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Permit requirements for powdercoating

Q. I am a hobbyist in the powdercoating and polishing market about to turn professional. My wife and I are opening a small business to refinish small parts such as automotive, motorcycle, etc. We began powdercoating over two years ago and requests for our services has led to this venture. We hope to provide powder coating for a variety of applications. We are in the process of purchasing a walk-in oven as well as new coating guns. We also polish and restore antique brass copper etc. This brings me to my question ...

What licenses, permits, etc., will I need for my operation. When inquiring about a license the person at our court house seems baffled about what exactly powdercoating is. I want to be sure to be completely legal in this aspect and I would greatly appreciate any advice. I live in Alabama. Is powdercoating something that is highly regulated by the EPA? Mine is a manual operation with spray booths and ovens both supposedly "certified" according to the manufacturer. Thanks again.

Christopher Heath Daniel
refinishing shop owner - Jasper, Alabama

Ed. note: Sadly, we've been advised by a relative that Christopher has passed away.

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A. Hi Christopher. The basic advantage that powder coating offers over painting is that no solvents (or virtually none) are involved because the powder electrostatically sticks to the surface, is heated, and fuses into a coating; and when it is cooled it hardens or cures without the need for anything to evaporate. So it is very environmentally friendly.

That does not mean that no permits are necessary, of course. There are certain fire hazards and personnel safety issues, and the necessary pretreatment may still involve EPA regulated chemicals. You might see if by contacting the National Association of Surface Finishers at www.nasf.org if you may be able to locate a copy of their NAMF "guidance manual" would helps you through the regulatory process. The Powder Coating Institute at powdercoating.org also has helpful materials. Good luck/


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Powder Coating and the EPA

Q. I have been trying to dig up some research on EPA standards for powder coating and found a link to this site on Ohio's EPA page. I'm planning on leasing a work shop and would like to be EPA compliant with my oven and booth. I understand that powder coating is less harmful to the environment compared to sprayed paints such as VOC's but was wondering if anyone had some basic information on EPA standards. Thank you and any information would be greatly appreciated.

Chad Sharp
Powder Coating Shop - Toledo, Ohio, USA
March 30, 2014

A. We've had a powder coating shop for some time here in southern California, and have not had to get a permit for the powder coating. However, everything else associated with the process is subject to regulation -- such as cleaning solutions, part stripping solutions, and rack stripping solutions.

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Jim Treglio - scwineryreview.com
PVD Consultant & Wine Lover - San Diego,

April 2, 2014

Q. Hi Jim, do you need a permit for the oven or fire sprinkler system?

Roy Henry
- Yuma Arizona
September 10, 2022

I have no idea what the law is in Arizona :-(

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Jim Treglio - scwineryreview.com
PVD Consultant & Wine Lover - San Diego,

Q. I'm in CA as well. San Diego to be precise.

Rolls Roy
- San Diego California
September 13, 2022

A. Hi. I don't know of any city that doesn't require plumbing permits and electrical permits for all installed piping and electrical systems.
You can google "san diego fire sprinkler permit" for official info on that one; whether you'll also require an air permit for the oven, in addition to plumbing and/or electrical permits, I'm not sure. Good luck.

Luck & Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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