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I have a 73 Mustang that has been painted a couple of times in the distant past. The paint is in poor to fair condition and needs to come off before being repainted. This I will be doing myself. I have also gotten some metal patches welded in a few locations and am using 'Metal to Metal' filler to level out. It will be several months before it gets painted. What treatment should I apply over the bare metal and those areas that have body filler? I haven't yet determined the type of paint I will use (enamel or base/clear coat). I just want to be sure I use the proper primer/sealer so I don't have to restrip and so rust doesn't take hold prior to painting. Thanks
 

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Your local paint shop will be able to match all your components together so you have a compatible system, but you'll need an etching primer for bare metal and a sealer over e-coat or previously painted or primed parts.

If you're looking to just prevent rust from starting, you can apply a light coat of oil to the bare steel to prevent it from flashing and use a metal prep to take it off just prior to priming. This will save you from having to decide what paint system you are going to use before you are ready for it.
 

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Paint it with epoxy primer.
You should paint the bare metal before aplying the filler and then cover the filler with more epoxy primer.
The epoxy primer will seal the surface preventing rust.
 

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A good 2 Part Epoxy Primer like PPG's DPLF is compatible with just about any top coat (confirm with individual paint brand first). It's a superb sealer and can be left exposed for extended periods of time without risk of moisture absorption. If using epoxy as you describe, prior to painting, all you have to do is clean the surface with wax/grease remover, sand, clean again, and shoot a fresh thinned coat, let flash, then shoot color.

If you want to block the car, you can spray compatible high build on top of the fresh Epoxy, do your blocking, then seal with epoxy, and shoot color over that.
 

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As the others have said, if it's down to bare metal, the best protection against rust is a good two-part epoxy. You can leave it in epoxy for a long time with no worries, assuming it's protected from the weather. With a lot of exposure to the elements, even the epoxy will degrade with time.

An alternative to the epoxy if you're not ready to spray would be to give it a wipe down with a phosphoric acid-based product. There are a lot of these available under different names, but the key agredient is phosphoric acid. If you wipe this on, let it stand for a few minutes (as directed) and wipe it off before it dries, this will prevent flash rust for a considerable time if the car is protected from the weather. If a bit of flash rust does occur, you can remove it simply by applying a bit more phosphoric acid as before and then wiping it off with paper towels. This is what I did for about six months after I had stripped my '66 to bare metal, and before I sprayed epoxy primer.

The phosphoric acid wipe I used worked great and only cost about $6 for a quart from Lowes (Parks brand). I applied it with a gray scuff pad and wiped it off with paper towels a few minutes later.
 
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