What are the advantages and disadvantages of powder-coated aluminium garden furniture?

We are taking a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of powder-coated aluminium garden furniture and why we think it is the perfect material for the UK climate...

We recently took a deep dive into our core material in our Why buy cast aluminium garden furniture article. In that, we looked at the reasons why you should buy and we made numerous references to the painted finish we apply.

In this article, we want to dig even deeper and look at why we apply a powder-coated painted finish to our cast aluminium garden furniture and why we feel it is the perfect material for our gardens and patios.

What is powder-coated cast aluminium?

Cast Aluminium Garden Furniture from Lazy Susan

Powder-coated cast aluminium refers to outdoor furniture products made from corrosion-resistant cast aluminium that has been coated with a layer of powder-coated paint.

We took a detailed look at How our cast aluminium garden furniture made? this time last year and in that article we defined the process as follows:

“Cast aluminium patio furniture is made using a process, called casting, where molten aluminium is poured into a mould. This process produces the purest and most resilient form of aluminium, allowing for more intricate patterns and shapes.”  

What is powder-coated cast aluminium?

The Powder Coating Institute (PCI) describes the coating we subsequently apply and outlines the basic application process as follows:

“Powder coatings are based on polymer resin systems, combined with curatives, pigments, levelling agents, flow modifiers, and other additives.  These ingredients are melted, mixed, cooled, and ground into a uniform powder similar to baking flour. A process called electrostatic spray deposition (ESD) is typically used to achieve the application of the powder coating to a metal substrate.”  

The metal substrate for us is the cast aluminium parts (such as tabletops, chair legs, etc) we use to make our garden furniture (as shown in the photo below). 

What is powder-coated cast aluminium?

Once the parts are cool, hard and harvested from the sand casting mould (see above), the raw aluminium is checked and hand-finished to ensure there are no defects, there is excellent grain structure and we have a nice surface finish (see below).

What is powder-coated cast aluminium?

When ready, the powder coating is applied using a spray gun, which introduces an electrostatic charge to the powdered paint particles and they affix to the grounded (directing excess electricity to the ground) aluminium part. 

The charged particles adhere to the surface of the aluminium, creating a uniform and durable coating that is resistant to chipping, cracking, and fading.

After the powder coating is applied, the parts enter a curing oven whereby, with the addition of high heat, the powdered finish chemically reacts to produce a tough durable finish.

What is powder-coated cast aluminium?

In our collection, we offer a choice of black with antique bronze, white, and a slate grey finish (shown above), and we use the powder coating method as it gives us a hard finish that is more durable than other painting techniques. 

The result is garden furniture that has a nice depth and texture, is fully weather-resistant, and has greater resistance to chips, scratches, and general wear, making it the perfect material for outdoor use. 

Powder coating is also much more environmentally friendly than traditional liquid paint because it produces less waste and contains fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

What are the advantages of powder-coated cast aluminium furniture?

Powder-coated cast aluminium is perfectly suited to the UK climate. It is chosen for its classical style, durability, weight, resistance to corrosion, and ability to withstand most weather conditions, which makes it ideal for unpredictable climates.

Here are the reasons why we think powder-coated cast aluminium is the best choice for gardens and patios in the UK: 

  1. Corrosion Resistance
    Aluminium is highly resistant to corrosion, and the casting process further enhances its durability. The powder coating we apply acts as an additional protective layer, providing resistance to fading, rusting and corrosion caused by the often damp climate here in the UK.
  2. Weather Resistance
    Powder coating is known for its ability to withstand the elements. It provides a tough, weather-resistant finish that protects the underlying cast aluminium from rain, wind, and UV exposure. This is particularly important here in the UK, where the climate can include periods of rain and fluctuating temperatures.
  3. Low Maintenance
    Powder-coated cast aluminium requires minimal maintenance to retain that weather resistance. The coating helps prevent chipping, cracking, and fading, reducing the need for any refinishing or repainting. Regular cleaning with a little warm soapy water is usually sufficient to keep the furniture in good condition.
  4. Durability
    Cast aluminium is inherently durable and resistant to impact. When combined with a powder coating, the furniture becomes even more resilient, making it suitable for the day-to-day wear and tear associated with outdoor use in the UK.
  5. Temperature Stability
    Aluminium has good thermal stability, and the powder coating further helps protect the furniture from temperature fluctuations. This is essential in the UK, whereby we can see plenty (if not as much as we’d like) of sunshine in the summer but also plenty of single figure and minus temperatures too.
  6. Environmentally Friendly
    Powder coating is an environmentally friendly process. It produces less waste and uses fewer chemicals compared to traditional liquid painting methods. Additionally, aluminium is easy to recycle, making it a sustainable choice.
  7. Finish
    Powder coating results in a smooth and even finish without drips or brush marks, providing a polished and professional appearance to our furniture with a lovely tactile feel.

Whilst powder-coated cast aluminium is well-suited to the UK climate, it's still advisable to follow manufacturer recommendations for care and maintenance. Regular cleaning and proper care will extend the lifespan of your furniture.

Additionally, applying a light coat of car wax is a great way to give the paintwork a nice lustre and provide a little extra protection.

In extreme weather conditions, high winds in particular, we would advise that you carefully stack your furniture in a sheltered part of your garden, cover it or store it in a shed or garage if you can to keep it safe and clean. 

What are the disadvantages of powder-coated cast aluminium furniture? 

On the flip side, it would be remiss of us not to point out what could be perceived as some of the downsides to cast aluminium garden furniture. 

Yes, it has distinct advantages over other materials, and we often refer to it as a great all-rounder where the cons outweigh the pros, but the common misconceptions or question marks consumers have over it are as follows:

  1. Cost
    Powder-coated aluminium furniture will often have a higher initial cost compared to other materials, especially those found in DIY stores, etc. However, this cost is often justified by the longevity and durability of the furniture. It won’t need as much maintenance or replacement as soon or often, so it makes for a sensible long-term investment.
  2. Scratching
    While powder coating reduces the risk of chips and scratches, it is not entirely immune to them. Sharp or abrasive objects can still cause damage to the powder coating. However, any scratches on our furniture can easily be repaired like new with our Touch Up Paints.
  3. Weight
    While aluminium is generally lightweight, some people might prefer heavier furniture for greater stability, especially if they see a lot of high winds. Weight is often more a matter of personal preference than a disadvantage, as lightweight furniture is easier to pick up, move and rearrange.

Cast Aluminium Garden Furniture from Lazy Susan

In summary, powder-coated aluminium garden furniture is a popular and practical choice for our outdoor spaces, offering a balance of weather resistance, durability, good looks, and low maintenance. 

Shop our Cast Aluminium Garden Furniture collection. 

If you have any photos of your new Lazy Susan garden furniture in situ, we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.

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