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The Truth About Powder Coats: How Long Will They Last? 

White fences in the field- Stock and Noble

Ever found yourself admiring that sleek powder-coated steel post and rail fencing, only to be hit with the nagging worry – what happens when my horses get a little too playful or nature throws a curveball? 


We get it. A fear of scratches, dents, and wear on that beautiful powder coat finish might cross your mind as you consider the premium steel post and rail fencing for your property. In fact, a customer recently asked us “I love the look of black steel fencing, but worried about long-term wear of the powder coating and how to cover it when horses damage” 


It’s a really important question. After all, you don’t want anything to add to your maintenance to-do list and nothing should ruin the aesthetics of your dream property 


At Stock & Noble, we understand the pain points that come with owning powder coated fences. We have years of experience in helping equine and lifestyle property owners build their beautiful spaces across Australia and New Zealand.  We know how important it is to maintain the fence aesthetics and keep the property looking beautiful for decades. Our leading solution – Premium Steel Post and Rail fencing comes with a 15-year warranty on its architectural-grade powder coating.  


In this blog, we will help you find out everything about powder coating – the process, the wear and tear and how long it really lasts. You’ll know whether powder coating is strong enough to face horse scratches, weather tantrums, and unexpected mishaps like a pro. Finally, you’ll walk away with the confidence to make your final decision whether a powder-coated steel fence is right for you or not. 


What is Powder Coating? 

Powder coating involves the application of a protective layer onto surfaces such as steel posts, rail fencing, and other substrates. The adhesion occurs through a heat-binding process. 

Simply put, powder coating is like a dry paint that’s baked onto steel. It involves a series of steps to ensure a strong and durable finish. 


1. Prepping the Steel:

Before applying the powder coat, the steel undergoes a priming process. This prepares the surface, making it ready to bond with the topcoat. It’s like giving the steel a good base to stick to. 

Getting the surface ready is a crucial part of powder coating. It directly influences how well the powder sticks, how tough it is, and how well it performs. Treating the surface right before the coating is vital to make sure the coating job is top-notch and to prevent corrosion. 


2. Coating Application:

Once the steel is cleaned and primed it is put into the oven to dry completely. Called a pre-bake. Then the topcoat is applied in a powder form. This is achieved by electrostatic charging the powder. 


3. Extreme Heat Adhesion:

Next, the coated steel goes through a hot oven. The high heat makes the powder melt and stick firmly to the metal. It’s a bit like baking a cake – the heat does the magic. 


4. Cooling Down:

Once heated, the coated steel is left to cool down. During this time, the powder turns into a solid, protective layer.  


Quality Variations in Steel Powder Coatings 

Steel powder coatings come in various qualities, and these differences significantly impact the performance of the coating.  

The pre-treatment is a significant step and can affect the quality, longevity and aesthetics of your powder-coated steel fence. To make the right choice for your steel post and rail fences, it’ll be worth digging deeper into a detailed comparison of powder coats and the factors affecting their performance. 

For instance, our Premium Steel Post and Rail Fencing System is an American standard galvanised steel fence with zinc phosphate conversion coating and architectural grade powder coat. 


Longevity Tied to Quality: 

The quality of the powder coating directly correlates with how long the product will last. This is precisely why the steel posts and railings from Dunn and Farrugia, which are backed by a 3-year warranty, differ from our Premium Steel Post and Rail Fencing System, which boasts a 15-year warranty. The warranty duration serves as a testament to the superior quality of powder coating. 


Pro-Tip: Check for Zinc Phosphate Conversion Coating 

To survive and thrive in Australian conditions for 10 or more years, we recommend checking with your Steel Post and Rail supplier if the powder coat has Zinc Phosphate Conversion Coating applied to it. 


Powder Coating Protection for Your Fence: What to Expect 


Similar to Your Car’s Finish: 

Imagine your fence’s coating is a lot like the paint on your car. Over time, it might get scratches, but they usually don’t go all the way through. They’re more like surface scratches that don’t reach the bare metal. However, the performance depends on factors like the type of metal, preparation, and the quality of the coating.  


Biggest Concerns Around Powder Coating and Solutions for Horse Fences 

Let’s understand the worries that might come with powder-coating steel fencing systems: 


Horse Activities 

Horse Rubbing: 

When it comes to our Premium Steel Post and Rail Fencing (Buckley), Horses rubbing against the fence usually isn’t a problem. Even if they scratch it with their hooves, it is more than likely it will be just a surface scratch.  If it does get scratched, you can fix it with a touch-up paint. Our warranty lasts for 15 years. 


Horse Cribbing:  

Sometimes, horses might chew or gnaw at the coating, but severe damage is rare. The coating might wear down but typically doesn’t scratch the metal. Also, unlike the common occurrence of horses cribbing on timber fences, we’ve never heard of horses cribbing on our steel fences. 

Machinery Scratches:  

If machinery accidentally scratches the fence, repairs can be easily managed. 


Weather Challenges 


Powder coating fully covers the metal, offering a tough shield against moisture and rainy weather. The droplets don’t have any inlet and thus aren’t able to start the process of corrosion. 

Powder Coating protects your fence better than paint, which might get patchy and also a badly painted fence can often lead to an onset of rust. 

Learn more about the difference between powder coating vs painting your steel fences. 



Rain, moisture, wind, termites, and mould won’t usually affect the coating. It’s like parking your car outside and forgetting about it. 


Coastal Salt Impact:  

Too much coastal salt can affect the coating, but generally, powder coating keeps your fence looking great for years. Find out if steel post and rail fencing are suitable for coastal areas.  


Extreme Incidents:  

Post extreme weather challenges like a storm, if a tree falls on the fence, it might dent or crack it. But don’t worry, replacing rails is simple. Extra rails can be easily obtained as one-offs. We recommend purchasing extra rails at the time of buying your new fence in case of adverse events. 


Watch how simply a rail can be replaced.  

steel fencing gates


Ready to Buy Powder Coated Steel Post and Rail Fences? 

You are interested in Steel post and rail fencing, but worried about the maintenance and longevity of powder coating. In this blog, we’ve dug into the details of powder coating – how it works, how long it lasts, and if it can take a beating from horses or challenging weather. Now you know the truth, and you can confidently decide if a powder-coated steel fence is your perfect fit. 


In conclusion, powder coating is like putting dry paint on steel and baking it to make it super tough. However, not all coatings are the same. The pre-treatment and standard of galvanisation make a huge difference. So, it’s best to check with your supplier about the quality of the powder coat and the warranty. Needless to say, the longer warranty implies confidence of the manufacturer in the coating’s quality. 


Think of your coated fence like the paint on your car. It might get a scratch here and there, but it won’t ruin the whole look. A superior-quality powder coating can last for decades. You can easily keep it looking good with touch-ups or even replace the rails if needed.  


Remember choosing premium Steel Post and Rail Fences that follow the best practices of powder coating and pre-treatment guarantees a long-lasting and visually pleasing solution that stands the test of time. Fencing is an important decision. So before saying yes to a specific steel post and rail fence for your property, it’s essential to consider other factors. A thorough comparison of Cattle Rail, Pre-powdered Cattle Rail, and Buckley Steel Post and Rail Fencing can provide valuable insights for your research. 


If you have more questions about the cost, durability, installation or suitability of steel post and rail fencing on your property, speak to our fencing experts. They will guide you every step of the way to create a safe and beautiful property, just the way you imagined. 

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