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Old 01-24-2013, 12:12 PM   #1
The Ol' Big Red
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Body Work and Body Filler Questions

Hey Guys,

I have started to embark on the long and tedious journey of bodywork. I have been cutting out rusted metal, welding in patches, and grinding welds down. Now I am on to the stage of body filler. What should I coat the body filler with once I am done sanding it? I am sending the truck off for paint, but is it ok to leave the body filler uncovered while I finish working on other areas of the truck? I have no experience with a spray gun, but I have hear rattle can is a no-go if you are going to have decent paint over it. Also, I need to sand the rest of the car down to get it ready for paint and am planning on having the shop prime it. Is a palm sander ok for rough sanding(removing crinkled paint etc.)? Do you guys have a suggestions for this whole process? Thanks a lot!

Jon
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:37 PM   #2
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Should be fine, but if there are any bare metal spots I would coat with rattle can self etch primer. Palm sander is ideal for removing rough paint spots,

Personally I would work 1 panel at a time until finishing with filler, then cost entire panel with a good self etching primer
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:38 PM   #3
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Be sure to fill any pinholes in filler with a razor blade
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
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Ever coat glaze (green label)is nice for final filler and small dings finish sand with 180 and it helps for the above mentioned pin holes . I like to use a dark primer or flat black and lightly spray the filler so you can see what you are sanding off and expose low spots and air blower between coats of filler .Straight edge can come in handy as well as a long sanding board. A rubber hose piece comes in handy if you are shaping in curved areas.
An old window or smooth metal surface is nice for your mixing and a small piece of scotch bright and a little laquer thinner makes cleaning quick and if you leave the scotch bright in a small container with thinner you can reuse it several times .
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:12 PM   #5
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Never leave body filler exposed to elements. If it's in a garage or shop, then it'll be ok for an overnight thing, but if it's left any longer then you'll experience cracking down the road.

As stated, use body filler and sand in the following steps of paper: 40 grit, 80 grit, then finish it off with 180. Then use some evercoat over the top of the body filler to fill any pin holes and scratches leftover from the 40/80 grit. Also, NEVER use a DA or sander on body filler. It won't be level. Use a long board with sand paper and do criss cross sanding in all directions until it's straight.

After sanding and getting it smooth, you can use a primer filler to fill in any scratch marks or pin holes in the filler as well. Primer filler can be via spray gun or rattle can, just be sure to get the good stuff if you do a rattle can. Paint supply shops sell it, it's just as expensive as a gallon of primer though. For primer, you can get cheap priming guns at paint shops for about $80 or even harbor freight sells them for $40-60. Doesn't need to be anything special, just make sure the tip is 1.4-1.6 millimeters.

As Fox said as well, after you're done with the filler and before primer, spray it was a very thin coat of black spray paint or pick up the black powder from the paint supply shop. With a long board and 400 grit, sand in criss cross and find the leftover black. Fill it, and repeat.

Do not use cardboard for body filler mixing, the cardboard can lead to the same break down of body filler as leaving it exposed to elements. Cracks in the filler will follow at a later time. Use an old glass window, or a plastic/metal board. Paint supply shops sell mixing boards for like $3.
When using filler, you shouldn't need more than a 1/4" of filler over dents. If you need it thicker than that, you need to do more body work to get it straighter. Anything over 1/4" thick will....again, crack.

A DA (air sander) can be used to sand the rest of the body. Be sure not to use the sander on body lines though, only use a block on it. DA's can wear down body lines and the finished outcome after paint will be disappointing. 320 grit on a DA will take down just about everything you need it to.

As for primer after all the body work is done, I'd finish it off with a primer sealer. Spray down a regular primer, wet sand the entire vehicle with 400 grit, 600 grit, then finish it off with 800 grit. After sanding is complete, spray your primer sealer and leave it as is. You can leave it exposed for a few days outside with this before spraying your paint. Don't leave it out too long exposed though, there's no UV protection and although the primer may appear glossy, it can still break down and cause the paint to bubble a few months-years down the road. When you're ready for paint, wet sand again with 800, then 1000, then 1500. After this is complete, spray your paint and clear (or single stage paint) and you'll be good to go.

