9 Best Auto Primer Over Old Paint [Reviews & Buying Guide]

Scratches and dents are enough to give nightmares to car owners. No matter, how carefully you drive or handle your car, it is nearly impossible to prevent them from damaging the look of your vehicle.

Luckily, there is an easy fix to solve these issues. It is better than spending money on expensive repairs.

Yes, we are talking about auto primer. Any car owner would know the importance of auto primer over old paint. It plays an important role in restoring the beauty of your vehicle. Whether it’s a dent or scratch, you can use an auto primer to fix all such issues.

For those who don’t have an idea, primer is a substance applied to metal surfaces before the paint job. They are great for covering small imperfections like scratches on your vehicle.

There are dozens of auto primer products available on the market. If you are not sure which one to choose, we are here to help you out. In this guide, we have shortlisted some of the best auto primers over old paint for you to use. So without any delay, let’s get into the details.

Product Reviews: 10 Best Auto Primer Over Old Paint

Here is the list of the best auto primers you will find on the market. Go through the details of each of the products and pick the one that is best suited for your vehicle.

1. Dupli-Color – FP101 Scratch Filler & Primer

  • Volume: 11 ounces
  • Colour: Gray

Our first choice is Dupli-Color Scratch Filler & Primer. This is one of the best auto primers you will find on the market. Coming from a top-level brand like Dupli Color, you expect a high-quality product that will stand the test of time. With this bottle of primer, you can cover the surface evenly. Unlike other products, you don’t have to worry about dripped stains or blotched spots.

It is a high-quality formulation that can also fill up deep scratches and make your vehicle like new. Not just that, but it will also keep your car parts protected from rusting. One thing you will surely like is the fast drying time. It hardly takes any time for the primer to dry.

This is a gray coloured primer and you will get the exact shade as mentioned. To get better results, you should keep the bottle in warm water before applying it to your car. With this high-quality auto primer, you can expect to smooth results. Also, it will enable your car parts to work more efficiently.


  • Fast drying
  • High-quality
  • Can cover deep scratches
  • Protection against rusting


  • A lot of product gets wasted due to spraying

2. Rust-Oleum 2081830 Stops Rust Automotive Primer

  • Volume: 12 ounces
  • Colour: Light Gray

The next in the line, we have Rust-Oleum Automotive Primer. If you know car maintenance, you must have heard about this brand before. It is yet another great brand of auto primers to go for. Since the time of their establishment in 1921, they have been offering quality and original products. If you want a long-lasting primer for your car, then this could be the right choice for you.

This is an effective primer that helps keep the rust away. With this quality formula, you can maintain your car parts for smooth operation. Just so you know this is an oil-based formula that guarantees resistance against corrosion and high durability. It takes just 15 minutes for the primer to dry.

It serves as a strong base-paint that is ideal for any vehicle. Due to the fast drying time, you don’t have to wait much longer to apply the second coat. The colour of the primer, we are talking about here is light gray. But you can also get it in dark gray and flat red.


  • Can cover around 12 sq. feet
  • Dries in 15 minutes
  • Covers surface evenly
  • Corrosion and rust-resistant


  • None to mention 

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

  • Volume: 1 gallon
  • Colour: Gray

If you know SpeedoKote specialises in products designed for refinishing and repair of vehicles. This brand was founded by experts and is highly popular in the market. If you are looking for a quality auto primer, then SpeedKote Automotive High Build Urethane Primer could be the ideal option for you. The best thing is you can use this primer for multiple purposes.

This particular primer is formulated with urethane that is easy to apply. But most importantly, it forms a thick coat on the exterior to keep the surface of your vehicle protected. In case, the coat is too thick, you can sand it down without comprising the quality of your car.

While applying this primer, you should use a respirator as it has a very unpleasant smell. This formula is effective enough to keep your vehicle protected under harsh weather conditions. This gallon of primer comes with a multi-purpose activator containing 32 ounces of fluid.


  • Sands easily
  • Affordable
  • High build urethane formula
  • Protects vehicle from harsh weather elements


  • Has a very bad smell

4. Evercoat 713 Gray Feather Fill G2 Primer 

  • Volume: 1 gallon 
  • Colour: Gray

In comparison to other brands, Evercoat is new in the market, but it offers quality products for vehicles. This is a feather-fill primer that is specially formulated for all car lovers. The high-build formula of this primer contains polyester. This is why it can even fill up small scratches on the surface. Not just that, but it can also prevent the applied coat from shrinking.

Unlike other primers, this one is easy to use and apply. You can spray it smoothly to cover the surface evenly. It gives you efficient results, just what you want. The good thing is it dries up quickly, so you don’t have to wait long to apply the second coating. 

