Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Primer Sealer

Time to spray some paint. Now is a good time to remind you that if you have any showing etch primer on your car, put some regular primer over it or it can jack up your paint. I didn't interpret this from the Product Data Sheet correctly and it caused some minor problems which should have been major problems.
I had toyed with the idea of spraying my color directly over the 2k filler primer, but decided to follow direction instead. The specs call to have orange painted over a dark undercoat. This means I first have to paint the car black. There is an extra cost for extra paint, but the plus is that the black primer sealer locks in all the bad stuff from earlier paint, and OEM factory paint, and gives a dark background for the color to luminesce over. This also lets you spray less color to get your desired results, which should save cost in the long run. (ie, one coat black + 3 coats orange is cheaper than 0 coats black + 5 coats orange.)
My paint shop recommended using the Dimension 2K Acrylic Urethane Sealer in the color of black (DS695, $29 per quart).

This requires a hardener (DH658, $12 per cup). This is mixed 4:1, or one quart sealer to 1 cup of hardener.

I bought two of each, just in case. (add $82 to sealer cost)

I used compressed air to dust off the car, then went over the whole thing with wax and grease remover, then used a tack rag after getting my paint mixed and right before spraying.

I started spraying it on, and it is pretty thin, but was a very deep inky black. Spraying a medium coat, I was able to get full coverage with nothing showing through from the lower coats. See the previous post on dealing with orange-peel because I started with a bad fan spray pattern.
Here you can see the top of the car and you can make out the orange-peel very clearly.

Here you can see the whole car and how well this covers up all the previous inconsistencies in the color of previous coats. I also ran all around the car while the paint was wet and shiny to see if there were any noticeable dents or dings. The wet black is like a mirror, and I was very happy with my body work. There is one dip just behind the sunroof I could feel but didn't repair that was visible. And on tiny spot along the ridge of the driver side body line that was a bit flat, but acceptable.

Here you can see the texture of the orange-peel is gone now that I've fixed my spray pattern.

I haven't seen a Porsche 944 in black and was really impressed. I had half a mind to just stop painting and keep the car black. In this next pic, you can just see in a reflection some shiny-ness difference where I had left some exposed bondo on the rear fender, and there were a few spots where it was more matte over the spray-can etch-primer. But it looked great. 

Here you can see some of the parts I sprayed.

These mirrors were the last thing I sprayed and you can see how glassy and smooth this paint layed down. Much better than the orange-peel from the beginning.

Bumpers and spoiler. I decided to put the bumpers up on boxes. You can balance them on their edges, or on the mounting posts, but every time I did this earlier in the project, they were always getting tipped over and falling down. It isn't worth the risk of screwing up brand new paint.

You can see I've got the spoiler on saw-horses. I also have a board under it so I can get all sides of the front lip that would otherwise be resting on the sawhorses. 

Using my first Quart+Cup of Sealer, I was able to almost paint the whole main car body. I could have stretched it out and done the whole body (but not the parts and bumpers), but my gun was sputtering on the last 5% of the car, and I wanted it to look good. I broke open the second quart, and only needed about half of it to finish the back of the car and all parts and bumpers. This leaves me a half quart to spray the door jambs and edges of the sunroof, headlights and hood later on.

This has to flash dry for 30 mins which is enough time for me to mix up the color paint, which will be the next post!

In retrospect, I really wish that I would have left the small space between the door and quarter-panel window unmasked. After applying primer-sealer, I should have painted that spot with the black trim paint, and let it dry, then masked it off. Instead I waited until color was all done, and then had to go back and carefully mask the color off. It would have been easier to have just done it now.

Total time spent: 2 hours (0.5 hr prep, 1.5 painting.)
Total money spent: $82 (2k sealer and hardener - 2.5 quarts total mixed)


  1. Ben,

    It has been a while since you have made any update. I have just found your blog and thanks for posting it!! We are going to paint our 944 this summer and your work will be a great help.


    1. Yeah, I kept putting off taking the "all done" pictures until it was sunny. But I live in Portland, OR and it hasn't been sunny for a few years. ;-)

      I'll see about getting some pictures up.

      Oh, and keep in mind that the 944 body is steel, not aluminum, as I supposed it was in some of my earlier posts. Any acid-etch you use should be for steel, and not the aluminum-specific products that I used in my project.