At ERAPaints, we many times are asked how to prep a panel for painting and clearcoat. We sell what we feel is the best automotive spray paint around, however if you don’t prep your surface correctly paint of any quality will NOT spray on and adhere properly. So spend a couple of minutes to read an intro to proper prep procedures. While you’re at it, please visit out youtube site where you’ll find lots of prepping & painting videos, along with a comprehensive catalog of How to Find Paint Code videos on your vehicle. Subscribe us at https://youtube.com/erapaints; you’ll be happy you took a look!
First, before doing any bondo-ing, sanding, priming or painting, you should always thoroughly CLEAN the surface. Wash the area with kitchen dish soap (Dawn or similar) and water (rinse thoroughly, dry completely). This process removes dust and dirt from the paint surface.
Then use wax/grease remover (rubbing alcohol is an OK subsitute) to remove oils, grease, wax, tar, bugs and other contaminates. Simply put: automotive spray paint or primer will not stick to a contaminated surface – you will end up with fish eyes, paint flaking, etc if your surface is not property prepped. Even the oils from your hands will contaminate paint surfaces, so you should either wash your hands thoroughly before starting, or wear nitrile gloves. Paint does not react well to ANY type of oils and greases. Paint surfaces can also be impacted by contaminates in the air. So never be spraying lubricants like WD-40 or silicon any near your project area – you would be surprised at how such particles suspended in the air can contaminate a paint surface!
Remember that a car paint spray can is pressurized as it comes out of the aerosol can. You’d be surprised at how much air it pushes, and this suspends dust particles in the air. Therefore be sure to sweep the concrete or floor before beginning work and either tape off tires & adjoining panels or wash the mud & dust off from them. You MUST clean off tar or any other types of grime. The paint surface must be COMPLETELY free of any type of contaminates.