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I have stripped the entire car. Body work done. I epoxied primered the engine compartment inside and out plus the lower firewall. I have done some light bodywork, minor bondo on the doors, roof, and fenders. I sprayed sealer primer on top of that. (first coat).
I read Hemmings Muscle Car magazine monthly. Here is the issue: Is the sealer primer supposed to be the first coat, then the filler primer on top, or, the filler primer first then the sealer on top of that. I ask because, I swear, every other month it is one way or the other.
 

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1. Epoxy primer over bare metal
2. Body filler over the epoxy
3. High-build primer
4. Block sand
5. Another coat of high-build primer
6. Block sand
7. Another coat of high-build primer followed by more block sanding (Unless things are nice and flat. If so, skip.)
8. Reduced epoxy primer or non-reduced epoxy primer as a seal coat
9. Base; 2-4 coats
10. Clear coat: 2 coats, 3 coats, 4 coats maybe more. Depends on the painter

You need the sealer coat after block sanding. That's my take.
 

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This ^
 

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Here's a little more info to consider and how I do it:

1) Strip to bare metal and go over the entire surface with 80 grit to create tooth for the Epoxy Primer to grab to.
2) Apply the Epoxy Primer. The epoxy is for corrosion protection and if the filler is applied during the epoxies recoat window it has excellent chemical adhesion (cross linking) properties. If you apply the filler outside of the recoat window you'll need to sand to create some scratches for the filler to grab to.
3) Apply any body filler (Bondo) as needed and block to 180 grit getting the body as straight as possible.
4) Apply 2 coats of a Polyester Primer. Polyester primer is for refining and filling scratches and subtle imperfection. Block to 320 grit. *Note - Polyester primer does not shrink and that is why it is best for leveling and filling. You keep applying and blocking until the car is perfect. Also Note - Polyester Primer is porous so it absorbs water and that is why it needs to be sealed with another primer called urethane primer. Urethane primer shrinks, so it is not used for filling, just really fine sand scratch filling and sealing.
5) Apply the Urethane Primer and block to the final grit for whatever your base coat recommends, usually 400 to 600 grit
6) Apply a seal coat of reduced epoxy primer. This step has two purposes, 1st it creates a nice uniform base color for the base coat. 2nd it has the best mechanical adhesion properties and will hold onto the sanded cured urethane primer below it and then you can shoot the base coat on top after the sealer flashes and take advantage of the chemical adhesion (cross linking) between the seal and base coat.
7) Next apply the base coats as needed.
8)Finally apply the Clear.

Hope that helps in your understanding.
 

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What Lenny said.
The sealer is really to make a uniform surface. It is possible to wet sand 2k urethane and put base over that. Epoxy is best practice for a sealer though for reasons stated.

Block your urethane with 220 grit (or 180). After the final block, spray one coat over entire car of urethane high build. Then wet sand this with 400 for solid colors and 600 for metallics. Purpose of doing this is to reduce the amount of sanding on your final block coat. It’s a lot of effort to cancel out the 220 scratches so you just spray another coat to fill them in, and go straight to wet. Then spray over this with reduced epoxy.
Personally I will wet sand the epoxy with 600 to give a perfect substrate finish for the base coat. No trash or peel, perfectly smooth surface to start on.
 

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I read a post on here that suggested using a different type of filler on bare metal versus the filler used if you were going over the epoxy primer.
 

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Believe what it says on the can not a magazine or web comment.
 

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1) go to an auto paint store
2) discuss your expectations and budget with the resident expert
3) pick a paint system based on their recommendations
4) get all the tech sheets for each of the products in that system
5) study those tech sheets and procure supplies
6) use the products following the procedures outlined in the tech sheets.
 

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1) go to an auto paint store
2) discuss your expectations and budget with the resident expert
3) pick a paint system based on their recommendations
4) get all the tech sheets for each of the products in that system
5) study those tech sheets and procure supplies
6) use the products following the procedures outlined in the tech sheets.
This! It is easy to unknowingly mix wrong components together and screw up your paint. Not only did I talk to my auto paint supply guy but I also spoke about it with my painter as I was doing all the prep work and he was shooting it. He got the final ok on any products I was using under his paint and it turned out most excellent.
 

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1) go to an auto paint store
2) discuss your expectations and budget with the resident expert
Be very careful with this, I know of only one guy that is an expert at any paint store I've been to, and not a complete idiot.

By the way, his name is Chad, he owns Autorod Technologies in SW Michigan, very talented painter, fabricator, hotrodder and carries really good products that aren't the big names where you're paying for the name. Been dealing with him for years, he ships. He's an SPI jobber as well.
 

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Agreed not sure where everyone else goes but these people are just “cashiers” you tell them what you want and they ring you up... it would be nice if they could help!
 

