best auto primer over old paint

Best Auto Primer Over Old Paint In 2023 – Automotive Primer

Are you planning on painting your car? Have you decided to do it yourself in the garage?

Then let us tell you about the best auto primer over old paint that you can use to prep the surface of your car.

Priming helps to bond the new paint over old paint. They prevent rusting and increases drying speed.

Without a good primer, the new paint will not stick well to the car, and the paint might soak in, giving your car a dull look.

Selecting the right primer is important to reaping all the benefits from it.

Read through our list of the best auto primers out there that’ll make your painting session much easier and more fruitful.
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Top 5 Best Auto Primer over Old Paint Reviews

Let’s dive into the in-depth reviews of the best auto primer. We’re sure you’ll find the right one for you among these five primers.

1. Dupli-Color BSP100 Gray Paint Shop Finish System Primer

The first one on our list is the Dulpi-Color BSP 100 primer. With 60 years of experience, Dulpi-Color is well-known for its perfectionism in product innovation.

This Paint Shop gray primer is a lacquer finish system perfect for application on any car, truck, or motorcycle.

A lacquer finish gives a thick coating and can fill up any imperfections that the surface might have, however small it is.

When you have a lacquer finish primer, you can be assured that the surface will be stone chip resistant. It means that if a stone hits your car, the primer can absorb the impact and protect the substrate.

This primer will provide you with a coating that can be sanded and buffed properly so that the sprayed-on color coat will have a smooth and shiny finish.

There’s no need for any mixing or reducing as it’s pre-reduced and completely ready to be sprayed on. This will save you not only the extra cost for materials but your valuable time and effort as well.

Since there’s no re-coat window, you can apply any additional coats at any time. All you’ll have to do is prep and prepare your automobile, spray the primer, then color and finally a clear coat and you’re done.

Highlighted Features

  • Lacquer finish allows rust-resistance and a thick coating
  • Preps surface better bonding with a color coat
  • Pre-reduced so no need for any mixing
  • No window required for re-coating

2. Rust-Oleum Automotive Primer Spray Paint

This next one is a versatile product. It is a dry and wet sandable primer, which means you can sand over this primer to achieve a smooth finish, which will, in turn,

give you a uniformity of the color coat. And it’ll also allow you to sand dry or wet according to your preference and need.

The Rust-Oleum primer can be sprayed on different types of surfaces. This isn’t only for auto priming or only for metal surfaces,

which is what makes this primer so versatile. You can use this primer on fiberglass, wood, and metal.

One quality that is always sought after for auto primer is the rust-resistance capability because of obvious reasons.

You need to be sure that your car, truck, or motorcycle will not rust because of rain or any wet surface. This primer has been designed with a technology known as Stops Rust.

It prevents rust on automobiles and contributes to long-lasting protection for your vehicle.

And one can of spray is able to cover 15 sq ft. It’ll dry super fast, and you can re-coat in 10 minutes. Once it’s dry, you can wet sand it for a smoother, shinier finish of the paint.

The bottle of spray has any-angle spray featuring a comfort tip that allows you flexibility when working with it and saves you from finger fatigue.

Highlighted Features

  • Can be used on wood, metal, and fiberglass
  • Oil-based primer allows a smoother and more uniform color coat
  • Gives a strong rust-resistant base coat
  • Inverted spray feature makes spraying more comfortable

3. Rust-Oleum Automotive 2-in-1 Filler & Sandable Primer

The number one bestseller on automotive priming is our next pick, the Rust-Oleum 260510, 2 in 1 filler, and sandable primer.

When you have a filler primer, you can be assured that all the small imperfections and tiny pits and dents on the surface of the automobile will be filled.

These imperfections are caused by sanding and rust. Unless they’re filled by a filler, you won’t get a smooth and uniform topcoat.

This one can also be used on the various types of surfaces: wood, fiberglass, and metal. Its Stops Rust technology will prevent rust from forming on the body of your car or truck.

This primer base is compatible with most brands of lacquer or enamel finish of the automotive industry.

Allow it to dry, which won’t take too long, and you can wet and dry sand it or put a top coat on it.

The manufacturer does recommend waiting 2-4 hours before attempting to dry sand it for best results, but you won’t need to wait that long for a topcoat or wet sanding it.

It covers a good 10 sq ft with each bottle that has a comfort tip with a much wider finger pad. This allows for much easier sprayings and prevents finger fatigue.

The advanced system of spray, which includes any angle spraying leads to effortless spraying and coating.

Highlighted Features

  • Stops Rust technology prevents rust forming on the surface
  • 2 in 1 mixture of both filler and sandable primer
  • Filler makes sure the tiniest imperfections are filled to allow
  • Any angle spray and comfort tip makes spraying easy and quick

4. Rust-Oleum Automotive Primer 12 oz, Flat Light Gray

Rust-Oleum 2081830 primer is another great option when you want to prepare your car for painting. This primer will make sure that the color coat is of premium quality.

