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55's 65 09-28-2012 04:20 PM

How important is the primer I use?
Hey guys (and gals) I am new to this forum and I am very excited I found it! I have started a Father/Son RestoMod on a '65 Mustang Coupe with my 12 yo son!

My question is I am stripping off all the old paint to the metal

What's the best way to strip the old paint off?
Does it matter what primer I use to cover it once it's bare?

Trucknut 09-28-2012 04:40 PM


I've stripped quite a few cars. Any way you do it is a lot of work. If you're not dealing with a lot of layers of old pain, you could probably take it down to metal with a sander and some 80 grit.

The other method is chemical. I use JASCO premium paint stripper. It comes in a gold color can and I get it at Lowes. Cost a bit more but it's worth. Much caution should be used durung use. You don't want you or your son getting that stuff on your skin or breathing a lot of it.

Sanding or stripping you want to be careful to mask or cover anything you don't want the stripper to eat into (rubber, vinyl, etc.).

When it comes to primer, I'd use Dupont VariPrime 615S with the 616S Converter. This is a self etching primer. After that I spray on some hight build 2k direct to metle primer.

I know there are a lot of guys that have more knowledge than myself that will be posting shortly. You should be getting lot's of help with this one.

Good luck,


55's 65 09-28-2012 05:21 PM

Thanks Chris, I appreciate your input!!
I just bought a 6.5hp compressor so I will be buying a da sander this weekend!
Has anyone had any experience with a soda blaster? I've been reading about it and would love some feedback on it!!

swvalcon 09-28-2012 06:04 PM

Forget the soda blaster. Go to 40 grit to remove your paint you can give it a once over when down to the bare steel if you want with 80 grit. Will cut your time way down and not get the metal as hot from sanding. Two good coats of spi epoxy will fill 95% of the 40 marks. Then put down some 2-k. Only use a cheap primer if you dont care if the paint stays on.

novafreek6872 09-28-2012 06:46 PM

I say chemical strip and get the stubborn spots with a 4 1/2 grinder and a paint stripping disc. Then go over everything with 80 on a DA. Fix your dents at this point (filler),then Epoxy primer (2-3 coats and guide coat n block w/ 180 touch up any spots with metal showing) followed by 2k High build (2-3 coats guide coat n and block 320 dry then 500 wet) followed by paint.

If you decide to strip with 40 grit be extra careful of heat buildup especially on top surfaces, you can warp them.

Please correct me if anything I said is way out in left field, trying to learn also.


MARTINSR 09-28-2012 07:19 PM

Well I have to say NEVER, EVER use anything like a "grinder" to remove paint. That will warp a panel long before 40 grit sand paper will. Removing paint with an orbital sander like a "bondo hog" ND900.

It's an 8" orbital sander that creates very little heat compared to a "grinder" which is spinning, now THAT creates heat.

I have chemical stripped plenty, and it works well. Run duct tape down all the seams so so no stripper gets in there. Scrape the paint off with a putty knife.

One of the tricks with paint strippers is to NOT back stroke. Pour it on the surface or brush it out ONE DIRECTION. Or get some on the brush and brush it ONE DIRECTION, don't go back and forth. The reason is the gases in it are what carries the stuff that attacks the paint! So when you go back and forth like you are painting a fence you open it up releasing the gases. Another trick is to cover it with plastic believe it or not. You put the stripper on then you cover it with a plastic sheet, again, so the gases don't escape.

Another thing, scratch the paint by running a sander over it with 40 or 36 to open it up so the stripper can get into it.

But honestly, on something like a hood or roof, I like to use stripper so you aren't flexing or heating those large "Flat" panels. But on the rest of it, the 8" orbital with 40 grit to cut the largest amount off, then a 6" orbital ("DA") with 80 and then 120 to finish it off.

Then epoxy primer is the best thing at that point.


tech69 09-28-2012 09:53 PM

I agree. The angle grinder rotation is just too fast, even with a good flap disk. There's a reason why a tiny high spot of metal turns black even when carefully using them. For the record, I love the flap disk but I still haven't had a flap disk used on a variable speed angle grinder where it won't destroy everything in its path, and far as I know there's only one angle grinder out there that has variable speeds. I too think a mud hog with 40 grit works well but I also think it takes too long at times. If I use one it will be for the hood, roof, and decklid only on really low. Heck, I even strip them with buffers with no problem but you have to be REALLY careful doing that. Even on the lowest settings you can heat a hood to where it will appear to oilcan for a second but tighten back up with no noticeable warpage, more like just tightening it up like a shrinking disk, which actually is good. This will happen 1-2 times if I strip a hood with a buffer, but you gotta be really alert and mindful cause if you stop it at the point where it first starts to stretch and aren't butch'n it/hammering it you'll be fine and it will actually tighten up the flex a tad, which is usually needed anyways, but if you miss the first cue and keep adding heat you're heading for trouble. It also depends on the hood...If it's a huge POS with no supports and is flapping all over the place I'm not touching it with a buffer or anything aggressive.

