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

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

  • Alon S.

    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

    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

    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

    thank you!


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