Does Primer Have To Be Sprayed Before Painting a Car?

Does Primer Have To Be Sprayed Before Painting a Car?

– Hey, this is Donnie Smith
and I’ve got a quick question on my YouTube channel
that I’m gonna answer, and it comes from Real life Fantasy. It says, if you don’t sand
the car down to the metal, do I have to use primer? (upbeat music) Now this is an excellent question, ’cause there is so much confusion, and I get so many
questions about this topic. Primer is designed
basically for two things. The first one’s for corrosion protection, for example if you’re needing to apply it to prevent the car from rusting, you’re gonna use like an epoxy
primer or a self etch primer. And the second reason is to
fill small imperfections. For example, if you have
a damaged repair area that you’re workin’ on, you
did body filler work to it, you can prime that to
fill in those scratches and any imperfections that
you have, block it out. And get it ready for paint. Now there is also a DTM,
direct to metal primer, and that provides both
corrosion protection. Can go directly to the metal
and it fills imperfections. So the primer that you select’s gonna depend on the job that you’re doing. For example, if you’re stripping
somethin’ down to metal, then you’re gonna wanna
use the self etch primer or the epoxy. You don’t need to use both. Either or. If there is some damage on there, that’s when you’re gonna want
to use the primer surfacer, to fill those small imperfections. And when you block it out, you have a nice, smooth
surface ready to paint. Also remember, let’s say you
have a small spot on a hood that you repaired, and you’re tryin’ to
get it ready for paint, well you just have to prime that spot, where you need to do that filling and block out those imperfections. You don’t really need
to prime the whole hood or whole panel that you’re working on. And I see that a lot,
where people think that you need to prime the whole panel. Well, that’s just a lot
of unnecessary primer that you’re gonna be
wastin’ on that panel, and then you’ve got to
sand it all again anyways. So, really just need to repair the damaged areas that need ’em, that need the primer. Now I just want to clarify that real fast before I answer the question, because I get so much confusion
and questions about that. But to answer your
question, no you don’t need any type of primer to paint. I mean, you can sand
somethin’ down, for example, let’s say you gotta car you’re
just wantin’ to paint it, and if there’s no damage or
anything like that on it, you can sand it down with
four to 600, you know, in that range somewhere. And if there’s no metal
or no body work showing, you can come back put your base coat or your single stage straight
on top of that old surface. Now there is also primer
sealer that you can spray right before you paint, but I don’t really want to get into that, ’cause I don’t think
that was your question. I don’t want to get this confusing. I mean, that’s optional. I mean, you spray straight on
top of the properly prepared. You want to make sure it’s
cleaned good, it’s sanded good and masked and all that, of course. But you can spray your base
coat or your single stage straight on top the old finish. But there’s an option, you
can also use a primer sealer, and that just kinda
helps with color hiding and things like that. But that is not required
that you use a sealer before painting it. But that kinda gets into
a whole other topic, and I really don’t want to
make this video confusing. So no, if you don’t have bare metal that you need to apply
corrosion protection to, or you don’t have any body work areas, no, you do not have to use
primer before painting a car. Well, I hope that helps
answer your question. If not, leave a comment in the video and I’ll try to do a better
job of answerin’ that, but if you like the video, be sure and give us a thumbs up. If you haven’t subscribed to this channel be sure and go to our channel, subscribe and remember you have to click the bell if you want notifications. We post new videos every week, so if you post to get the notifications, you’ll know whenever we post a new video. Anyway, thanks again for watchin’. Take care, and we’ll see
you in the next video.


  • Godsone says:

    THANKS!!! That is something Ive always wondered about! 🙂

  • The88katana600 says:

    if you sand through the clear coat I would prime over that. I have had the paint wrinkle were it was sanded into the base color, and not primed, or I would at least add some hardener to the base. I use what ever clear I'm using hardener. just my 2 cent's

  • Travelingman 1980 says:

    Thanks for primer clarification, I was bloody confused too. If your vehicle's clear has dulled and you want to get that new look back, do I sand back with 600 grit and lay down the colour and clear again, or just lay down the clear after sanding with 1200grit? I find your channel the most informative for newbies like me.

  • iron sheik says:


  • E. says:

    Can u do a video about the sealers

  • ralph cap says:

    Do you wet sand or dry sand with 600 to re-spray a car after sanding do you use wax and grease remover or do you just wash the car ty

  • Michael Teel says:

    Hey I love your videos they are so informative!

