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Primer Or Not To Primer, That Is The Question

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Ol Fogie, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. Jul 20, 2021
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb

    Southern...
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    Ok, question for all you folks who paint their small parts when doing reassembly work. Parts like bumpers, seat frames, shift leavers, mirrors and post, windshield frames even small accessory parts on your engine like the starter and air cleaner and so on. Should I primer these parts with some kind of rattle can spray primer first or just paint them? I don't want cleaned parts laying around for days or weeks and flash rusting waiting for me to get all of them ready for my final color coat. I would like to paint all the small parts at the same time to minimize cleanup of my spray painting booth and equipment. Can anyone recommend a good quality rattle can spray primer? Thanks Jim
     
  2. Jul 20, 2021
    Twin2

    Twin2 not him 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
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    all the small parts I paint , just get rattle can the color of choice . once cleaned
     
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  3. Jul 20, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    I've been using Rustoleum sime-gloss black on my small parts for years. No primer, just cleaned and degreased. Holds up great.
     
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  4. Jul 20, 2021
    Hellion

    Hellion Regurgitated

    Eastern TN
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    I'm a primer kind of person mainly in the effort of ending up with more layers of paint (= Good), and a primer coat shows all the imperfections.
    When you can see the imperfections, then you can sand or add material (in the case of pitting, etc) such as glazing and spot putty, etc.

    Otherwise, you can just do the same thing with 2-3 coats of the rattle can paint of your choice.

    Rust-Oleum is good paint and designed, I think, to not require a primer coat. I too use Semi-gloss black as the default paint choice in many projects. Gloss black is "too much" fancy.
    I'm thinking about going to satin black...:confused:
     
    Ol Fogie likes this.
  5. Jul 20, 2021
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    For anything small that will see any kind of abuse or rough environment I prime first, lately I've been using self etching primer. If I'm picky about the finish I'll top that with high build & wet sand it before top coating. I find engine enamel holds up best.
     
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  6. Jul 20, 2021
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2021 Sponsor

    Bozeman, MT
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    Maybe I am not picky enough, or as I use hardware store spray can paint (like rustoleum - I usually use VHT if possible - like Roy I have lots of cans of semi-gloss black), it seems adding primer doesn't really help in terms of durability etc. Spraying at a good temp and lots and lots of light coats and then plenty of time to cure seems to be the best method. For most of these kind of things, finish quality is not my goal, just rust protection and not bare metal, and most of the pieces aren't directly visible anyway...I've started using epoxy paint quite a lot as it gives a bit of a 'powder coat' feel, especially if its not exposed to lots of sun - seems a bit more resistant to scratching, but think it chips a bit easier - so more brittle type paint....For transmission/TC cases etc, I am going to try engine enamel to see if its a bit sturdier - again, most of the cheaper spray can versions of this seem to be no primer.
     
    Ol Fogie likes this.
  7. Jul 20, 2021
    Hellion

    Hellion Regurgitated

    Eastern TN
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    I had a can or two of Rust-oleum's "tall can" (FREE 25% More) 15 oz. semi-gloss black in which the nozzle clogged before I was able to finish a can.

    I 'demanded' some replacement nozzles from Rust-Oleum and they delivered a half dozen free of charge. Just a heads up.
    Not saying the paint is bad but you hafta wipe the nozzle clean after every use and/or use it up quick, maybe..
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
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  8. Jul 20, 2021
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2021 Sponsor

    Bozeman, MT
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    Per the direction on all spray can paint cans, when done and putting the can to storage, if you flip the can over and spray a small bit until clear, the nozzle will stay clean and unclogged during storage. I've got some unusual colors where I didn't use a whole can, stored it for years, and when needed years later for touch up, it all works. I consider it kind of like emptying fuel and running the carb dry on things like old weed wackers and chainsaws etc - its part of the deal with paint cans...put them away right and they work fine with you need them again.
     
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  9. Jul 20, 2021
    Hellion

    Hellion Regurgitated

    Eastern TN
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    EXCEPT there's "new technology" spray cans out there (aka 'Any Angle Spray') where you can spray it upside down (for those hard to reach areas) so inverting the can to clear the nozzle doesn't work anymore. Touché, sir. :D
     
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  10. Jul 20, 2021
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2021 Sponsor

    Bozeman, MT
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    maybe you shouldn't get such fancy paint and stick to the cheap stuff
     
  11. Jul 20, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Liberty Lake, WA
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    I’ve been gravitating towards rustoleum brush-on paints. Touch up is a piece of cake with a harbor freight chip brush. It’s way thicker than spray paint, and it’s generally self leveling.
     
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  12. Jul 20, 2021
    supertrooper

    supertrooper Member

    moreno valley, ca
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    For small parts and brackets i like using VHT chassis paint. Goes on over bare metal, dries fast and durable when fully cured
     
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  13. Jul 20, 2021
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb

    Southern...
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    Thanks for everyone's response. Sounds like I am overthinking this(not unusual for me).
    Sounds like I should probably get myself some cleaner/degreaser and wipe everything down after sandblasting. Then just get some rattle cans of semi gloss and have at it. I did try some VHT Chassis paint on my trans tunnel cover without any primer after sand blasting. Turned out really good. That stuff is hard as nails but kind of expensive compared to others.
    I might use some primer on the windshield frame, I have not decided if to go body color or black on it. 74 used body color frames but I like the older style with the black frame.
     
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  14. Jul 21, 2021
    Hellion

    Hellion Regurgitated

    Eastern TN
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    Not to beat:dhorse: this subject to death, but THIS ^

    Anything not needing a super smooth finish OR if you're painting the rough cast surface of the engine block, transmission, transfer case or differentials, a brush and can of paint is perfect for the job.
    Plus if you "do it right" (a wet enough coat) the paint will self level for the most part until the brush strokes disappear.
     
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  15. Jul 22, 2021
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    I find the Ace spray cans vastly superior to the Rustoleum spray cans.

    Xylene is a good cleaner/degreaser. Inexpensive, has a low vapor pressure compared to Acetone or Lacquer thinner, and evaporates completely. Pretty much anything that's not distillate based will do. Isopropanol is good for brake parts.

    I paint any small part I can with Aluthane. I punch a small hole in the can and seal it with a sheet metal screw. Then I shake, squirt out what I need in a paper cup, and paint with a chip brush or flux brush. 100% disposable, and good for small jobs. Aluthane is super-tough, covers well, and tolerates sketchy prep well. Much harder, scratch resistant and durable than hardware store enamels. Can be used as a primer under a color coat.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
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  16. Jul 22, 2021
    Downs

    Downs Rattlecan All The Things!

    Hunt County Texas
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  17. Jul 22, 2021
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Ol Fogie and Downs like this.
  18. Jul 22, 2021
    Downs

    Downs Rattlecan All The Things!

    Hunt County Texas
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