Self Etching Primer Uses
Can self-etching primer be used as a general primer over body filler or old paint in addition to bare metal?
but why would you? It has almost no film build. If you spray bare metal and get some on paint or body filler then no biggie. Other wise its a waste of product IMO
Not necessarily so. He asked about self etching primer, not etch primer. Different animals. Still not a high build, but fill may be adequate and of course can go dtm.
Originally Posted by 88GT
always get the data sheet with your product and then it will help you on what it can go over and what can go over it. I think it was etching primer that my friend used over bondo and after the car was painted he started seeing cracks. When he sanded those areas he saw the green over his bondo. The instructions were on the can but he never read them. He reads more now.
Excellent advise. Thanks.
Originally Posted by Steve g
Really? I never knew that:o . Could you explain the difference a little more? Also, what is the difference in a "wash" primer, compared to the two primers mentioned above? I don't use any type of acid/etch primer, just epoxy or dtm surfacer. It's just that the differences in the various types of etch primers confuse me. I'd appreciate any replies. Thanks.
Originally Posted by cwestra
For many years, I've blasted entire cars to bare metal, then used self etch, followed by epoxy as the basecoats for rust holdout. Then grind areas needing bodywork back to bare metal, apply filler, and use primer/surfacer there- then epoxy again- then topcoat.
Recently I've found out that if the entire car is sandblasted, the self etching primer really isn't needed- you can just use epoxy or urethane 2K primer on the bare metal, then topcoat.
no, I don't advise using self etch over body filler or old paint- not even over primer/surfacer- the acid in the self etch primer, lifts and softens body filler and primer/surfacer and old paint. It's really made to use over bare metal only.
another thing I learned is this- self etch does NOT etch/clean the surface as well, as the old style phosphoric acid liquid etch that would be wiped on with a rag, then wiped off. The old etching compounds seem to "bite into" the metal better, and remove tiny pits left after sandblasting better.
a painter told me one time, self etch will hold out for years- WRONG- if it is not topcoated, you will see rust coming through within a year
same goes for epoxy- the sun breaks it down, and you'll see rust coming through epoxy in about 2 years or so, if it's not topcoated
Big disclaimer here. I'm not a chemist, coatings engineer or any kind of expert on the subject. But I will share what I've read on the subject. To etch something is to alter it's surface with abrasives or chemicals. Etching in the context of our useage is opening up the surface with acid. In order to assist in corrosion control phosphoric acids were combined with other acids,chromates and other additives. This roughened the surface and left a corrosion inhibiting coating behind. My understanding is that acid wash and true etch primers were the same or similar. They were translucent or transparent and left virtually no film build. I don't think they are much different than Picklex or Rust Mort, especially since the chromates have been removed from the etch primers. It is used to improve adhesion and inhibit corrosion.
Originally Posted by ColorTex
Another reason we use primers is to fill surface irregularities, sanding scratches etc. Here we want the material to build on the surface. There are numerous kinds, the current most popular is 2k (2 part) urethane, but there are many single part primers still in use.
My understanding of self etch primer is when someone combined the two. I have used them in rattle cans, so I know they do build, at least the ones I used did. They're handy to have around to hit that small sand through on the lawn mower you're painting, but on anything I value I use a two part product.
It is my understanding that epoxy is none of the above. I have not seen any mention of the epoxy I use containing any kind of etch acid in it. From my research and experience, their claim to fame is an extrordinary adhesion to bare metal without having to etch the metal. They also have a superior barrier property (subject to limitation). Many use epoxy right over clean bare metal without any rust inhibitors quite sucessfully. Most epoxy's do not fill well and sand poorly, so they are generally just used as a first coat. Some use them instead of etch primers, some in addition to. My regime has been to treat bare metal with an acid metal prep like Picklex and follow up with epoxy then my 2k urethane high build. There are hybrids that combine the high build surfacers with epoxy's (Kirker has a popular one).
That's my understanding. I welcome any additions or corrections that anyone might offer.
cool, thanks for the explanation. I know all of the uses for the different primers out there, I just never knew there was a difference between "wash", "etch" and "self-etching" primers, I thought they were all the same.
Wash and Etching Primer Basics
The low down I wanted to share.
"Wash" primers (some are 2K)
"Wash" or "Vinyl wash" are for bare metal applications for the ultimate in adhesion and corrosion protection. They are very low in solids with next to zero filling qualities. Some are even semi transparent. They are usually not to be top coated with paint. You apply them to aid in adhesion and corrosion protection under other undercoats such as epoxy or urethane primers.
Benefits: - Very thin, keeps down film build - Cost effective - Fast application - Non-sanding - Super high corrosion protection.
Disadvantages: - Some have a very small re-coat window
"Etch primer" (some are 2K):
Typical "etch primers" have much more solids and body than "wash" primers. They are more forgiving than "wash" primers, one thing being a much longer re-coat window. They are basically used to aid in adhesion and corrosion protection as with "wash" primer. You would choose "typical" etch over "wash" if you have some paint or plastic filler as a substrate along with the bare metal. Some brands have a recommendation to apply top coats over it also. This could be very useful in a money saving or time saving is important.
Benefits: - Easy to apply, smooth, easy to sand - Some can be applied over plastic filler (not that you need itover the plastic filler, but if you have some, it is nice to not have to go around it) - Some can be top coated, which can be a big time and money saver. - VERY cost effective
Disadvantages: - Added product to buy and apply.
IMPORTANT basic! If you have used ANY metal treatment or "conditioner" read tech sheets carefully for compatibility . The acid in the metal "treatment" or "conditioner" can attack the acid in etch primers and it can LOOSE adhesion from the metal!
FWIW, I use Martin Senour "Etching Filler" quite a bit. It is more-or-less as 2cents described "etch primer". It's no 2K surfacer, but you can build up a couple mils w/ it, it's obviously dtm (even on smooth steel), goes over filler, most factory paint (NOT aftermarket lacquer) and can be topcoated directly. It's cheap (like me ), easy to mix and has a 24 hr pot life. So far, so good.