The powdercoating process is relatively easy to perform, and the tools required are easy on the wallet. Yes, professional powdercoating shops have a lot of expensive industrial equipment-such as an oven large enough to fit your race car chassis-but by using a smaller household oven and sticking to smaller parts, you can easily do most of your powdercoating yourself.

One of the most popular options for do-it-yourselfers is Eastwood's HotCoat powdercoating system. To get you going as painlessly as possible, Eastwood offers what it calls the Elite HotCoat kit, which not only includes the powdercoating gun, but also just about everything else you need to get to work. The components are invaluable for getting quality results. They include the following: four bottles of standard powder colors, extra empty bottles and lids to facilitate easy color changes, high-temp masking tape, silicone high-temp plugs, a spool of stainless steel wire for hanging parts, and the Beginning Powder Coater's Handbook, among other things. The only thing you need to supply is clean compressed air (you need a steady flow at approximately 10-15 psi) and an oven for curing the powder.

We tested Eastwood's system with a medium-sized toaster oven that we scored at Wal-Mart for less than $50, and the results were quite good. The book included in the kit is quite helpful as it guides you through the entire process, from prepping the parts to cleaning your gun to get the best results. However, you need to use an oven that won't be used for preparing food anytime in the future. As some powders fluidize, they can sometimes release mildly toxic fumes. They aren't a danger to you in the normal powdercoating process, but you don't want to eat any food cooked in that oven.

Crosslink Powder Coating - 704/660-1864

Eastwood - 800/343-9353