How to Choose The Right Primer & When To Use Each Type of Paint - Kevin Tetz at Eastwood

Primer is the foundation for your vehicle’s paint job


Understanding the different types of primers available and when and where to use each, will ensure your paint job is built on a solid foundation. From epoxy primer, self etch primer, high build surface primer, to ultra build polyester primer, Eastwood has the primer you need to get your vehicle’s panels blocksanded laser straight. Click play on the video above to get more information.


DTM (Direct To Metal) primer offering excellent adhesion and sealing properties. Great for after media blasting or paint stripping.

Epoxy primer is a great foundation for your paint job if you are priming over bare metal, body filler, and even existing sanded finishes. Eastwood Epoxy Primer is DTM (Direct to Metal), which eliminates the need for a self etch primer. When thinned 20%, Eastwood epoxy primer makes a great sealer coat as well. Epoxy primer can be painted over, but is usually primed over with a build primer such as a urethane primer or ultra high build polyester primer.

Prep: Epoxy primer should be sprayed over a freshly media blasted surface or 180 - 400 Grit sanded surface to give proper adhesion.

Touchup or No Paint Gun?: Our 2K Aerospray cans are great for small projects and touchups where you don't want to drag out your gun and fire up the air compressor. You get the benefits of a true 2-part epoxy without the mess.

Existing Finishes: Epoxy primer is perfect for paint jobs over existing lacquer or enamel finishes. The epoxy primer will create a barrier to keep topcoats from reacting to your old paint. Sand existing finish with 180 - 440 Grit and shoot 2-3 coats of epoxy to seal away the old finish.

Self Etching Primer

Traditional DTM primer where acid in the primer provides the extra bite to give you a solid layer to build on.

Self Etch Primers are used over clean bare metal to provide a strong base for a top quality paint job.

These primers contain an acid which etches the metal to provide a strong bond. Use self etch primers on steel, stainless steel, and aluminum panels. After applying self etch primer, you will typically follow up with a urethane primer to provide a high build surface which can then be block sanded smooth.

Self-Etching Primers

Self-Etching Primers - Types & Applications - Weld Thru & High Build

Urethane Primer

A sandable primer which allows for leveling out imperfections typically sprayed over epoxy or self etching primer.

Urethane Primer, a start to a perfect finish.

Eastwood Urethane Primers offer good build characteristics, which allows you to block sand your vehicle’s body smooth. Urethane primer can be applied over epoxy primer, self etch primer or sanded existing finishes. Once sanded, urethane primer makes a great foundation for single stage urethane and basecoat paints.

2k Urethane Primer

How To Choose Primers: 2k Urethane Primer Surfacer Explained by Kevin Tetz

Polyester Primers

Think "sprayable body filler"... The trick the pros use to get laser straight body panels and a killer paint job in the end.

Sprayable Body Filler.

Polyester Primer Surfacers feature ultra high-build characteristics, which allow you to achieve laser straight panels. Also referred to as spray on body filler, polyester primer surfacers have a high solids content, which provides little to no shrinking….even when coats are stacked for high build. If your project has wavy panels or you are looking for a show-quality finish, you need polyester primer surfacer.

Contour Polyester Primer

How To Choose Primers: Contour Polyester Primer Explained by Kevin Tetz

Picking the right Primer

How to Choose The Right Primer & When To Use Each Type of Paint - Kevin Tetz at Eastwood