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It's the same thing as saying 'talk to the experts at the parts store counter.'
 

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5) study those tech sheets and procure supplies
Yes!
  1. Talk to your paint supplier and find out what products they carry and any recommendations they have for your project. It’s somewhere to start. They may know what they are talking about, they may not. If what they say doesn’t make sense then just go to the product website and review what is available. If you’re stumped onjust call the mfg and ask them.
  2. Obtain technical data sheets (TDS) for the products you intend to use from the supplier or online. Verify all application data (surface prep, mix, induction, cure/recoat times, etc.).
  3. Follow the TDS.
  4. Use a consistent paint mfg where possible. It’ll just be easier for gathering up all the TDS.
 

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I would like to chime in Lizer has been guiding me through my journey to paint my car. I am at the early stages, still stripping the old paint. I am curious what are some of the systems you all recommend. Lizer and a few others swear by SPI however that is out of my budget. I am doing this as my first paint job in my garage, it will not be a show car, but will be a car i can show off if that makes sense. I was Looking at Speeokote,,, Someone sai it was amateur stuff.
I know the saying you get what you pay for, just looking for laymans option
 

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Some paint stores have qualified salesman and some don't. I've been in paint stores where the guy behind the counter has never painted a car. Most however have a basic knowledge (book smarts) but again, most have no real experience actually doing it.
Just been my experience.
 

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I would like to chime in Lizer has been guiding me through my journey to paint my car. I am at the early stages, still stripping the old paint. I am curious what are some of the systems you all recommend. Lizer and a few others swear by SPI however that is out of my budget. I am doing this as my first paint job in my garage, it will not be a show car, but will be a car i can show off if that makes sense. I was Looking at Speeokote,,, Someone sai it was amateur stuff.
I know the saying you get what you pay for, just looking for laymans option
I used SPI products for everything but the base coat. Gee, I thought the SPI stuff was very reasonably priced. The only expensive part was the PPG Deltron base coat. I went with that because it's a very accurate reproduction of the factory Calypso Coral. I happen to get lucky and visited my local PPG dealer when there was an actual PPG rep there. (As mentioned, the other employees were very nice women who could mix paint and ring me up, but that's about it.) Anyway, the PPG rep said the lower cost "Shop Line" base coat didn't have any of the necessary toners and it would look like "Competition Orange". I tell you this as a data point to help you make decisions for your paint job. SPI assured me their products were compatible with the PPG base coat and they were right.

Here's another data point. A friend of mine painted his Chevy Blazer and went with a low-cost paint system. It was called "Metalux". A local paint store recommended it. My friend was not at all pleased. He said it came from somewhere in Africa. I don't recall the details of the painting process, but he got the impression the Metalux products were very low quality. Sure enough, a few months later, the clear started to yellow. Yeah, that was sure worth saving a few bucks.

Therefore, if the SPI products are too rich for your budget, I would strongly suggest saving more money for SPI products. Anything less will likely be money down the drain.
 

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+1 for the SPI products. Was introduced to them a few years back and have used nothing since other than base coat.

One thing to note is their products typically net more material for your dollar. A couple of examples are their epoxy primers and Universal clear coat. Both are mixed 1:1 netting 2 sprayable gallons of product. Definitely something to consider in your decision.

Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
 

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The guys at the two places I go here are pretty good tech wise. One is the PPG and Axalta jobber the other is an industrial supply joint that has a large commercial auto body department. They have Transtar and House of Kolor. The catch is they are only familiar with what they sell and want to sell complete systems. While they know of brands like SPI and Tamco they didn’t know or aren’t willing to offer advice on those products.

You want some real sticker shock? Price out some Standox. It makes Deltron DBC look like a budget priced line.
 

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The two paint dealers close to me sell PPG and Matrix. In the PPG line I've used both Deltron and Shopline. Both worked great for me with no issues. The Matrix line was also great. I would have no problem using any of the mentioned above again. In all the brands there was a learning curve because they all spray and lay a little differantly. The biggest factor, from my experience, is get to know the product you plan to use. Most issues are related to operator error.
 

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its kind of funny, im not a painter i am just an average guy with a mustang, but I like to tinker. I have a guy that I trust who gae me a very good deal to paint my car. I figured hey why not take it down to bare metal lay some epoxy primer and give him a goo base to start with. Then when i started to get into the details of what is involved I thought I am in no rush I think i could do that, so here I am. I ordered the kirker Epoxy last night it mixes 1:1 and the gallon with catalyst shipped was less than the SPI Epoxy Primer by itself.
I have nothing against SPI in fact I am rather impressed with the owner, I called and talked to him( man can he talk) he gave me a lot of great insight and I am super appreciative, but there are some guys on this site who do this or di this for a living, for those guys paying for the best makes sense, for an average guy like me give me something that is quality and that is all that I need
 
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