Most importantly, take your time. If you want the truck to look good, you're going to have to make sure everything on it is straight. Darker colors will show your body imperfections, so just be aware that the amount of work you put into your paint job will reflect on the outcome.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:10 PM   #6
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I would paint any bare metal areas, as well as body filler areas with epoxy primer. You can protect the bare metal by priming it first, then apply the filler over the top of the epoxy later if needed. Protect the filler with epoxy primer too. Most primer surfacers do not provide rust inhibition/ moisture protection.

I would work a panel-at-a-time patching, grinding, priming and filling and final priming your finished bodywork. Most epoxy primers require recoating if they cure more than a couple days (but no longer than a week). If you shoot primer surfacer over it, you can avoid the necessity or scuffing and reshooting epoxy. Depends on how fast you work.

@NightMares, 2 things......
1) I have seen lots of shops (good ones) use a DA or airboard on filler with success. Just make sure the final coat of primer is blocked.
2) I'm not sure why you recommend 800 sanding primer. 400 is recommended by most paint mfgs. 800 would not give the "tooth" that the topcaot needs.

800 would be ok for spot painting / blending existing paint, but not what he's doing. I wouldn't do 1500 for anything except spotting in clear.
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Last edited by j. r. Nice; 01-24-2013 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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TMI on this thread if he has as he stated zero spray experience . The rattle can metal etch is his best temporary option and won't create a headache for the body shop .
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:39 PM   #8
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Maybe, but he asked....and ya gotta start somewhere.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:56 PM   #9
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I've been looking for a good write up for a long time on how to do a decent paint job with minimal supplies/experience. My bronco paint is nice but i need to learn about paint for another project i've got going on.

I've got access to a sprayer but have never used one and wonder if i would be better off rattle canning it. I'd like to know how to prep the vehicle before paint, i guess i'd like to learn more about the entire process. Im not looking for show car results but dont want something that looks terrible either.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:35 PM   #10
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Most paint suppliers have the literature on the products and the sales guys are usually knowledgable on the latest tech . Hands on and talking to actual body and paint guys will help but hands on is the best true way to learn. Most shops have a window or more and you can see application depending on the shop. I started at 15 and took ICAR cert classes after a few years of trial and error . There is a technique to each stage and you could read 10 books and not get it. It's simple yet complicated and repetitive .
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Ol' Big Red View Post
Hey Guys,
What should I coat the body filler with once I am done sanding it? I am sending the truck off for paint, but is it ok to leave the body filler uncovered while I finish working on other areas of the truck?
Jon
I usually just hit it with some rattle can self etching primer from duplicolor. Especially hit the bare metal spots, Duplicolor does ok and iv'e never had a problem with it conflicting with other brands of paint/primer.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:46 PM   #12
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Ok now I am kinda confused haha, but thats probably good. I definetily get the going panel by panel idea...makes perfect sense to me. Here is where I am confused, What is more economical:rattle can self etch(what is a specific brand etc?) or just plain old automotive primer out of a gun(or does it have to be special primer?). I do have a cheap gun that I can use probably. I am not doing any of the priming really as the body shop will do all of that, I just need to make sure by body filller doesn't degrade and surface rust doesn't begin.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:29 PM   #13
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Maybe check out YouTube for some visuals . You can get the metal etching primer in a ready to spray can which unless you devote the gun just for primer you need a certain tip and gun for different material . Get the msds stuff from your paint store and ask questions.
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:19 PM   #14
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I usually just hit it with some rattle can self etching primer from duplicolor. Especially hit the bare metal spots, Duplicolor does ok and iv'e never had a problem with it conflicting with other brands of paint/primer.
I am glad you chimed in RiP. Did you use that self-etch primer on the body work on your BKO? When did you send it to MAACO and is the paint holding up?

Thanks
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:35 PM   #15
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Self-etching primer is NOT waterpoof. IIRC I read where if it gets wet it loses it's properties.

You can buy a Devilbiss starter "kit" with multiple orifices (tips) to shoot a variety. They are fairly cheap. look around, other brands may be cheaper and decent enough.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/dv...FQJx4AodZCwAXw

Bug bombing a whole car is expensive and IMO a waste of time. I've done it...in my youth and the quality of the job isn't worth what you think you save. Might just as well brush or roller it. (seriously - Google the technique) It's so much easier to pull a trigger and shoot paint. Just my .02.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:47 PM   #16
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Heck, if it's a one-time use, you might look into THIS ONE from Harbor Freight. Cheap and has decent reviews.
It's old technology, gets overlooked, but it still works.

