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Custom Coating

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 my most recent daily perusing of Instagram I scrolled past many of the custom powder coaters I follow, observing the in’s and outs of custom coating. 

One thing I really appreciate about a particular one I follow, is not only do they post the end product freshly coated in its fresh out of the oven glamour, but they also document the process and failures along the way. I realize of course that may be destructive to do to a reputable business name…but the realization is that sort of approach helps everyone in the business out, to not make the same mistakes. 

Who runs a powder coating business whether custom or production that doesn’t occasionally have prep issues or bleed issues or the much dreaded its just jacked and needs to be re-stripped and prepped and coated again issue? With experience comes less of these blunders, but it sure is nice to let someone else experiment and have our work come out as expected. 

Recently I powder coated a dual plane intake for a 427 small block Chevy motor that will be going into a 70’s Nova and was amazed at the time it took to properly prep the intake before it was coated. I had a nice selection of plugs and caps and high heat tape courtesy of my full time gig. 

The intake needed bead blasted, then cleaned, and then a good bit of time spent finding the correct size plugs to fit in the holes that would allow the powder coating to bridge to the holes and not look goofy….oh and I cant forget the high heat masking tape, also courtesy of the 8-5, and the tedious job with an Exacto-Knife blade cutting and taping off areas that sneaky powder coating has its habit of being drawn into. 

The end product came out looking great and it was NOT because I am a professional, I am a hobbyist but I do observe well and that is the reason I get things powder coated efficiently because someone else made the mistake and were generous enough to let me learn from them. In fact, I cringe to think of re-stripping the intake with all its curves and voids as I sit here writing this thankful that I watched a couple videos and clips on Instagram to avoid that mistake! 

Courtesy of Instagram videos I know how the wet finger technique can assist in raised lettering on say a pair of valve covers, or how a moistened q-tip can assist in the engraved lettering scenario. So here is a shout out to those in the industry who help us who are more hobby coaters than professionals…thanks for showing me what NOT to do! 

As a side note here is a couple of pictures of the intake as it currently sits in the engine bay mid-restoration I welcome your comments on my hobbyist coating application!

Darrell Flachs


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