4 Tips for Mixing Paint Primer 4 Tips for Mixing Paint Primer

There are plenty of tips that can help you mix paint primer. Any car that has had the paint stripped down to the metal will require a type of primer underneath the paint. The main purpose of the primer is to smooth down the surface of the car, provide something for the top coat to stick to and keep the steel panels of your car together. All primer will need to be mixed before it can be applied.

Prep the Car

Before you apply primer you will need to properly prep the car. This may include sanding and washing off any dirt or dust as the surface needs to be clean when you put on the primer. The car also needs to be completely dry. Make sure you prepare the car in a well ventilated area so you do not have to keep moving it. There are three different types of primers you can use. Many times primer can also be used to reduce corrosion as well as surface filler.

TIP: Ed Kimble, our painting expert, points out that it's important "to make the right choice on your primer otherwise you may experience paint bubbling."

Different Primers

There are 3 different types of main car primer; wash etches, etch primer and high build primers. Etch primers are used to reduce corrosion and are mainly phosphoric acid primers. They will protect your car even if the pain has chipped. Wash etches are a thin type of primer that you can brush directly onto the car and does not require a sprayer. This primer is perfect if the car has been stripped bare. A high build primer is used at the end of repairs as it can be used for filling or flattening out marks. It is very thick and can be tricky to apply.

Tinting Your Primer

You may also want to tint your primer if you think it will show through your base coat. Normally the tints available are gray, white or beige. However there are spectral primers available if you need a specific color.

TIP: Ed suggests: "You can also tint your own primer by mixing in a small amount of the desired old pain to create a lighter color for your car."

Measuring is Important

Most primers will have their own recommended ratio of paint thinner to primer. Many people will use half thinner and then half primer. Primer normally has a ration of 2 to 1 so you need 2 parts primer for 1 part thinner.

TIP: Ed also adds: "It is very important that you follow the instructions otherwise you will not get the correct application. When mixing it is best to use a calibrated mixing cup to be as accurate as possible. You can purchase special paint mixing cups at hardware and automotive stores."

Using a Spray Gun

Most people will use an automotive spray gun to apply the primer and you will need to have a safety mask on when painting. Do not pour the primer directly into the spray gun cup but first place a strainer in and then pour in the primer. This strainer will get rid of any clumps or dirt that could ruin the spray gun. You may not need to use a spray gun though this ensures an even coat which is important when applying primer.

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