How Long Can Primer Sit Before Painting Car

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How Long Can Primer Sit Before Painting Car – 1. The day you put your Corvette in the spray booth is a real milestone. All those hours of work are finally going to pay off with a laser straight body. But let’s back up a bit and see what goes into preparing a professional final pre-paint.

Like most things in life, creating a perfect paint job takes hard work, education and experience. And like almost everything else in our universe, bodywork materials, tools and products are in a constant state of flux, always changing to deliver a superior final finish. While this story may be preschool for some of our readers, others may consider it a continuing education course.

How Long Can Primer Sit Before Painting Car

How Long Can Primer Sit Before Painting Car

The subject of this paint prep course is our ’68 Corvette project. For readers who haven’t missed previous installments of the project, this car has been sitting in a dry garage in Arizona for over 32 years, with another project car tucked in the corner. Of course, being a lifetime Arizona car means that the chassis and all steel components are rust-free, and since the car has been parked indoors for more than half its life, a sunbelt car is protected from the usual sun damage. Can be saved. Another bonus was that the original paint on most of the car had been sanded off with a few coats of old lacquer primer, so the car was stripped down to bare fiberglass with a combination of power orbital and hand sanding. This situation made the bodywork of this car much simpler than cars that are more than 50 years old.

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But even the best vintage Corvette comes with challenges that differ from a steel car. First, the structure of the fiberglass itself can cause problems, and then there is the matter of the bonding seam where an epoxy bonding agent is used to bond two fiberglass panels together. Because the joint epoxy is a different material than the actual fiberglass, it can cause problems with the finished paint, especially in the sun because the epoxy seam and the fiberglass seem to have different rates of expansion. If the body isn’t prepared properly, it’s not uncommon to have the dreaded “ghost lines” in the panel seams. Even GM had a similar problem when these cars were new, but they were working with lacquer-based paints, which are lighter than modern PPG high-fill epoxy primers and urethane topcoats. are what we are using.

Using modern epoxy primers, high quality body fillers and allowing the right time and temperature for curing will go a long way in preventing such problems. We are big believers in using the same brand of paint products from primer to top coat. We love PPG products and use their products from primer to final clear coat. One thing is for sure, rushing through paint and bodywork is only a shortcut to problems. It is important to follow the instructions and be accurate with the correct mixing ratio of all products. Catalysts, hardeners and thinners play an important role in making each product perform properly. Drying time and even the correct temperature range for each application are important. Rather than rushing it, a little extra healing time will pay off in the long run.

Fortunately, our Corvette body was in above-average condition so the bodywork wasn’t that difficult (easy for us to say, since we didn’t actually do the work). All of our work was done by Sean Rosick, one of the Hot Rods pros, Dan (Phoenix, Arizona). If you have experience painting cars and parts, you can do a great painting job at home. In fact, companies like Summit Racing make doing your own body work easy because they can provide you with body repair kits that take you from bare fiberglass to the finished product, including how to get the job done right. All tools for If you’re doing a complete bodywork and paint job on a car, checking out Summit Racing’s “Paint Prep Combos” will give you tools and material groupings that include what’s needed for each step of the process. .

We’ve left the most important information for last. Safety While modern paint and bodywork materials are great for your car’s body, the same cannot be said for the body of the person applying these products. Catalyzed paint products and sanding dust are toxic, requiring the use of a high-quality respirator and protective clothing. A full body pant suit, gloves and a suitable respirator are essential when spraying catalyzed paint. The good news is that Summit can handle protective gear, too, and wearing a fresh pair of paint corals reduces unwanted dirt and dust on that final paint job.

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Every step of the bodywork is important, from filling cracks and holes with fiberglass cloth and resin to fixing corrugated panels with quality filler and primer sanding for the final finish. Our story is about the final stage of preparation. Major repairs completed, the filler is shaped with 40-grit, followed by 80-grit and 150-grit before priming the surface with a high-fill, two-part PPG epoxy primer. Now we are in the final stages, looking for all the little imperfections, scratches and occasional low spots that need to be corrected for a flawless finish.

We started by spraying the body with a light, black guide coat and sanding with an orbital sander with a soft pad and a 320-grit sanding pad. Epoxy primers leave a textured “orange peel” surface due to their high filler content. This first sanding will reduce it fairly quickly with a guide coat providing a visual guide. After cutting the surface is cleaned by washing with Summit Surface Wash. Any deep scratches we found and one or two very small spots were filled with USC icing. Icing is a creamy body filler designed to fill only deep scratches and minor depressions. If you notice a dramatic thinning area, it is best to use USC Chromate Light Body Filler as it is designed for a thicker application. On a side note, another great feature of modern epoxy primers is that they are designed to apply body filler to the primer with perfect adhesion, something that didn’t work well with older lacquer-based primers.

After filling in a few work scratches with USC icing and cutting it to 320 grit we marked the primer where the filler was applied and then cut the primer to 320 grit.

How Long Can Primer Sit Before Painting Car

After cleaning the body thoroughly, we applied a coat of 3M Dry Guide Coat (also available from Summit Racing) to the entire body. This dry guide coat uses an applicator to apply a uniform guide coat to the panel, providing a great visual aid to the panel finish. Armed with soft sanding blocks of various shapes and sizes and 400 grit paper, we sanded the body until every bit of guide coat was gone. This gave us a perfectly finished surface, ready for our final paint color.

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We removed all the masking tape and paper from the car because it was covered in primer and sanding dust. Final cleaning of the paint surface was next. As you clean the panels with Summit Surface Wash, carefully inspect the panels with Summit Wax and Grease Remover to identify any defects, scratches, or wavy panels. Looking at the wet primer from different angles is a great way to spot minor problems that may require further sanding or even filler. Remember, as painful as it may be, if you find a problem, go back and fix it right away, because this small problem will eventually become a big one. After the vehicle is clean, blow-dry the body, paying particular attention to areas that may have dirt, dust, and water. Clean any sand residue from the car’s cracks and crevices with a wax and grease remover.

Now you are ready to tape the car in preparation for the final finish. Use high-quality 3M masking tape designed specifically for bodywork. Do not use normal grade masking tape. Also, it pays to buy plastic paint cover material for large areas like the engine bay, including rolls of bodywork masking paper. This paper is strong and thick enough to cover windows and other openings and prevent overspray and paint absorption. Here’s a news flash, the days of using newspaper to tape cars are over, the paper is so thin, the print can transfer to car parts when it comes in contact with the paint and has no strength. would have Using the right masking material is an investment in a great finish.

Careful masking is essential to a good paint job, so take your time, get good lighting, and when the masking process is complete, give the car a final clean with wax and grease remover to keep the car clean with your hands. Can remove any possible body oils that touch. During the masking process, blow the body with air to remove any lint.

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