What liquid primer would you recommend?

I want to paint extensive parts of the body - perhaps all of it, before I’m done, if I decide I want it even. I find 1 liquid primer at AutoZone. It comes in a gallon, only. The one person who mentioned using a roller (everyone else sprayed) said he had to thin it 3:1 - 4 gallons! What kind of coverage do you get? The paints I buy for my home claim a gallon covers 400 ft² but I get nothing close to that.

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Are you sure it’s 3 gallons of thinner to 1 gallon paint ?

More likely 1 gallon paint and 1/3 gallon thinner.

is this what you are using? i found it on autozone website.
IF it is it says no mixing or reducing required.


Is this your truck or the Corolla? My guess is that either way you aren’t looking for showroom paint. You could use metal primer from the home goods store in a rattle can. A light coat is all that is needed. You really only need about 0.0005” of primer. That’s how we did it at work. For comparison, each layer of top coat you put on should be about 0.005” thick. Surface preparation before priming is critical. Remove all the old paint, rust, and any other goobers on the surface. After getting all that off you should wipe the surface with a solvent wetted rag. Prime quickly after this is done. After priming, you have more time to put the top coat on. You are working against rust until the primer is on.

It baffles me to think of someone cutting it 3:1 and using a roller as that seems pretty thin.

With paint guns (both lacquer and enamel) I’ve always mixed it 50/50 which is the point it can easily drip off of a screwdriver blade.

Enamel over lacquer is ok; lacquer over enamel is going to be a huge problem.

Well, you got an old truck I don’t remember. I think I’d just use rust oleum primer and if there is an acceptable color coat. It will dull out sooner but geez. Or you can use por 15 on the rust and do a fog coat of primer before it dries so paint will stick. You could brush that at least. But man don’t use a roller. Get a $20 hvlp gun at hf and a cheap little compressor and one part at a time. The farm store sells I think it is byway 55 implement paint that is a little hardier. You can even rent a compressor cheap.

There is a YouTube somewhere of a guy that rolled on rstoleum. Hard to tell what it looked like at 20 feet. As a kid a guy down the street painted his hudson black with a brush. He was proud, we all laughed.

Do you even have a spray gun? I would reccomend sticking with the cans. You can get larger cans of primer than the little ones. Rustoleum may even work. Remember every minor impertfection looks 10x worse after you apply the paint you desire. We have some sponge painted plaster walls because of that!


Truck. I think @George_San_Jose1 has the Corolla.

Good guess!

I’ve been using Duplicolor spray cans for years. I want to try something different.

I’ve always done this.

I don’t think I’ve ever used lacquer on a car. I don’t think there’s any lacquer on mine now. How would I know?

'87 Toyota pickup

I don’t mind dull.

I had a brush in mind.


So I’ve learned. I’ve never used a sponge: what does that achieve?

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Sponge painting is adding additional paint of a different tint or color with a sponge, hides imperfections well.

Yes there is, because…

Duplicolor is laquer.

If it has worked for you in tne past, why change?

Why not brush paint it with Rustoleum primer? Then brush paint it with the Rustoleum color of your choice!


well, if you don’t care what your vehicle paint looks like and thinking of using a brush or roller. why not just spray it with bedliner. it comes in many different colors now and you won’t have to paint it again. plenty of videos online. basically, sand vehicle and spray.

If I recall, the large cans of duplicate color is lac but the small cans. Are enamel. At least the large cans will wrinkle some factory finishes. How do I know? Ok, roll on, brush on, spray can, or whatever you want to do, but don’t forget the coons tail. I’m walking away from this one.

That’s about what the guy with the video did.

They have spraying in mind.

It hasn’t worked. I’ve had to re-do problem spots repeatedly.

I do care what it looks like and I’m unhappy with the spray paint I’ve used. Those 2 videos of guys who painted their trucks with Rustoleum look like they got good results. Does it not last? Have some other problem?

I did that with the bed. There was only black then.

That was my question. I wondered if there wasn’t some paint more suited to cars. I’ve looked at the stuff at BigHomeStore - the same as those guys in the videos used.

:man_singer:‘So long - it’s been good to know ya!’

Single stage acrylic enamal paint from an auto paint store with a compatible primer. No clearcoat needed. The counter person can advise you. And they can mix any color you want. The cheapest will be fleet colors alreadg mixed. They expect it to be sprayed.

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If paint doesn’t stick it is almost always a surface preparation problem.


here are some videos that you might want to check out.

Touch Up Paint How To Videos | AutomotiveTouchup

If you are trying to stop rust, really nothing will stop it unless you remove and treat the rust. I’ve tried a lot from Eastwood to pour 15. Remove it, treat it, and use a two part epoxy primer sprayed is the best in my humble view. If not, all is temporary.

What is your goal here? If you just want to do a cheap paint job to extend the service life of the truck and don’t care what it looks like on an up close inspection, then sand down to bare metal and treat with phosphoric acid to make an iron phosphide coating that pretty much stops rust. The coat with an etching primer from a rattle can, Zinc Chromate would be the best if you can find it. Follow with a coat of paint from Walmart brand rattle cans. Best if you do a section at a time rather than the whole truck at once.

Edit: if you are just doing touch up, an etching primer preferably zinc chromate will work a lot better if surface prep isn’t in your wheel house.

BTW, I had a friend in College who started a frame off restoration of a 1937 Cord Custom Beverly while in High School. He panted the body, inside and out with rustoleum primer using a brush and roller, then followed with a top coat the same way. This was to preserve the body while doing the rest of the restoration. He was near completion and using it as a daily driver. Unfortunately he got hooked on drugs before completing it (and college) and wrecked it.

Thanks. That’s probably more professional than I’ll choose.

That’s what I would say too, but I’ve sanded down to bare metal, made shiny with steel wool, treated with phosphoric acid, washed with thinner, then primed twice and painted twice. Most places it works well. Some spots, which I think are more flexible, keep on failing. A bear attacked it 20 years ago, bent back the cowl vent louver so it almost touched itself.

I think I’m doing that.

How did it look? I won’t have a drug problem.