    I actually had my car keyed from front to back. Is there anyway you can help answer a couple questions since I will have to paint it myself.

    1.) The scratches are deep not just surface scratches so how far would I have to sand down and do I need to use body filler?

    2.) If I do sand it down what grit should I start with and end with?

    I did make a video of the damage of the vehicle if you can help me I can send you the videos I uploaded them onto youtube. This would be very helpful. I just subscribed to your channel!

  • Oli Oli says:

    If I have new metal that is shipped "primed" do I need to do anything other than sand and clean?

  • SuperSonicSpeedGuy says:

    Is 'primer surfacer' the same as filler primer, over here in UK?

  • Michael David says:

    Yes because it shows up imperfections.

  • TSSA Brasil says:

    Is the epoxy primer developed for direct metal? Or I need to use the Wash Primer before spray it on the metal? I'm working on a job including the weld fusion repairs.
    The PU primer can be used on the top of epoxy primer for fill imperfections?

  • E Zapata says:

    Listen here, Primer is more than rust protection and filling sand scratches. Primers main purpose is for paint adhesion, paint and urethane seals the primer adher to the metal keeping the sealed.

  • Doug Pollock says:

    Should I apply my body filler (bondo) to fill my small dents etc, first then spray my epoxy primer or reverse order? My car has been sanded down to the bare metal.

  • booba loo says:

    Thanks, Donny. You saved me a ton of work.

  • david wilkinson says:

    well said my friend,got a bit bubbly corrosion on my bonnet dors it need fillers or putty primer?cheers

  • Steve W says:

    COuld yo do another video on that color hiding topic with primer sealer. Like when would you use it? Sanding down a black car and repainting white, would that be a good time to use it? Or what circumstances would a primer sealer be advantageous with respect to a color change of a vehicle.?

  • Nperez1986 says:

    So after doing my body work on a white car, I sprayed grey primer (primer filler) and etching primer (before the primer filler for the small bare metal spots). I'm painting the car white as it's the factory color…half my car is grey from primer and other is OE white…do I just white paint over the grey primer areas first then paint the 2-3 coats on the car? I'm trying to make sure the grey won't "show" thru?

  • Rock&Roll says:

    Yes it show mistake like dirty spot and mistake, imperfection in your paint. Also if you over sand it will show uneveness in paint, like high spot or low.

  • Kenneth Stalley says:

    Once the Primer Surfacer is applied do I have to paint over it with the base coat within 72 hrs…? or is it a problem, because I can't top coat it within that 72 hr. Max time limit..?

  • Kenneth Stalley says:

    Hi Donnie… Did you get my question below..?

  • gonzo7188 says:

    Quick question ok from metal to paint is exactly what process. 1 self etching primer sand 2 primer again sand 3 paint wet sand the clear and done?

  • cryingmushroom47 says:

    what grit to use before applying base coat over previously painted surface? im worried 800 is to low and it will show through.

  • TOM Vlogs says:

    I was looking for a straight answer thanks man took me three days just to get a straight answer out of

  • Stanley Schaffer says:

    Excellent presentation and explanation. Thank you for your expertise.

  • Dethklok says:

    This helps! Im about to paint my 85 dodge w350 and that saves me alot of time!

  • antonio88 says:

    What if i just have small chips to the metal?

  • Ken Switzer says:

    The type paint on the vehicle needs to be known and select appropriate paint to use. Great job.

  • CHIDEX KOFI says:

    Pls can I spray (2k clear coat) on top of (2k base coat) I need your answer

  • Alon S. says:

    How would you go about fixing that?
    Do I need to sand anything before starting?
    And on which parts do i apply the base coat & clear coat?

  • May day says:

    Another good reason for primer, is if you have very different color patches, for example you replace a fender with green paint and the rest of the car is silver, green will act like a dark base when you paint, so it will be harder blend it in to the rest of the car evenly, better to primer is gray before you paint.

  • Joe Thurman says:

    So ideally order of operations for a simple paint job and dent repair with filler would be?
    1) scuff whole vehicle with 400-600 grit.
    2) take any spots that require filler down to bare metal with 80-120 grit. Apply filler.
    3)shape the filler and primer only that area.
    4) sand that primer with 4-600 grit
    5) clean and ready for paint?

  • hiccup22 says:

    thank you!

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