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Primer color - does it matter??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by cederholm, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,621


    I'm getting ready to prime my car for paint. The final paint color with be a dark satin green. Does the primer color matter? Since the final color is dark should I use a black primer?

    Thanks are any and all advice.
    ~ Carl
  2. Cedarholm,
    I prefer a dark primer under a dark paint and have known painters that swore by that philosophy. But I have known other painters that said it didn't matter.

    Someone on here will have good reasons for whatever, but I don't know how much difference it makes.
  3. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,621


    Thanks Porknbeaner - I always value your opinion.
  4. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,350

    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    Light primer for light paint and dark primer for dark paint. I have always used that method as well...

  5. Somewhere around 10 years ago I was offered the option of tinting my primer to match the paint. The idea was that a stonechip would not be as obvious. Don't know if it's worth doing, don't know if it's still an option, and don't know if the manufacturer of your paint has that as an option, just saying that at one point in time it was suggested (to me at least) that matching your primer to your paint might be a good thing. In my case, the color was white and I just used an "off the shelf" light grey primer. As I understand it, the general rule (as has been mentioned here already) is ... light color - light primer, dark color - dark primer.
  6. Mr.Musico
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,581

    from SoCal

  7. This is a good basic starting point . Depending on the top coat color and its level of transparency certain bases or tinted sealers are suggested in the paint mixing formulas . Reds , yellows and oranges can be highly transparent and the base color will change the value/ shading of the color .
  8. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,621


  9. Patman187
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 122

    from Nebraska

    Depends on the color like everyone else said real nice bodied colors don't seem to matter either way (cherry red, deep blues and black) if your not shure what to do go to your paint supply house and ask for a spray out card and spray your color on it it has different shades of gray all the way to black let it dry and take it out in the sun and see if you can see a difference.

  10. wingedexpress
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 894


    Another thing is to have an even coat on the last coat of primer without light and dark spots where it has been sanded through.Cheaper paints will show the spots out in the sun.
  11. flamed34
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 733


    Good advice given above. Light under light, dark under dark. PPG's K36 is a tintable primer. Less visibility when chipped is one reason, but chipped paint should be repaired - most non-epoxy primers can absorb water and lead to rusting. The primary reason to use like-colored primers is reduce the amount of paint needed to for complete coverage. When just learning to paint, I made the mistake of using a light primer on a section of a truck bed when I ran out of dark primer. When I painted the truck, the entire bed had the same number of coats. However, when out in the light, there was a significant lightening of the paint where the light primer was used.
    Sandable primer surfacer is a high build primer - important component that allows block sanding to reduce waviness in the final coat.
  12. customrod48
    Joined: Oct 10, 2010
    Posts: 201


    ditto on the tinting the final coat to help hide shallow chips.........
  13. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    Member Emeritus

    Yes its worth getting the primer tinted to match the topcoat, I've done it for years and the stonechips are not so obvious, before topcoating i like to lay on 2 coats of tinted Epoxy, its chips less.
  14. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    from 4077th

    Primer goes on bare metal and provides tooth for topcoats to adhere. Primer/surfacer builds up for block sanding out imperfections before topcoating.

    Use a good epoxy primer on bare metal and apply the two-part activated primer/surfacer over that. Block sand and repeat until you're happy.

    Any color primer will work but you will need to apply more paint the more contrast there is between colors.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
    radarsonwheels likes this.

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