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Old 04-06-2013, 08:08 PM
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Etch Primer

Hey guys,

This might seem like a stupid question, but I'm new to this kind of primer. From what I have gathered though I do not have to take the paint down to the bare metal. Do I only need to knock the clear coat off to spray a layer?

Thanks for any info,

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Old 04-07-2013, 04:53 AM
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Hi Bobby

The title of your thread is "Etch Primer" and your saying that your new to this kind of primer. To be honest with you, the questions are a little confusing, but stupid....not at all, stupid is not asking any questions.

I will try my best to explain Etch Primer to you. Etch Primers and Epoxy Primers are primers that inhibit rust from forming on metal underneath your new paint. When a vehicle is being sanded or prepped for paint, very often the person preparing the vehicle will sand through the paint right down to the metal. When this happens the person preparing the vehicle should apply a light coat of Etch primer over the bare metal followed by a 2 part primer (2K primer) or the person could apply a coat of a sandable Epoxy primer. A sandable Epoxy primer is a good choice to apply over bare metal as well, this would eliminate the need for applying an Etch Primer and a 2 part Primer over top of the Etch Primer, as a sandable Epoxy Primer has properties that minimize the chance of rust appearing on bare metal.

Etch Primers are mostly used today for small burn through's and not used very often on a complete bare metal restoration. On larger areas of bare metal and complete bare metal restorations an Epoxy Primer is the Primer of choice.

To determine if a vehicle needs to be taken down to bare metal there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration.

If the existing paint is peeling (many cars that I'm sure you've seen have the clear coat coming off of the color coat or base coat, when this happens it means that the substrate is weak and the car needs to be taken down to bare metal, re-primed and painted).

Old and faded paint (if paint on a vehicle is just old or faded that may mean that the strength of the existing paint would be in question to use as a solid substrate to apply new paint over top and needs to be removed down to bare metal).

Checked or cracked paint (very common on old lacquer paint from the mid 70's and older, also paint can crack due to improper substrates being used or the top coat not being catalyzed properly or the paint underneath is too thick).

To many previous paint jobs (if the vehicle has had several paint jobs prior to the paint you want to apply, it's a good idea to remove the existing paint and start a new foundation by applying the proper primers and top coats. Two previous paint jobs would be the maximum I would apply new paint over top of the old, if you have more than two, the paint will be thick and more prone to chipping and or cracking).

Or if the vehicle is getting a complete restoration, (starting from bare metal is a must. When you start from bare metal, you know what you have underneath your paint and how durable your substrate is).

If your painting a vehicle where the paint is fairly new or even if it's a little older but in good condition, just a little weathered, you can sand the vehicle and paint over top of the existing paint and not have any issues at all. You don't want to "knock the clear off". You want to use the clear coat as a substrate, the same way you would use a primer as a substrate. If your painting the vehicle in a base coat/clear coat type of paint, sand or prep the vehicle with a 400 grit dry or 600 grit wet sand paper. Try not to sand through the clear coat and or the base coat, any areas that you do, you will need to prime with either an Etch Primer, followed with a 2 Part primer, or a sandable Epoxy Primer. If you use a sandable Epoxy Primer, there isn't any need to apply a 2 part Primer over top, unless your needing more build than the Epoxy Primer gives you.

I hope this explains all of your questions, I know it can be confusing and if it is, let me know and I'll try and make things more clear.

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Old 04-07-2013, 05:57 AM
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Do not waste your time or money on etch primer, it is old school and a poor to bad choice when compared to today's epoxies.
Bare metal or over sound paint epoxy adhesion is second to none,and it will accept any topcoat as well as provide great surface protection.

I would recommend you buy some SPI epoxy and use it as SPI epoxy is easy to use, sand-able,build-able,cost effective, simply the best epoxy primer you can use.

Check them out at SPI Website, then give them a call and order your materials. Best customer service you will Ever encounter and shipping to your door step is FREE.

Be sure to read The Perfect Paint Job

I wish I owned stock in SPI, but it is privately owned by one of the greatest guys on the 3rd rock from the sun
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