January 12, 2017 | Joe Geng |

How Does Electrostatic Spray Painting Work?

Ever rub a balloon against your head to make it stick to the wall?

That’s a basic electrostatic charge.

When rubbing the balloon against your head, it causes the balloon to take on free electrons and create a negative charge. The negatively-charged balloon will then be attracted to neutral or positively charged objects, like a wall.

The automotive industry uses electrostatic charge as an efficient and cost effective method to apply paint to vehicles. 

This blog explores how electrostatic spray painting works, its benefits and precautions to take.


Do you already know everything about electrostatic spray painting?

Start a trial of our Ground Hog™ Electrostatic Spray Painting gloves.

electrostatic spray painting gloves

orange learn more button


How to Apply Electrostatic Paint:

The two most common methods for applying electrostatic paint are:

  1. A negative charge is applied to the paint while it’s in the reservoir.
  2. A charge is applied in the barrel of the spray paint gun. As the paint is propelled through the gun, it rubs against the side of the nozzle and gains a negative electric charge.

For electrostatic paint to be applied, the vehicle needs to be grounded and positively charged.

This creates a magnetic attraction to the negatively charged paint.

Due to this charge, when the paint leaves the nozzle, it is attracted to the vehicle’s charge and will stick to it.


Advantages of Electrostatic Spray Painting:

There are several benefits of using electrostatic coatings:

  • Makes a stronger bond to cover an object more evenly, even if the vehicle has many angles.
  • This method saves paint by ensuring more paint lands on the charged vehicle than the surfaces around the vehicle.
  • Creates a better looking finish because the paint is distributed more uniformly.


Precautions When Using Electrostatic Spray Paint Guns:

Be sure to work in ventilated areas and wear proper PPE like eye and ear protection along with clothing that covers most of your skin.

It’s not uncommon for some spray back from the paint to be attracted to the painter.

Use a glove with a grounding strip, like our Ground Hog™ Electrostatic Spray Painting glove to prevent this.

A regular glove would insulate the painter to the grounded spray gun causing a mess.

The Ground Hog™ has a continuous conductive silver strip that runs from the inside surface of the palm to the outside surface of the glove. This grounds a worker when they are using a electrostatic spray paint gun to eliminate spray back.


Want more suggestions for gloves in the automotive industry?

Click the button below to explore our FREE automotive infographic!

steel handling and automotive

steel handling and automotive


About Joe Geng
Vice President of Superior Glove