Dry Primer Causes, Why Your Primer Sprays or Looks Dry – Auto Body Q&A Call

Hey, it’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint with another live stream.  Thank you for coming on. This is an interactive training. I hope you enjoy the show! Today’s topic is Dry Primer Causes, Why Your Primer Sprays or Looks Dry.

Sorry, guys but I can’t promise too much today. My wife had to go to the dentist so I’m babysitting today. I just had to get on and say hi to everyone, but if my baby starts to be fussy, I have to go.

Sorry, I wasn’t able to send out an email for today’s live stream. Sometimes the timing isn’t right. We don’t have a particular topic to talk about today, but we’ll go ahead and do the Q&A.

Question: Are you going to have the LABAP school in DFW sometime?

I actually planned on doing that about a year and a half ago. We had a handful of people interested but it just didn’t work out as far as them coming in on a certain day and time.

I’m not saying it will never happen, it is still a possibility. I’m not sure though when we it will happen, with all the things going on right now. I’ll let you know when we push through with it.

Question: Let’s talk about primers and why they have dry spots.

There are different reasons why you have dry spots. First thing is if you’re spraying over filler, your body filler sucks up the primer. It can look like a dry spot.

I don’t know what kind of dry spot you’re talking about. Spraying dry or spraying on wet and then a certain area dries out, which is your body work area?

If it’s spraying dry, you’re probably spraying too much of a thick mixture. I would try reducing it with a slow reducer if you’re spraying at hot temperatures, or your tip size is too small.

If you have a small tip size, it’s going to come out dry. If you’re using a 1.3mm, 1.4mm or 1.5mm, it’s a pretty small tip if you’re spraying primer. I like to reduce it, 4 to 1, I would add an extra 10% to 15% reducer in it to thin it out.

This way, it will come out wet, because if you’re spraying too thick with a small tip, it’s going to clog up and it will come out really dry.

Even if you have high pressure and try to blow it out of the gun, it’s going to come out dry like sand.

Also, make sure that everything is clean – your spray gun and your tip. Make sure to stray your primer so you have no clumps in it.

If you’re spraying out of a 1.5mm, extra reduce it down. Don’t be afraid to put in an extra 15% to water it down.

You don’t want it too watery or else it’s just going to come out clear and run. You don’t want that. Just a little bit at a time.

I would reduce it 10% then test it out. If it feels like it needs more, open your cup, put a little bit more reducer, mixed it up and just shoot it.

All you have to do to get that coverage is to go over, with extra two or three times of primer after it dries. That will give you your primer coverage.

If your body filler is sucking up the primer in that area, say for example, if you finished up a panel then ten minutes later you see a dry area, feel free to go over it again and just get it covered. This way when you water sand it out, it looks all good.

Maybe you’ll have a couple of pin holes in that area, you just glaze it, let it dry, block it out and water sand with 400-grit. Then, give it another coat of primer, make sure it’s nice and sealed and then lastly, get it all done with 400-grit. You’re then ready for base coat clear coat or whatever you’re painting.

Question: Is it good to let it sit a couple of days before I water sand for paint?

Yeah, it’s not a big deal. It depends on your schedule, if you’re working during the week and you have the weekend to do your car.

You can get it primed Saturday or Sunday, then you can let it sit for a week. Just sand it the day before you’re going to paint it and get it ready. But, if you can do it all on one day, go ahead and do so.

I wouldn’t let it sit for months. It’s not too good to let it sit for six months or so.

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Question: Is it okay to do a two-stage paint job over old clear coat, if the clear coat is in good shape?

Absolutely. That’s fine.

Follow up question: Would you just sand the clear coat and apply the base coat?

Yeah, absolutely. As long as your clear coat is matte-looking, you got it all sanded out and prepped, you could apply base coat and clear coat right over it.

If you’re running into fading issues or clear coat peeling areas, then you could feather all that out, prime it to fill the difference, then water sand that flat, lastly, base coat clear coat on top of it.

If you’re a LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP member, you’ll know that because we cover a lot of these stuff within the program.

Question: I spend eight hours sanding my truck today but I just don’t know when to stop. Some spots have gone to metal, while other spots are reflective and shiny. Do I continue to sand until they’re not shiny? By the way, the spots that I hit metal are smaller than pennies.

I know exactly what you’re talking about. A lot of you guys should be investing in good auto body courses that show you exactly how to get things done.

There is a time to basically stop sanding. When you get to those metal areas, you never want to paint directly over metal, you’re probably getting that on corners.

You have to make sure that you hit that area with a can primer or a regular 2K primer, whatever you are using. If you have a primer and a gun, go ahead and use that. Then, let that dry and sand it.

You never want to paint over metal. You’ll run into a problem, a bad coverage. I’ve done it, but you don’t want to be painting over metal.

Basically, the end goal is to get everything flat looking by using a 400-grit, this way you have a solid flat surface. When you paint and you have a little bit of orange peel, you know that’s you, you have not sanded it correctly and it’s not coming from your foundation.

I don’t want to call it orange peel. Regular texture of paint has a little bit of orange peel, but I just want to just call it the basic texture of paint. You’ll see the same thing even with brand new cars.

