Do all powder coat finishes look terrible after a couple of years?


Staff member
I always lean to a raw / unfinished item over a powder coated one. My bumper, and skids all came as raw metal that I painted rattle can black. The paint doesn't last forever, but it's super easy to scuff them and respray a section.

Having said that, my rock sliders came powder coated black and while they looked good for a couple years, they are now a rusty mess. I've tried sanding and painting over the powder coat, but it never works out.

Is there a trick to "touching up" powder coated stuff, or do I just need to spend a couple of hours with a flap disk and get all of the powder coat off and start over with spray paint?

Powder coat should outlast regular paint. The process involves sandblasting the metal first. Perhaps the prep was lacking on your sliders.

If all the powder coat is scuffed up and any/all rust removed it should paint well although it doesn't hurt to take it down to clean metal. Paint in rattle cans is drastically reduced in order for it to atomize. What that means is it takes a lot more coats to build up the paint film. Generally the thicker the mil thickness of the paint the longer it will wear.

Have you thought about coating them with bed liner?
I can't say that I'm a big fan of bedliner on exterior applications (like rock sliders). I've used it on the floorboards of my old CJ and liked it there.

The powder coat did last longer than what I think paint would. I think my main issue is that it seems to be harder to recoat, or touch up powder coated parts.
Powder coats typically dry to a harder film than regular enamels which is why they normally outlast regular paint - it also makes them harder to prep for repaint.