Only MasterSeries offers a toothy surface for paint to adhere to, is sandable to a feather edge, and the others aren't--especially the black coatings. Besides offering the highest salt spray resistance, Masterseries Silver is ideal as a base primer to prevent rust from bleeding through your paint job. In this case, this is a '57 Oldsmobile J2, done by Vintage Cars in Fort Mill, SC. The technique for painting sheet metal is acid wash with Captain Lee's Metal Prep, scuff it with 220 grit paper, apply two coats of MasterSeries Silver package strength, and when the second coat tacks up, dust it with a nice sandable primer like you see in this photo. After this dries for an hour or so (depending on humidity), you can lay a full wet coat of primer over it. You can use any kind of primer--usually a sandable primer is best. Now the car can sit for years. All you do later is scuff it up and paint it.
I like this technique because it offers maximum inner coat adhesion. In other words, the primer and the silver are fused together. In some cases, the primer is put on and some of our customers come back two weeks later and paint it. This is not a great idea. If this is the situation, scuff it with 220.
Why Mastercoat Silver is the best
When permanent bridge coatings were first developed, it only came in one color--silver.
This coating was originally developed by Mobay Chemical as a primer for bridges. They developed it with the idea that the moisture cured resin would be completely waterproof and strengthened by moisture. The non-leafing aluminum powder was used to cut off the oxygen. This is what made it a permanent rust sealer. If bare metal or rust cannot get oxygen, it can't continue to rust. This coating system is called The Three Coat Polyurethane System. Two coats of the primer, and a color coat for maximum protection.
This primer was introduced to the antique car hobby around 1978 by Stanley Coleman. It was sold as a rust preventative and a metal filler. Later on, when Stanley died, somebody decided that they didn't want silver--they wanted black. After all, they're painting the bottom of a car, so why would they want a silver bottom? They also decided to change the resin and to even change the thinner! And then to complicate matters further, other companies were started and they were making the same mistakes--claiming that the black and clear were the same as the silver. So you see, there's a big difference between silver, black, and clear. The MasterSeries Coating Line has sold these paints under the guidelines of the Three Coat Polyurethane System, which were originally developed for the Mobay Checmical company for the bridges. As far as rust encapsulents go, if they don't contain metallic powder, they're not a true encapsulent. The only way you can cut off air is with metallic powder. I've spent the last 20 years explaining this to our customers at car shows on the east coast.
After looking at the same happy faces for 20 years every other weekend, it kind of makes me think we did some good. I still see "How To" articles in car magazines where they put the black down, and more black over it. I sometimes wonder if it's the blind leading the blind.
I hope that the information you find on this website will be helpful to you in your restoration. If you have any questions, give us a call.