There is NO reason to sand etch. Self etching only needs to be applied to Bare Aluminum. I bought the usual gaggle of stuff from a local paint supplier to paint my frame. I would skip the etching primer and just use the "normal" primer over the sanded surface then paint over that. Dries to the touch in 10 minutes and to handle in 15-30 minutes. In the meantime, it’s important to talk to your paint dealer about the time window allowed between the primer and paint topcoat. Hope this helps, Mark applying the next coat. Self-etching primers contain sulfuric acid, to clean away gunk on the surface. I then use a primer sealer or epoxy primer to seal up the surface then apply the top coats. Some like S-W "Vinyl wash" clearly state DO NOT sand it. Just make sure you shoot the first coat of epoxy with NO reducer, just 1:1 with activator. Some are a few hours; others allow several days. Allow the final coat of Self Etching Primer to dry for a minimum of 3-4 hours before dry sandpaper. That etches into the metal and then the primer chemically bonds to it. This helps remove sanding scratches and small surface defects. When using epoxy primer it doesn't matter which goes first. The Self Etch Primer is a good first step for bare metal, or an Epoxy Primer. The reason being that the acid/chemicals in the etch primer "could" be trapped under the filler and cause it to break down if the filler is applied over the etch primer. Putting more of the primer won’t make it work better. Allow more time at cooler temperatures. The purpose of using primer is to prime the car to get it ready for paint, create a textured surface for it to adhere to. You can apply it over paint or bondo but it is only effective on bare metal. Self-etching primers have to have another primer over the top of them or the paint won’t adhere. Epoxy works pretty good over Acid etch as the epoxy does not tend to melt the etch like, say a 2k primer would, only issue will be is the etch is the weakest link but normally OK, if done this way. At one time S-W's "regular" etch primer was actually called a "surfacing" etch primer and it would sand pretty well. But that was just nuts and you will not find any reference to … The self-etching primer is usually gray or olive drab gray but the color is just there to show you where you’ve put it on and it is very thin and one thin coat is enough. Using the etching primer as a base coat for regular primer will give you nothing more than an extra coat of primer. DRY & RECOAT Dry and recoat times are based on 70°F (21°C) and 50% relative humidity. When using etch primer the filler should go on to the bare metal first and then all is covered with etch primer. For this reason, self-etching primers are not recommended over clear coat finishes or existing paint. Do not use near open flame. Your self etch primer should be just a really light piss coat, you don't want a thick coat, it could cause your top coats to crack over time. Once applied and dried (couple of hours) Use a 3m Scotch Brite pad to knock down any nibs and then shoot the Bare metal primer over the entire Prepped(Acetone wipe down) surface. (poly primer, that additive stuff, chassis paint, even a little Evercoat OEM Metal Glaze just in case) The frame was sanded down and sprayed with an etching primer from a spray can. Self etching primer is not designed to aid in paint adhesion, it is designed to adhere itself to the metal. It can’t be an epoxy primer, but it can be a urethane primer. Typically the next step is apply a primer surfacer, 2-3 coats then block sand with 320-grit. Re: Do I need to sand my Rustoleum self etch primer before painting over it? If you wait more than 12 hours you should, like he said scuff down with a Red scotch pad and reapply, then prime. 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