I originally planned to paint mine, primarily so I could modify frame as needed in the future. But the level of work to paint, and the reality is I won’t weld much on the frame.
I welded roof bars on before powder. That’s it so far.
I thought about welding on a harness bar, but decided I’d rather fab one that bolts to the factory seatbelt mount holes. Any thing I mount up (h/e, intercooler, tanks, whatever) I will just use bar clamps and fab brackets if need be.
I’m 1000% happy with my decision to go with powder coat though, and I’d do it again if I had the reason to.
Cost wise, my guy charged me $1000 to cost the frame, A-Arms, tunnel cap, trans mounts, steering linkage tube(?), and sub-frame. This is a guy in central KY, for what it’s worth.
I had some other stuff coated after the fact (LCAs, wheels, valve cover, springs, etc). Everything else was rattle can. Floor pans/bulkhead/firewall is covered in truck bed liner, so easy to touch up. Little things like battery hold down, and misc brackets…just flat black. Engine was done in matte black engine enamel, and I plan to do the exhaust in matte black high heat paint.