Can I Paint Over 25 Year Old Primer? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:48 AM
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Can I Paint Over 25 Year Old Primer?

Finally stripping the lacquer paint from my car. I see that there are a few different colored primers under the paint -- gray, then red, then black.

Do I need to strip this down to bare metal (what a paint this will be!) or can I scuff up the primer that's there and then put a fresh coat of primer?

I plan on painting with a MBC base coat/ clear coat system.

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Old 07-13-2010, 11:24 AM
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Not a problem painting over it... unless you see any cracking...rust... or peeling. If the paint and bodywork underneath (called the substrate) is failing, it will take your new paint with it.

The new catalyzed primers will seal off the old stuff, and it shouldn't give you any trouble.

Stripping completely usually messes up any bodywork that's been done before, and makes more work, since you will need to fix all of that.
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:49 PM
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old lacquer is not a suitable substrate to work on . remove all if you can .
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Old 07-14-2010, 05:40 AM
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If you want it to last and look good you should sand it all off ,stopping when you hit bondo or metal then use an epoxy then a urathane primer. The reason is ,it sounds like lacquer primer and this way you'll know you have something thats good to work off of and not waste your time.it shouldnt take long to sand that off with some 80 on a DA,time well spent..Imo
If you just want some color on it and dont really care just sand with 320 and paint...
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Old 07-14-2010, 06:23 AM
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If the top coat of lacquer had what they call crazing or chicken's feet or crows feet, then ANYTHING underneath that is lacquer based is destroyed and will bite you as soon as first day in sun or may last six months in sun.

It all must come off, only way.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:40 AM
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"25 year old" oem paint would be a 1985 car and not lacquer based...
(it's likely single stage oem acrylic enamel top coat,,,BIG difference)

a smart choice and short answer because you gave "no" details:
take the car or panels from the car to a body shop and let them evaluate and test for how many more years life are left in the original primer layers....

partly because it was the 80's when the oem's were first "experimenting" with different primer coatings (including todays excellent barrier epoxy) to improve first coat primer H2O/O2 rust barrier....

they did try some coatings in the 80's that were very short life span/chemically unstable....
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:36 AM
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Its ez enough to find out what it is all by yourself...just pour lacquer thinner on it and with a thinner soaked rag or scotch brite, rub it...if it gets soft and comes off on the rag,its lacquer based,if not its urathane and yes they absolutly used lacquers in the 80s and well into the 90s...from the factory...but its deffinetly been redone because the factory didnt use many different colors of primer most likely youll find a black primer at the bottom of all stuff that wont come off with lacquer thinner
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:37 AM
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think about it . you are cutting corners on the first step in a paint job . a paint job is only as good as it's foundation and it may look great until it gets a good dose of uv rays . call your paint mfg and talk to their tech department. one has already told you it is not a good idea.
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