Custom Coater Start-Up

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 5/1/2005

Question: I am trying to get started in a wet paint coating business.


I am trying to get started in a wet paint coating business. I "fell into" this. A friend who works for a tool and die company said his boss needed someone to "coat" some parts. We did our first order. The parts were 1 1/2 x 5/16—they were small spacer parts. We had 2,000 to paint. The paint and primer had spec sheets we had to follow. This was totally new to me but I went to the paint store and they helped me out. We made a crude system of Styrofoam boards with pins stuck in them to hold the parts. The same friend showed us how to use the paint gun and primered the parts and put the color coat on.

Where can I learn as much about this business as I can? I am not having any luck searching on the Internet. C.C.


You may not find all you need to know on the Internet. The best way to start a custom coating business is to have four things, pretreatment equipment, painting equipment, materials and of course customers. After that, to be successful, you must pretreat the parts to be coated, have good painting equipment, buy good paint and apply the paint in a safe and efficient manner. When you pretreat (notice I said when not if), you must dispose of any waste in compliance with local environmental regulations. The paint you buy must meet your customer’s performance specifications. The paint should also comply with local environmental regulations. If you spray paint, you should use a spray booth. Parts should be hung on durable hangers. A conveyor will facilitate handling them. The exhaust and overspray must be collected and disposed in a manner in compliance with local environmental regulations.

Last but not least, the pretreatment and painting must be done in compliance with worker health and safety regulations. The spray booth exhaust and face velocity must meet standards. Fire protection must meet standards, etc.

I suggest you contact your local pretreatment materials supplier, paint supplier, painting and equipment supplier for help with all these issues. If you can’t get help locally, look in the Products Finishing 2005 Directory and Technology Guide ( for help. It is important to note, for your needs, the Directory is better than the Internet.


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