I have several cheap guns and they served me well for thick primers.

Could also use this later on for painting the house!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:30 PM   #17
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go to your local jobber (paint store, i prefer PPG or sherwin williams) and get some epoxy primer, and its catalyst. Put a thin coat UNDER your filler (body filler, unless your using fiber glass such as duraglass, ARENT water proof. moisture from application can become trapped and start fresh rust. a light epoxy primer coat will seal and protect the underside of your filler.

Also alot of people know dont this, but if you then spray epoxy primer through a nice 1.2 or 1.3 tip, and reduce it down about 2X as much as called for, you can use it as a sealer over your primer. 2 birds with one stone. IF you dont want to go that route i have had REALLY good results with eastwood brand body filler, its an etching body filler, with corrosion protection built in.

Personally, i just spray epoxy primer, then mud, primer, dry sand with 320 to get rid of orange peel, then grab the 600 and wet sand to perfection.

When checking to see when you are done wet sanding for a perfect substrate for your color, i like to use wax and grease remover, gives the panel a nice wet *shine* and you can see any low spots or ripples indicating the need for more sanding. i THINK for PPG its 859, sherwin williams is FT200. Good stuff, and not overly expensive!

and the glazing putty mentioned above by many, works REALLY well for getting rid of the hard lines around the edges of multiple filler coats. I always hit anything i mud with a skim coat of glaze. BLOW OFF YOUR MUD before using a glazing putty, or finishing putty, however you want to word it. Dust WILL clog pin holes. Making you think your ready for primer, your spray the primer and the guns blows out the dust for you, and you end up re-sanding and glazing the pin holes!
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:04 PM   #18
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I disagree . Again TMI for a novice and a short cut won't do anything for longevity and tell me one factory paint job that is done that way ? You don't put "filler" of over anything but bare metal, maybe glaze a small spot . I've done complete custom paint work for years and been certified through several courses . He wanted a simple answer to get it from a-b . Compressor , air pressure ,temp , filter,locking up primer in the gun and wasting money. Too many variables for a novice. Rust is his least issue.
Did anyone read the original post? Get a closed trailer and drive it to the shop.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:18 PM   #19
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Exactly.... Which is why I recommended the self etch primer rattle can, as OP stated he had no experience with spray gun to shoot an epoxy primer or filler primer.

Work one panel at a time when your done with filler get a decent coat if self etch primer over it. It'll be just fine. Let the painter spray epoxy and filler primer.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:48 PM   #20
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I disagree . Again TMI for a novice and a short cut won't do anything for longevity and tell me one factory paint job that is done that way ? You don't put "filler" of over anything but bare metal, maybe glaze a small spot . I've done complete custom paint work for years and been certified through several courses . He wanted a simple answer to get it from a-b . Compressor , air pressure ,temp , filter,locking up primer in the gun and wasting money. Too many variables for a novice. Rust is his least issue.
Did anyone read the original post? Get a closed trailer and drive it to the shop.
Not sure with what or whom you disagree. He asked for suggestions and he got them. He mentioned he had a cheap gun....etc. so, the way I interpreted it, he showed an interest in learning. Shooting a decent epoxy primer isn't all that difficult, and it certainly will get him closer to what he needs better than rattle can-ing a whole truck with etching primer. All he has to do is follow the suggestions on the MSDS as far as the settings. Not rocket science. When it comes to spraying, it's basically all technique anyway. I don't know a painter or bodyman that hasn't screwed something up and had to re-do it. It's part of the learning process no matter how you learn. He's doing it for himself and not a customer.

I read his original post. I also noticed he's in Michigan and it's winter. So rust IS an issue.

Personally, I don't care if he does it or pays to have it done. He asked for advice, so I added my experience.

I would disagree with your statement about body filler and bare metal. I had heard the disagreement so many times that I called a major mfg of fillers. They recommended application of their filler over primer and only over bare metal in very small areas.

I'm not sure what you mean by "shortcut" and "what factory paint job is done that way?" Could you explain what you mean?
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