The pot life of this product is just 30 minutes. So you will have to use up the amount you have mixed quickly. Each container contains 1 gallon of primer which is enough to cover a car. Besides gray, you can avail of it in four other shades as well.


  • Polyester based primer 
  • Specially formulated for 1k and 2k etch
  • Doesn’t shrink
  • Protects car surface


  • None to mention

5. RAPTOR 4:1 Anti-Corrosive Epoxy Primer Kit

  • Volume: 1 litre
  • Colour: Gray

Raptor is a popular Australian brand that is known for delivering quality automotive products. With 70 years of experience, they offer the best primers in the market. This Anti-Corrosion Epoxy Primer Kit is one of their best-selling products, so it’s only fair to include it in the list. The specialty of this product is that it provides a tough protective coating. This enables your vehicle to stand rough conditions easily.

It is made with advanced resin technology that helps improve intercoat performance and layer adhesion. It also complies with VOC regulations, which means it is free of harmful chemicals like chromate and lead. With the application of this primer, you can protect the surface from rusting. Also, you can apply it on wet surfaces.

To get the best results, apply it before the topcoat. This will add a glossy finish to your vehicle. It also keeps the surface protected from corrosion. This means it can help extend the longevity of your vehicle. The only thing is it is not cheap. You will have to shell out a good amount of money to buy this epoxy primer kit.


  • High-quality 
  • Resin technology
  • Long-lasting
  • Protects surface from corrosion and rust


  • Very expensive

6. Custom Shop – Black Epoxy Primer/Sealer

  • Volume: 1 pint
  • Colour: Black

If you are looking for a black epoxy primer to beautify the exterior of your car, then this primer from Custom Shop could be a good choice for you. The best thing is it can be applied to various materials, other than just metal. This means you can use it for different projects. This is a versatile product and comes with both a hardener and primer.

This epoxy formula is created to give you the finest results. It comes with anti-corrosive properties, which keep the surface of your vehicle protected. With this high-performance formula, you can make your car surface look like new. Just like the previous product, even this one is based on resin technology. This allows the primer to settle on the metal surface with great adhesion.

Another good thing is it is free of chemicals like lead and chromate. This makes it safe to use. It can also keep the car surface protected from salt spray. To get the desired results, mix the hardener and primer in equal parts. Besides black, this product is also available in white and gray. You can get it in different sizes as well.


  • High-performance formula
  • The duo of hardener and primer
  • Can be applied on multiple surfaces
  • Protection against corrosion


  • Bad odour

7. Speedokote Black Automotive 2 2K Urethane Primer Gallon Kit

  • Volume: 1 gallon
  • Colour: Black

If you are looking for a quality urethane primer, SpeedoKote Black Automotive Urethane Primer could be the best option for you. It comes with minimum VOCs or volatile organic compounds. For those who don’t know these are chemicals that vaporise easily. This primer kit is the perfect combination of quality and performance.

The best thing about using this primer is that you don’t have to waste much time. It is a fast-drying formula that is also easy to sand. Unlike other primers, this one maintains its shine and colour even when exposed to harsh conditions.

Its super adhesion quality makes it an ideal choice for users. Also, it has minimum VOCs which makes it safe to use. This primer kit we are talking about is available in black colour. But you can also get it in light gray.


  • Minimum VOCs
  • Easy to apply
  • Dries up fast


  • None to mention 

8. U-Pol 1 Gallon Urethane Primer Kit 

  • Volume: 1 gallon 
  • Colour: Black

This is yet another quality urethane primer you can use for your vehicle. This duo of primer and hardener is all you need to make your car like new. It is based on polyester which makes it a long-lasting primer. Although this is a high build primer, you can use it as a sealer as well.

Just like most other options on the list, it has a very fast drying time. This means you don’t have to wait longer before applying the second coat. With the help of this primer, you can easily cover cracks and scratches on your vehicle. The best thing about using this primer that it doesn’t shrink after application.

It comes with a high-quality hardener that helps amplify the resilience of the primer. If you are willing to pay a higher price, then you should consider opting for this primer. This is one of the best you will get on the market.


  • High-build function
  • Excellent opacity
  • Combination of hardener and primer


  • Pricey

9. Custom Coat 1K High Build Primer

  • Volume: 16 ounces
  • Colour: Gray

We have another offering from Custom Coat and this one is equally good as the other one. This primer is effective enough to hide minor scratches and dents on vehicles. This is a quality primer that is developed to give you the best results. Whether you want to cover scratches or make your car look new, this primer kit could be the best option for you.

