DIY paint jobs can be not only very fun and customizable but also very cost-efficient while allowing you to let your creativity flow.
And when it comes to ensuring a smooth application that will last very long, nothing beats a good primer. You need good preparation for the paint for it to apply well and last long.
In this article, I have piled up a list of the top products for the best auto primer in a spray can and reviewed them with Highlighted Features.
Amongst the many kinds of primers you can find on the marketplace, the spray variety is the easiest to apply and use, which is why they are very popular too.
So, let’s get into it, shall we?
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Top 5 Best Auto Primer In A Spray Can Reviews
Interestingly enough, all five of our listed products are from Rust-Oleum. You may ask why.
Well, Rust-Oleum is very affordable, provides you with really good performance, and, best of all, widely available. You can’t really go wrong with them. Now, moving on to the list–
1. Rust-Oleum 249058 Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover, 12 Fl Oz
Our very first pick is ideal for a wide range of surfaces – be it wood, metal, plaster, ceramic, or even masonry.
The formula is oil-based with a low odor, and very durable too. It is made to prevent chips and make the paint last for a long time.
Users seem to be loving how easy it is to use and the good adhesion powers. It is also quite affordable; you really don’t have to spend a fortune on this.
One issue with this is it does not work the best on steel surfaces. It does the job, sure, but there are other better options available for a similar price when it comes to painting steel.
Regardless, this primer is fantastic for wood, plastic, terra cotta, etc. It also covers up rust wonderfully and gives you a blank slate to paint.
So, if you have any old rusty piece of décor or furniture lying around, get a can of this & some spray paints and channel your inner DIY god/goddess!
Sanding this primer is also no biggie and very simple. It will not misbehave if you try to sand this primer.
Additionally, you also do not really need to use any polyurethane with this primer because it will hold up quite well on its own.
- Works on a wide range of surfaces
- Easy to use
- White color acts as a good background for paints
- Will last a long time
2. Automotive 2 in 1 Filler and Sandable Primer Gray Spray Paint, Cars, Trucks
The Rust-Oleum 260510 is another excellent choice because apart from wood and metal, this one is also suitable for fiberglass surfaces. Compared to the first one, this one also dries faster, in only 10 minutes.
This primer is also a filler, which means it will fill in any cracks or unevenness on the surface it is being used on.
Moreover, you can also use this primer as a topcoat, not just as a primer. The 260510 also sands really well and gives you a very smooth surface to work on.
Users who work with 3D printer parts seem to be loving this primer for their works as it is perfect for the 3D models.
One small issue is despite being fillable, this primer can only cover very small gaps and may need multiple coats to cover something totally.
However, a few coats work really well, and you can’t get any better job at this price. Another issue users seem to be having is if this primer is used on a large surface, it does not dry as quickly.
Some users also reported that this primer runs very fast and gets finished quicker.
Overall, it works really well as a primer and holds up the paint well even after washes.
- In addition to wood and metal, it works on fiberglass as well
- Dries in a short time
- Fills in imperfections
3. Rust-Oleum, Gray, GrayRust-Oleum Automotive Filler Primer Spray Paint
The 7582838 primer is a tough one – it will not only withstand weather conditions and frequent washing really well, but it also protects your piece from rusting & corroding while doing so.
It is promised to give twice the amount of protection a paint alone can give you.
There are no accounts of this primer running too fast or dripping. It gives a very smooth and even coverage. Furthermore, the nozzle stays clean and does not get gunky.
Some users also reported them working really well for DIY car painting jobs. Because it’s durable, the color of the car does not chip off even when exposed to harsh weather conditions as well as regular cleaning.
One minor issue people seem to be having is that the can is a bit larger as it holds 15 ounces of product, which might make it tough to get in small spaces.
But the bigger size is helpful if you need to cover more surface. When dry, this one will give you one of the smoothest finishes you can achieve.
In summary, this is an excellent primer that gives you an even coverage, does not run or drip, dries fast and well, gives a smooth finish, and even fills in small ridges –
it does it all! It might just be the best auto primer in a spray can you can get.
- Very durable and likely to last for a long period
- No runs or drips
- Ideal for cars
- Offers a smooth and even coverage
4. Automotive Filler Primer Gray Spray Paint, Oil based paint
Our fourth pick is also a filler primer made to work on metal, wood, and fiberglass. It resists rusts really well and fills in minor imperfections on the surface.
But unlike the second one in this list, this one needs a separate topcoat with it.
The can is made with any-angle technology, and you can spray while holding the can in any direction – even upside down! 2 to 3 coats are needed to fill in the imperfections mostly.
It also sands well – you can sand this primer for a smooth edge, but make sure it’s fully dry before you do.
This primer works really well with 3D printed materials – which is why it is popular with 3D printers. While it does a good job filling in small imperfections, it will not work as well on large areas of rust or corrosions.
