I just bought a new project… It’s mostly straight but it has some exposed bondo on the rear quarters that just can’t stay that way, though I don’t expect the car to get a real paint job for a couple of years.
The current plan is to fix the quarters, roll the fender lips, prime and then cover with something so that the car can be driven/left outside without worrying about water soaking into the body work.
The question is what to use for the temporary top coat that will protect the body work, look OK, cheap and not interfere with the real paint job when that comes along. The car is sort of a burgundy, and even red oxide primer primer is a good enough match so it doesn’t look bad, and between the dark color and the amount of black on the car already I could get away with a semi gloss black. I don’t know if any red oxide primer is going to keep the water out, duplicolor does seem to sell a red oxide primer/sealer in a spray can, but I’m not sure I trust that.
I originally thought about using some spray can touch up paint, but quickly found that even though it was a common color in the 80’s, no one seems to sell it now. Other things that I’ve been considering are maybe some rustolium (they have a red that’s close, and otherwise, semi gloss black will work fine, and I know that it will protect it but I don’t know what the consequeces will be when I get around to really painting it. As a last choice, I’ve considered having the local bodyshop supply mix up some matching paint (I don’t know what the smallest amount is, maybe a pint or a quart?), it would probably look the best, and be the “safest” but also, by far the most expensive with any of the modern paints (I used to do this with lacquer which kept costs down, but I doubt that you can even get it anymore).
Anyone have any opinions? Any other ideas what to use?
You can use epoxy primer. That can stay there when you get around to painting. You will need to sand and shoot more though.
Epoxy primer is your best choice. But ,it has no UV inhibitors so keep it out of the sun as much as possible. Drive it, but put a cover on it if it has to sit in the sun at all.
Please don’t take this as not listening to perfectly good advice, but I’ve been burned by that 2x before. Once was a long time ago with etching primer where I got the response from a body shop supply and a guy that worked at a body shop “use this etching primer, once it bonds to the surface you can leave it just about anywhere and it will be fine.
The second time, slightly more recently was in the mid ‘90’s when I started a project like this while I was in college on my daily driver (I really have no issues with driving a primered car… bondo’ed is a problem but not primered) while my parents were going through a divorce and in the process I lost a place to consistently work on my car. That time I was told epoxy is the way to go, it will protect things till you have time to finish it. Well, literally the next spring (maybe about 5 months, and we don’t have harsh winters around here in the DC metro area) a good 2/3 of the hood was showing the beginnings of rust coming through it.
DP90 used to be the “if you want to leave your car in primer but not have it fall apart, it’s waterproof” answer, and I believe it’s an epoxy primer that has been around at least a couple of decades now, but now you’re finally getting “well it’s not really waterproof.”
To be blunt, this thing will see 2 (or with some bad luck 3) years of race car and occasional street use before it gets real paint. I don’t have enough garage space to keep it locked up/covered up, but it will spend some time in the garage having a drivetrain swapped and roll cage installed (I see no reason why I would want the body perfect before I finish those anyway).
Unless the epoxy primers have _really_ gotten that much better in the last 10years, I don’t think I’d trust it to “sand it down, fix any other dings/dents, seal it and shoot it…” a couple of years from now. I’d be worried that the epoxy would have broken down/absorbed enough water that, well “lets take off all of it and redo all the body work that I already did.”
That brings me back to my thought process. I know that something like rustolium is and “industrial” paint and not necessarly compatible with automotive finishes, but as far as I can tell it’s basically an acrylic enamel, which I believe I should be able to get away with spraying using my HVLP, and then a couple of years from now I should be able to give it a good sanding, seal it with a sealer or some reduced epoxy primer and then shoot the car.
The last time I talked to someone about my last adventure with this kind of thing and epoxy primer, he suggested that what I should have done is after I primed it I should have gone to the bodyshop supply and gotten some “cryl” sealer tinted to something like the final color, shot that over the primer as a top coat and left it and it would have been fine. Best as I can figure out, ‘cryl’ is just another acrylic enamel?
I guess what I’m getting at is that if you’re really convinced that one of the epoxy primers out there, I’m guessing applied as a sealer, would adiquitely protect the finished bodywork under these conditions, that I’ll go for it, hell, it saves me at least one, maybe more steps, but I’m sure that I’ll be stressing about it the whole time…
What, did I scare everyone away with that response?
As I posted in another thread, I stopped by the local big bodyshop supply today and talked to them about it, explained the situation (race car/project car that will probably not see a real paint job for 2 or more years), and they actually gave me EXACTLY the same advice that they gave me so many years ago, “Use an etching primer, over bare metal, over body work, once it bonds itself down it will seal it up and you don’t have to worry about rust.” They even recommended the same brand of stuff as they did years ago (don’t remember what it was but it’s the stuff that’s sort of olive colored).
I told him that and got a bunch of very surprised looks. No mater what I didn’t think that old school etching primer was a good idea over body work and mentioned epoxy… They didn’t seem happy with that thought at all.
I finally asked about “well, what about just mixing up a minimum amount of whatever the cheapest top coat you stock is in a matching color and using that? What would that run?” “I couldn’t tell you without a paint color.” I was prepared… it’s a 1987 GM 74 “flame red metallic” and even had some paint chips stuck to some packing tape I my wallet since GM used that paint code for half a dozen other reds since then and they were all totally different and I’ve been having problems finding any touch up paint at all for it.
For the smallest amount (for the life of me I don’t remember if it was a pint or a quart now) of acrylic enamel, reducer and hardener it was going to be $67. Now if I was doing a full, real paint job then fine, actually that would be a GREAT price to do the whole car, even 2x that would be OK (it’s still single stage and enamel, if I was doing it for real I’d probably be using BC/CC), but for just something to cover up/protect some body work and make it look presentable from 50’ away… that’s hard to swallow.
Especially since it’s basically the same technology as the rustoleum that I can get for $7.xx/quart. I actually stopped at the hardware store on the way home and found that rustoleum’s normal and pro enamel comes in a “regal red” that the paint chip is a dead ringer for my paint chips (and I’m sure would blend well enough to look good 50’ away) in gallons, quarts and half pints, oh and spray cans (would probably use one of my hvlp guns to spray it down)
Common guys… there has to be a better answer to this out there. I’m really trying to avoid perpetuating the “car painted with rustoleum” thing.
Epoxy primer is superior to etching primer no doubt about it.
Shoot 2 coats of epoxy over the bare metal. Finish it off with a coat or 2 of urethane primer. Then topcoat with a ss urethane.
Use a cheaper line of paint like PPG omni. Not long ago I paid $80 for a gallon of Omni ss urethane that I used on an old pickup. Not bad stuff for the price.
For what you are wanting to accomplish, you must topcoat this car.
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