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I am interested in powder coating a bulkhead door. The problem is that normally with powder coat you need a temperature controlled oven that holds the item at a certain temperature for 10 minutes. In this case the door is attached to the building.

Is it possible to use a heat gun to cure it?

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    I think you would have issues with temperature differentials, and not having an even coating. Quickly looking up PPG Gen 2 specs, I see that it takes anywhere from 275-350 for 8-15 minutes depending on the variety for low-cure. Holding this evenly for something as large as a door would prove difficult, and I suspect the cure as well as the finish would be uneven. Jul 18, 2016 at 14:38
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    @BrownRedHawk I concur, there would be no way to ensure that the finish would come out evenly. There is a fair chance that the homeowner will also end up burning their house down as well. The same effect can be achieved by simply using spray paint. Just make sure the surface is properly prepped beforehand, and it should last quite a long time. Jul 18, 2016 at 19:03
  • The door core may not hold up to high temp. Even fire rated doors can be damaged by +300 degree temps needed to cure the powder coat.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 14, 2017 at 16:19
  • @EdBeal It's a bulkhead door, it is solid steel. There is no "core". Not from New England I'm guessing. Aug 14, 2017 at 16:36
  • Oregon here most steel doors here have a foam core. If on a boat I would have known.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 14, 2017 at 18:40

3 Answers 3

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I doubt a heat gun could provide satisfactory results unless you are exceptionally skilled with it.

However, there is no reason you could not build an oven around the door. Is that easier than taking the door off? Probably not.

I am thinking taking one of these:

enter image description here

(175,000 BTU/hr liquid propane heater)

Bypass or modify the heater's thermostat to allow 350+ °F output, and build a heat resistant enclosure around the door.

This is definitely a DIY project if ever there was one with plenty of pitfalls and excitement dangers. With adequate precautions, it can be successful:

  • no volatile or flammable materials inside the enclosure
  • the oven environment will be low oxygen and high CO2
  • heater airflow will be challenging to manage
  • temperature management will be challenging
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  • I am thinking of trying to use a propane heater (amazon.com/Century-2315i-Single-Portable-Infrared/dp/B00U2YN9FC/…). This kind of heater can get very hot. If I mount it to a bar I can control how far it is from the door and use a laser temperature sensor to keep it at the right distance so the surface temperature is 400C. Jul 18, 2016 at 17:48
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    At this point of investment, why not pull the door for a night, board/plastic it up, and send the door out for powder coat? Many fabrication shops could turn this around in a day or so if you provide it to them prepped? How is the door attached to the building? Jul 18, 2016 at 19:08
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    @tylerdurden - 400C? Do you mean 400F? I think most powder coats are cured around 200C/400F. 400C is 750F.
    – Johnny
    Nov 19, 2016 at 17:33
  • Keep in mind you have to apply the powdercoat to the door before you bake it, and not perturb it until you do. That will be phantasmagorically difficult unless the oven is quite large. Sep 9, 2017 at 18:16
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You can use a cure lamp to cure it in place, though it has to be done in small sections.

http://www.eastwood.com/2-x-3-medium-wave-curing-lamp.html

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  • The link is broken, but eastwood.com has a number of heat curing lamps, which are IR based. It's more practical to use such a lamp over a heat gun. Heat guns use forced air which may displace the powder coating, while an IR heat lamp uses "light" to generate the necessary heat. The prices are disproportionate to the desired result, in my opinion.
    – fred_dot_u
    Jul 9, 2017 at 20:23
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I would consider using a liquid powdercoat product. A few brands are Dupont, PPG, Nason, House of Kolor, Sherwin-Williams, Pettit, Interlux, Awlgrip, and Rustoleum.

If you use a 2-part product, it cures via chemical interaction instead of heat. An LPU needs a prime coat, but will outperform any dry powdercoat, with great resistance to chemicals, tape, sun damage etc.

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