One thing to be aware of is that it does not always give the most even coverage, there may be some bumps here and there. Nevertheless, that is easily fixable with a light sanding.
Overall, this primer is a classic that does the job it is supposed to.
- Any-angle technology
- Fills in well
- Sandable; gives a very smooth surface when sanded
- Works well with 3D models
- Does not work on large rust or erosions
5. Rust-Oleum 2081830 Stops Rust Automotive Primer 12 Fl Oz
Our last primer is made specifically for automobiles and vehicles, so you know this one is going to be very durable and long-lasting.
The color is also a very good choice because you can go with any color on top of it, and it will blend seamlessly. Adhesion and drying time is also very good.
This primer gives you very even coverage and does not require too much sanding. It is both dry and wet sandable. Although small, this primer does not run out too quickly and actually lasts a while.
The spray pattern can be a bit narrow for some users, specifically if you are covering a large surface. As mentioned earlier, its adhesion is very well praised as it really makes the color stick.
One problem some users seem to be having is blotchy sprays and uneven coverage, but that is not a recurring issue and can be fixed with sanding.
There have also been reports of the nozzle getting blocked with dried-up products. In summary, it does its job fairly well despite having some minor fixable issues.
- Flat light gray color acts as a good base for other colors
- Specifically made for vehicles and automobiles
- Excellent rust prevention
- Works well with clay & vinyl
- Narrow spray area for large surfaces
Things to Consider Before Buying auto primer in a spray can
There are certain things you need to consider before buying a spray primer. They are discussed below–
The Surface Characteristics
The surface you are going to use the primer on is of utmost importance and should be the first thing you consider.
Check if it is ferrous or non-ferrous, and the type of the surface (wood/metal/steel/plastic/glass/masonry). Then, choose the primer best suited for the surface you will use it on.
Some primers work great on some specific types of surfaces, and some don’t, so check out a few reviews too.
Different primers do different jobs – some are made to withstand extreme weather conditions, some are made to fill in small unevenness, some are made to be long-lasting; the list goes on.
Consider what you want the most from the primer you are going to be buying, and look for primers of that specific category.
Some primers also require a top coat to go on top of the paint to get the most use out of it, while others do a good enough job on their own.
Interestingly enough, some primers can also double as topcoats, just like the 260510 from our list.
Especially with spray primers, you must ensure that your workspace is well ventilated, and any chemical fumes will be blown away.
Additionally, you should be using an appropriate mask because sprayed primer can more easily enter your breath than traditional ones.
Surface Exposure and Washing
Is the surface you are going to paint going to be exposed to weather – and bad weather conditions or frequent washing?
If that is the case, then you will need primers that can hold their own against water and weather. You would also want a primer that can prevent corrosion and rust.
Amount of Surface
Calculate the surface area you will need to cover and how many square ft does the spray allow and then buy accordingly.
The last thing you would want is to run out of primer and halting your project till you get another one. All of the Rust-Oleum primers are very affordable, so it does not hurt to have a little extra.
Size of the Can
If the surface you are going to paint has many hard-to-reach areas, consider getting a primer in a small can to reach those spots. Otherwise, if your can is too big, it is going to be a hassle to reach those areas.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the best auto primers in spray cans:
1. Can I skip the primer and go straight to painting?
Yes, but it is not advised. Using only paint without a primer will give you an uneven and chalky or blotchy finish, and the paint will not hold up and may chip away within a few weeks.
2. Is regular primer sandable, or do I need a specific sandable one?
You can sand regular primer if needed, but regular primers are not filling and will not fill in any imperfections on the surface. For that, a sandable and filler primer will give you the best result.
3. Which one is better – spray primer or traditional primer?
Both do the job, but spray primers tend to be much easier to use as well as cheaper to get. On the contrary, it is easier to reach tight spots with regular primer and a brush. Spray primers also tend to be thinner than regular ones.
4. Does the color of the primer matter?
It depends on the color you are going to paint over the primer. A white background makes bright colors really pop, while a gray one blends in effortlessly as a background shade. Pick the primer based on the color you will be using.
5. Does the primer work with acrylic paint?
From our list, the 249279 works well with both traditional acrylic paints as well as spray acrylic paints.
6. Can I use the primer with food utensils?
Even if some of these may work, the answer is no. It is best to get a food-safe primer for anything you are going to be using for food.
I cannot recommend only one best auto primer in a spray can out of the list as the best one for you boils down to your specific needs.
If you need something very durable against harsh weather and regular washing, get the 7582838. Want superior adhesion? Get 2081830.
Need one to use for fibreglasses? Your pick is the 260510 or 249279. As I have stated, the best one for you will depend on your needs.
That’s all! Thanks for reading.