Bottom line, I wouldn't suggest anyone stripping a hood, decklid, or roof with a buffer just cause I do it, and I think Martin has the best and safest suggestions.

novafreek6872 09-29-2012 04:30 AM

I was under the impression that these discs on a grinder were safe. I used 'em on my '72 without any excessive heat. They also make a version you can stick in a drill.

swvalcon 09-29-2012 06:13 AM

I always use the 40 on a 8" da to strip paint. Just keep it moving and run your hand over it once in a while to check for heat. Paint stripper works but makes a big mess and you have to be sure to nutralize all of it and if any gets down in a seam now you have big problems. I didn't recomend a 8' in frist post because he sounded like this was kind of on a budget.

deadbodyman 09-29-2012 07:50 AM

Theres really no set way to strip a car...What you want is to use the fastest and cheapest way to get it to the metal.....Every car is different, on some a razor scraper is fastest to get most the paint off then some da sanding of the primer.
Others can be sanded down BUT the paper is very expensive about 1.00 per sheet for the DA and 2.00 per for the mud hog (8" da) and you'll need quite a few so you really want the good stuff....and then theres the dusty mess to concider....
Jascco stripper or aircraft stripper from Kleen strip are about the best brands easily available and 1 gallon should do the job at 40-50.00 and the time savings compared to sanding it off is why I usually go the chem strip way.I can completely strip the outside of a car in 4hrs by myself an old mustang like yours might take longer depending how much paint is on there, but Ive been doing it for many yrs. and know a ton of tricks....
As with almost everything, preperation is the key to using chem strip,quickly ,easily and no mess ....having the right tools and knowing the tricks is a must so start with a fender and try all the methods, after determining which method will work best on this job if its using chem strip I can help make it a piece of cake and you will get professional results getting it off,prepping the metal and epoxy priming.....BUT one thing you DO NOT want to do is start chem stripping the car before you know EXACTLY what to do,especially with your boy around helping....
Get yourself a razor scraper and some 40grit da paper with an elcheapo DA and a small can of stripper and start stripping a fender to see which one will work best and keep us posted this sounds like a great father son project and we all like following them....
Mike aka DBM

tech69 09-29-2012 09:38 AM


Originally Posted by novafreek6872 (Post 1594782)
I was under the impression that these discs on a grinder were safe. I used 'em on my '72 without any excessive heat. They also make a version you can stick in a drill.

actually, you are right. Those are good for stripping small areas, in my opinion. I just don't use them often, or for stripping, cause they wear out fast. I like using them for stripping back areas I'm to weld but hardly use them for stripping. I'd probably get yelled at by my boss. Sorry for my comment, I thought you were using a flap disk.

MARTINSR 09-29-2012 10:33 AM


Originally Posted by novafreek6872 (Post 1594782)
I was under the impression that these discs on a grinder were safe. I used 'em on my '72 without any excessive heat. They also make a version you can stick in a drill.

They WILL heat up the metal pretty quick! Be CAREFUL!


tech69 09-29-2012 11:21 AM

that's true, but you don't go stripping hoods or decks with them smack dab in the middle of the panel.

I like the rice patties cause they take paint off fast and leave the metal, which make them perfect and the I-Car recommended way to strip for welding at least. I can't argue with what he's doing cause if he's getting areas that don't strip by conventional means, he's saying that it's most likely in corners or odd shape areas which would most likely be stout enough to take that heat without distortion.

novafreek6872 09-29-2012 11:38 AM

Great info. This is why I hang out here. So many knowledgeable people to learn from. Thanks guys. :thumbup:

tech69 09-29-2012 11:45 AM

I guess I have to recant a statement I said that was untrue. I said I-Car suggests rice patties for stripping for welding but what they actually recommend are those fiber wheels that go onto your die grinder. Me personally, I think they're sort of the same thing with the exception being that the rice patty will last longer but is a tad more aggressive.

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