them a reality. We’re Morgan Li, and we’ve been working with designers, brands, planners, and more to transform spaces for nearly eight decades.
No matter how big or complicated the piece, you deserve to work with a partner who understands the challenges and knows how to get the job done. That’s where we come in. With nearly eight decades of experience transforming spaces, we’re ready to fabricate—and finish—your metal to meet your highest expectations.