This particular primer is perfect for any heavy-duty base work. It’ll give you unrivaled corrosion and rust resistance.

Once you spray your vehicle with this base coat primer, you can be assured of its top-quality weatherproofing.

No matter which brand of lacquer or enamel you’re planning to use, this primer will work well with most automotive brands.

It’ll give you an optimum level of thick coating for your paint to bond beautifully with it. And make your finish coating silky smooth to the touch and shiny.

There’s not a lot of waiting for it to dry before you can put on a topcoat or start the sanding. When it dries, you can wet sand it to get that perfect surface ready for paint.

The bottle features a nozzle that can spray from any angle. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to reach those difficult corners and crevices.

You can spray upside-down if you need to with this sprayer. The wide finger pad and the comfort tip enhances the spraying experience as it reduces effort and fatigue from spraying for too long continuously.

Highlighted Features

  • Rust and corrosion resistance technology for better durability
  • Ideal for heavy-duty auto priming work
  • Wet sanding can be done once dried
  • Comfort tip and any angle spraying reduces tiredness

5. SpeedoKote SMR-210/211 – Automotive High Build 2K Urethane Primer

The last one on our list of the best auto primer is a 2K urethane primer, which is different from the other types of primers we reviewed.

The advantages of using urethane primers have no end. If you use a urethane primer your paint will be just as glossy, there’ll be no swelling, shrinkage, cracks or delamination on the surface.

This Speedokote urethane primer is of a high build, and the kit comes in a gallon and a quart of activator.

It will produce the perfect surface for you to sand smoothly and easily. The adhesion created by the urethane primer will allow the paint to bond beautifully and without any imperfections.

Another great thing about it is that it dries fast so you can re-coat without waiting for too long.

Priming is of the utmost importance when painting over old paints, and many experts will tell you how much better urethane primers are over lacquer primers.

They’re much stronger and have more solids than lacquer primer, which means that you’ll need to use half of the amount of lacquer primer to finish the job.

2K urethane primers are well-known for having good sandable properties, faster curing time, and having a high build. You’ll need to mix with an activator in a 4:1 ratio and will not require any reducer.

Highlighted Features

  • Highly effective urethane primer
  • Guarantees no swelling or shrinkage and no cracks or delamination
  • Creates easily sandable surface
  • Will require less amount than lacquer primer

Things to Consider Before Buying Auto Primer over Old Paint

Now that you know what the best primers for using over old paint are, you have to figure out which one is the perfect fit for you.

You need to consider the following things before you can make a decision about which one to buy.

Ease of Usage

Repainting cars is a critical and time-consuming task. So make sure that the primer doesn’t require too many steps for preparation.

It should be straightforward and easy. Choose a primer that is pre-mixed and pre-reduced so that you don’t have to spend time to measure accordingly and mix in different solutions.

Type of Primer

There are different types of primers for different types of surfaces. Even just for metal surfaces, there is a variety of primers available,

for example, lacquer, epoxy, and urethane primers. All these have their own benefits and drawbacks.

They perform differently, and you need to choose the one that is the most appropriate for you.

We suggest you do a bit of research into which type you need for the kind of work you’ll do. Then you can choose a primer that’s most suitable for your paint job.


Primers are made for various types of surfaces like wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. It’s important to make sure you’re getting the one compatible with the surface you’re working one.

Otherwise, you’ll end up with a primer that will not adhere properly.

Rust and Corrosion Resistant

One of the properties of a primer is that it’s supposed to prevent rust and corrosion from developing on the surface you’ll apply it to.

When choosing a primer for your automobile, make sure you look for one that has highly effective rust and corrosion preventive capabilities.

This will make sure that your vehicle will not form rust or get corroded even when it’s around wet surfaces.

Spray or Paint?

Primers come in spray bottles and paint buckets. Usually, the primers in spray bottles come pre-mixed, so they don’t have to be mixed with any solutions to prepare for the priming.

Not to mention, it’s easier to apply with a spray bottle.

The ones in paint buckets will have to be painted on with a brush, which is more time-consuming and tiring.

If, however, you prefer to use a brush for better control over the coating, then go ahead and choose one that comes in paint buckets.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you put primer over old paint?

If you see that the current paint is falling, then you can surely use the primer. Otherwise, there’s no need. But make sure you have done the sanding properly before using primer.

2. Can you spray epoxy primer over old paint?

Though it’s not recommended, you can

3. How long can you leave car primer on before painting?

You should wait at least 7 days. The ideal period would be 30 days.

4. Can I use white paint as a primer?

You shouldn’t try to use paint as a primer.

5. Do I have to sand epoxy primer before painting?

It’s not absolutely necessary.

6. What automotive primer should i use over old paint?

Don’t waste your time and money. choose from our recommended list.

Final Words

There you have it! Our recommendations for the best auto primer over old paint are out there. Priming is an essential part of painting automobiles and needs careful research.

Go over our extensive review section and buying guide to find the perfect one for you.