This formula delivers impressive results and lasts longer than other primers. Unlike many other primers, this one won’t get damaged by UV rays. It is durable and will keep your vehicle protected from all sorts of outside elements. The good thing is it doesn’t have a strong odour which is common in primers. This enables you to apply it without any hassles.

Other than vehicle surface, you can also spread it over fiberglass, steel, and aluminum. It comes with super adhesion and is easy to apply. However, the only issue is that it contains very less product. But if you want a corrosion-resistant primer, then you can easily deal with this little issue. Best of all, it comes in a spray can, so you don’t have to mix anything.


  • Superior adhesion
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Can be applied to other prime parts


  • Very expensive 

Buying Guide

For many of you buying an auto, primer is a new experience. In case, you don’t have less idea and don’t know what primer to buy for your car, we can help you out. We have laid down a buyer’s guide consisting of all the important factors you need to consider while buying an automotive primer. That being said, now let’s get into the details.

  • Primer Type

The first thing you need to consider is the type of primer you want for your vehicle. You will come across different types of primers that are meant for different surfaces. You can also find different primer types just for metal surfaces alone. This includes epoxy, lacquer, and urethane primers. Each of these primer types has its pros and cons. Also, they perform differently.

You must choose the primer type that is best suited for your vehicle. For this, you should do a bit of research to find out which type of primer is suitable for what vehicle. If needed, you can also ask a professional. 

  • Application

The thing about primers is that they can be applied to various types of surfaces including metal, wood, fiberglass, others. You need to choose a primer that is suitable for your car surface.

In the case of vehicles, you need to go for a primer that is made for metal surfaces. If you use the wrong primer, it will not adhere properly to the surface. As a result, the coating will not last long. Also, it won’t be able to protect your vehicle.

  • Ease of Usage

The next important thing is the ease of usage. You need an auto primer that is easy to use and apply. In general, repainting automobiles is a time-consuming task. So you wouldn’t want the primer to take too much to apply or dry. Or else, it will delay the other steps. 

The auto primer you choose should be easy and straightforward. The best would be to buy a primer that is pre-reduced and pre-mixed. This will help you save a lot of time as you won’t have to measure and mix it into different solutions.

  • Corrosion and Rust Resistant

One of the main purposes of auto primers is to protect the vehicle exterior from rust and corrosion. So when you go out to buy an auto primer make sure that it has both qualities. 

The auto primer you choose should also be able to protect your car’s surface from harsh weather conditions. For this, you need to look for a highly effective primer.

  • Paint or Spray

You must already know that auto primers are available in both paint buckets and spray bottles. The advantage of using a spray primer is that it comes pre-mixed, so you don’t have to put in any extra effort. Also, they are easy to apply. In case you don’t know how to apply primer spray paint, check out our guide.

Some on these primer paints don’t come in a spray can form, but no worries there are a few listed in this article about best primer in a spray can.

The ones that come in paint buckets are required to be painted on with a paintbrush. Also, they don’t come pre-mixed. This makes the process more tiring and time-consuming. But on the good side, it gives you better control and allows you to spread the primer evenly over the surface.

  • Drying Time

Lastly, you should also consider the drying time of the primer. A high-quality primer will dry up in less time, whereas low-quality ones will take more time. If you want fast results, you should go for primers that dry up in 15 to 30 minutes. This will allow you to apply the second coat quickly.

Primers that take around 24 hours to dry are time-consuming to apply. If you don’t have so much time to invest, it is better to avoid buying these primers.


1. Can you apply primer over old paint?

Yes, you can surely apply primer over old paint. If you notice the paint is falling, you can fix it by applying a coat of primer. But before that, you have to sand eh surface properly.

2. Can you use white paint as a primer?

You should not use white paint as a primer. That’s because primer has a higher concentration of solids. Besides that, it also contains an adhesive binder. A quality primer can give you the final finish coat with a better bonding surface than white paint.

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

For the application of primer during your car painting job, you are recommended to wait for about 24 hours before applying a base coat or enamel-based paint.

4. Can you apply an epoxy primer over old paint?

Although it is not recommended, you can still do it. But make sure that you sand the surface properly before applying the epoxy primer.

5. What primer should you use over old paint?

Shellac or oil-based primers are considered to be the best options. You can easily apply a quality primer over old paint. It will give a heavier build and also allow you to cover small imperfections such as scratches or cracks on your vehicle.


Applying an auto primer is the best way to cover small scratches and dings on your vehicle. For this, you need the best auto primer. The best thing is you can apply primer over old paint as well. With the help of a quality auto primer, you can make your car like new. If you are looking for the best auto primers over old paint, you can choose from the recommended list.