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The Ultimate Prepainted Steel Processing Guide


Prepainted Steel Processing Services

Prepainted steel is exactly what it sounds like: metal that’s been cleaned, treated, painted, and cured to corrosion-resistant durability. It’s one of four different finishing types available for steel products:

  1. Prepainting 
  2. Embossing
  3. Perforating
  4. Fabricating

But what else does the process involve? How can prepaint steel be used? And what are the advantages of this process? Let’s dive in.

What is Prepainted Steel?

Prepainted steel is a durable, cost-effective choice for construction and manufacturing companies. Its customizable colors and surfaces offer businesses a wide range of options to suit their needs.

Manufacturers create prepainted steel through a coil coating process. It involves cleaning a metal coil, chemically treating both sides, painting several layers, and curing via an oven. The multilayered painting process includes primer, topcoat, and a finishing color of your choice. 

With this uniform application, prepainted steel is both corrosion resistant and aesthetically pleasing. It’s an excellent choice for companies looking to save on space, material, and labor costs.

Advantages to Prepainted Steel

Prepainted steel offers several advantages that post-painting processes don’t. These include time, money, and labor. Plus, prepainted steel offers better cosmetic appeal and customizations. Let’s talk about the advantages of prepainted steel.

Cost Effective

The incredible longevity of this product offsets any upfront costs from purchasing prepainted steel. Whereas other products last a dozen years at most, prepainted steel won’t need replacing for 50+ years. It’s an investment into your end product.

Plus, there is little-to-no upkeep. Say goodbye to recurring labor costs and yearly inspections. Once it’s on, it’s done.

Low Effort

Businesses have enough to worry about. The integrity of their products should be a given. With prepainted processing, expect low effort and high reward. Not only does prepainting last, but it’s also virtually maintenance-free.

Companies can be assured the products they bring to market won’t require constant repairs. That leaves more time to focus on production, sales, and distribution.


Prepainted steel is one of the most versatile products out there. From color, shape, texture, type of metal, even paint coat thickness, prepainted steel is made to fit business needs. 

For example, these options are just for topcoats: polyester, polyurethane, laminate, plastisol, polyvinylidene fluoride, and more. 

With all these options, a professional can help you select the right one.

Bonus Benefit – Environmental Friendliness

Prepainting steel is a LEED dream come true. From start to finish, the processing service reduces many of the environmental issues of other painting methods.  These include:

  • Smaller carbon footprint
  • Lower water use
  • Improved recycling opportunities
  • Less electrical consumption
  • Elimination of volatile organic compounds (dangerous gases like formaldehyde)

Types of Prepainted Steel

With prepainted steel, the possibilities are endless and made to meet industry standards. What’s needed in a commercial HVAC system differs from a residential swimming pool — this is where prepainted steel shines.

Can galvanized steel be painted? Yes, prepainted steel comes in many forms. The type of metal chosen varies by project. Remember, it’s best to get professional guidance when choosing the right metal.

The types of prepainted steel differ on how they’re prepared. Take these examples:

  • Cold-reduced steel: coil is rolled at high temperatures followed by extreme cold (LINK)
  • Hot-dip galvanized steel: coil is run through a bath of molten 99.5% pure zinc (LINK)

Electro-galvanized steel: coil is bonded to zinc through electrical currents (LINK)

Can Galvanized Steel Be Painted?

Galvanized steel is an alloy coated in zinc to protect the underlying metal from corrosive elements. However, paint does not attach well to galvanized steel due to the layer of zinc meant to reduce corrosion.

How is Paint Applied to Steel Products?

The process behind prepainted steel is intense. It’s a continuous process of cleaning, treating, painting, and curing the painted metal. Let’s take a closer look at how paint is applied to steel products.

Prepainted Steel Product Applications

Chances are you’ve interacted with a prepainted steel product today. Whether it’s emptying the dishwasher, turning on a lamp — even sitting on a desk chair — prepainted steel is an integral part of the products we use every day. Here are some common industry applications:


Prepainted steel is a smart choice for roofing. These durable panels last more than 50 years. Compare that to unpainted steel, which lasts just 15 to 20 years, and you’ll see why prepainting is so valuable.

Prepainted steel roofing is also heat resistant and low maintenance allowing companies to save on related costs. And for those looking to go green, metal roofs may help in reaching LEED certification.

Versatility is also an advantage. Prepainted steel can be cut into any shape, including shingles, tiles, and slates. It’s another customization bonus for companies.

Garage Doors

Garage doors play a lot of parts — a backboard for driveway basketball, base in a game of tag, the unintended target of a driver learning to park. And the real job: storage for life’s miscellaneous things.

With these responsibilities, garage doors need to be tough. Prepainted steel makes it happen. Prepainted garage doors are a new market trend and highly appealing to consumers. Those tired of traditional white doors find that prepainted steel offers more colors, textures, and styles — and lasts longer too!

The difference between prepaint and post-paint options is the uniformity of coverage. Spray paint and powder coating are more prone to variations in application. This means garage door quality can vary.

With prepaint, full coverage of paint (primer, topcoat, and finish) is ensured. This creates a durable, sustainable, and beautiful end product.

Heating and Air Conditioning

The last thing anyone needs on a brutal summer day is for the AC to die. Expensive pieces of equipment like heating and cooling systems make our lives comfortable and protect businesses from disaster. Think AC in a grocery store.

But these machines are often subject to extreme situations. From blistering heat to tornados, flooding, and freezes, the systems that protect us need protection too.

The tough exterior of prepainted steel shields heating and air conditioning systems from the elements. And its corrosion resistance means long-lasting protection for years to come.

Lighting and Appliances

Just as with garage doors, consumers and manufacturers alike are flocking to prepainted steel lighting and appliances. And for many of the same reasons.

Not only does prepainted steel offer dozens of styles, colors, and finishes from an aesthetic view, but there are practical benefits too.

From faster production time and lower costs to improved quality (remember uniform coverage), prepainted lighting and appliances are a smart alternative to post-paint products.

So what appliances are prepainted steel really used in? Take these examples:

  • Light fixtures and fittings
  • Refrigerators
  • Washer/dryer machines
  • Small appliances like microwaves, blenders, and mixers

You may be a prepainted steel consumer and not even know it!

Other Uses

Along with the list above, prepainted steel is also used in the following products:

  • Chairs
  • Desks
  • Storage cabinets
  • Tables
  • Trailers
  • Car doors
  • Engine parts
  • Gutters
  • Doors
  • Electrical parts
  • Building walls 

Prepainted steel covers many industries from construction, automotive, consumer goods, and more. The advantages are well worth the investment if longevity is your company’s goal.

Need Prepainted Steel For Your Next Project?

If you need prepainted steel for your next project, contact our experts today. We’ll discuss your project needs and provide you with the best quote for our prepainted steel products. We offer a variety of steel processing services, including slitting, blanking, cut-to-length, and toll processing services. In addition to prepainting finishing services, we can also emboss, perforate, or fabricate your steel to your exact specifications. We also offer a variety of steel products, including: 

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