I discuss everything in the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint program. For those of you who haven’t, download the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint FREE Report and get more information know more about what I offer within the program.

Question: The guy told me at the store that I can paint over metal with single-stage paint. Is this true?

You can paint over metal with single-stage paint or with two-stage paint, but, don’t be painting too thick over metal, you will have to prime it.

But if it’s just a little area (like how I show you in the video) and you’ve got just a little bit of metal showing on the corner.

You have to dust on little by little because if you’re just going to put your paint on, it’s not going to stick. It’s going to start separating and you’re going to get a weird look. It’s basically what you could call, biting or whatever you want to call it.

I don’t really recommend painting over metal, just to save yourself the extra hassle because if you do it and end up with a problem, you’ll end up doing more work.

You’re going to wait for it to dry, wash it off with lacquer thinner, wait for the paint to dry then sand it off and redo it.

If I see a little metal spot when I’m ready to paint, I don’t mix up a 2K primer and clean the gun out and all that.

I always have a couple of cans of filler primer, 1K spray cans on the side. You could use Rustoleum, Evercoat or whatever brands you have, then dust those areas quick let it dry, scuff it very lightly with a 400-grit because you don’t want to go too deep since it’s a very light coat, tack it and you’re ready for paint.

Never clean that with a wax and grease remover because it will melt the 1K primer that you just sprayed on. I cover that on a lot of series within the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP Course such as the The Godfather project and the Miata Project.

I plan to do a complete paint job with my 22-year old nephew. He’s never done auto body before and he wants to paint his VW Golf.

I’m going to tell him what to do and what not to do, so it’s basically teaching a newbie how to prep and paint a car live, which is similar to the Godfather project where I gave instructions over my godfather’s shoulder.

Question: Is a water catch 100% necessary?

I would have a water filter on there. Once you start spraying and you have water going through you gun into your paint, you’re going to run into issues.

You’re going to be painting with bubbles of water that are going to your panel. It’s going to look like fish eye, so you’re going to wait until it dries, sand it out, feather it all out and do the job over.

I would definitely have a water trap on it. You can get it at about $50 to $60. The kind that you mount on the wall.

Have your compressor come out, hook up to it and out of it, then you have your gun with a little $5 water filter on your gun.

If you could get a 33-gallon tank, it would be a little bit better for you. It won’t be killing the machine like the 10-gallon tank. The smaller tank is for painting something small like a bicycle frame or a helmet and not if you’re doing bigger panels and if you’re going around a car.

The $20 Harbor Freight spray gun is crap. You’ll get crappy results with it. I’ve tested it. If I were you, I’d use at least a mid-level gun. You don’t have to go high end.

I have a great selection of guns on the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint Shop Page. If you’re on a budget, check out the Warwick 904HE Spray Gun.

That is an awesome spray gun and a lot of my VIP members have it. It’s like a clone of the German and Japanese Sata spray guns. It’s made in Taiwan but with excellent quality.

That’s all I spray with at the shop. These guns are amazing quality spray guns. It’s like getting a $900 Sata for $200!

Question: Have you ever tried electric spray guns?

I’ve never tried those. That’s kind of a different system. You could use those electric guns if you’re spraying plasti-dip or thicker undercoating.

For pro automotive finishes, you want to use pneumatic spray guns.

I’m going to end it off today. I got to take my baby upstairs. Thanks for joining me today.

It’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint. Please Like, Share and Subscribe to my videos. Check out the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP Course and get over 100 videos of auto body work and get all of my complete projects within the program.

I will talk to you soon! Cheers!


Other Helpful Links:

WARNING: What Most Body Shops Won’t Admit To You When They Paint Your Car

Automotive Spray Guns – SATA, Iwata, CP, DeVilbiss or a Warwick – Best Bang for Buck?

Are You Spraying Primer? Spraying a Filler Primer Over a BMW Body Kit

HVLP Spray Guns – The Things To Consider When Purchasing A Spray Paint Gun

Avoid This Polyester Primer Mistake – Complete DIY Auto Body Paint Project Update

3 thoughts on “Dry Primer Causes, Why Your Primer Sprays or Looks Dry – Auto Body Q&A Call”

  1. Tony I need your help. Im 82 and restoring a 1961 VW bug I intend on leaving it to my daughter. So I just had it media blasted with ground bottle glass. By day two, I was on my driveway spraying epoxy on the entire car, top and bottom side of fenders, hood and deck lid. Mix was 0ne to one and I had a new HVLP from Harbor Freight. Yah its a cheap gun. Next morning I see the car is rough as sandpaper. Its like I mixed the media grit in the paint. I had vacuumed the body all areas and wiped it down. I didn’t expect this and now what do I do to correct this? Would 1-2 coats of primer over it which is easy to sand get me a workable surface? I hit a small area with sandpaper, that epoxy is like concrete.
    Please help as I need to keep going to finish this car. Body is off chasses and totally stripped of glass and anything that could be removed.

  2. How do you reduce 2k primer correctly.? My Eastwood 2k primer is is thick as sht. it said 4.1 with 10 to 20% reducer. Very dry when i spray. 70 deg. 1.7 tip fan and fluid wide open. 28psi hvlp


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