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Here's my bellybutton's two cents worth!

There are basically three types of undercoats:

Primer - nonsanding - etching or epoxy are popular - designed to promote adhesion, and corrosion protection. If left more than 24 hrs. without topcoating - must be scuffed.

Primer surfacer(filler) - must be sanded - will do the same two things as primer but not as well, and will additionally fill minor imperfections. If using 2K urethane products - do not technically need a sealer applied over the top of them.

Sealer - NON Sanding - unless left more than 24 hrs without topcoating. Does the same two things as primer as well as provides a uniform color for easier topcoating. Can usually be tinted for easier hiding. Sealer is usually applied in the booth as basically your first coat in the final color/topcoat process.

Most paint companies have the tech sheets for their products on the net now. If using PPG products, check their website. The tech sheets for every product in every line PPG offers is on their site. Excellant information.
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