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Primer Sanding

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  • Member since
    October, 2017
Primer Sanding
Posted by JeroenM3 on Saturday, October 21, 2017 2:20 PM

I'm currently doing a first time "proper" paintjob on my model build (only my 3rd model so far ever). Ive done a initial sanding of the model with 600 grid in order to get the primer to "stick" to the model. The primer i use is "Tamiya fine surface primer". 

The question i have is as follows: do you guys sand between primer and painting? ifso with what grid do you guys usually do so? ive read people do 400 grid, but i find 600 already pretty rough for a plastic model (its only that i can barely see what it does because the model comes in white so i need to tilt it in light in order to see it properly). Any tips appreciated!

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: Midwest
Posted by High octane on Saturday, October 21, 2017 2:47 PM

I just painted a model body the other day that was primered with Tamiya White Fine Surface Primer and I didn't sand the primer at all. The paint came out lookin' great. When using a heavier or primer that is more course, you need to sand it lightly with 1000 grit.

High octane

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Saturday, October 21, 2017 11:15 PM

Yup, I lightly sand primer with 1000 grit to smooth out the surface and get rid of any small bumps or dust trapped in the primer.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
       - Antoine de Saint-Exepury

  • Member since
    November, 2004
  • From: Winnipeg Canada
Posted by Wayne Farmer on Sunday, October 22, 2017 12:55 AM


Yup, I lightly sand primer with 1000 grit to smooth out the surface and get rid of any small bumps or dust trapped in the primer.

 I don't usually sand my primer but I did with 1500 on my last paint job..Color coat came out smoother and later coats only got better..It was a solid color..I then very lightly did 2000 wet before the clear..Came out real good..Primer is Plasticote light grey and color coat was Duplicolor Perfect Match..Clear is Duplicolor Acrylic Enamel(smells and drys like lacquer) in the tall black label can..I then polish with Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0 or Cleaner then finish with Meguiar's Gold Class Paste..Light coat leave dry to haze then wipe off..

  • Member since
    February, 2016
Posted by Plowboy on Sunday, October 22, 2017 12:58 PM

Always sand primer before paint with 1000 grit. Sanding serves two purposes. One, to smooth the primer. Two, to make the paint stick to the primer. Sanding is the most important step to getting a nice paint job.

  • Member since
    September, 2017
Posted by Big Gary on Monday, October 23, 2017 8:36 AM

After priming I check for defects then sand with a blue paper towel.   It smooths the surface of primer bumps and still gives good base for paint.  Cheaper than 1000 grit sandpaper.

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 10:25 AM

I wet sand virtuially every coat I lay down from primer on out if I'm serious about getting a super smooth paint job. The key exceptions is when I'm doing metallic paint layers (metallic paint jobs and metallic undercoats for camndy and 'flake effects), where sanding the finish kills the metallic effect. There are too many projects I've done where skipping this critical procedure has meant mediocre paint jobs.

This includes the final primer coat. I work the body prep using primer as a fill and guide coat. When everything seems OK I shoot a final primer coat in the approriate shade and give it a light smoothing as described by the others above. I find anything 800 grit or finer will work, including relatively rough cloths like paper towels. The main point is to knock the tops off the grain in the primer without polishing it so smooth that it lacks "tooth" for the color coats. As I said above, I progressively wet sand my color coats, too, using increasingly fine grits as I work up through my color and clear layers. But it always starts from that smoothed, though far from polished, final primer coat.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    October, 2017
Posted by JeroenM3 on Thursday, October 26, 2017 8:15 AM

Thx all, did the primer sanding with a 1000 grit.. however it seems ive missed 2 small spots on the whole car...

I circled the spots i found...

I feel like i must point out though, that this is the first model ive actually propperly done and taken time for (did 1 other build ever before this, just whole interior black, and exterior red, with paint from some local building store). Compared to that, this is a whole step forward!

Still needs clear coat though!

  • Member since
    December, 2017
Posted by modelbuilder1 on Friday, December 29, 2017 11:06 PM

A lot of guys will spray one coat of light gray primer and one coat of black primer, or red primer, or dark gray. The idea of using two colors will become apparent when you sand, high spots will quickly sand through while low spots will remain. Much easier to see, especially when doing body work and custom work.


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