Prepping before painting is extremely important. You can never clean the panels enough. Here’s a quick run down of what to use, and more importantly, why:
- Spray on, wipe off. Cleaners work by floating contaminats to the top. So you have to spray them on to get the panel wet, and then wipe them off with a clean towel.
- Water borne cleaner. This has absolutely nothing to do with water borne paint. Things like finger prints, polishes, etc are all water based contaminats. So, a solvent based cleaner, like traditional wax and grease remover won’t take it all off. Water borne cleaner does.
- Water borne cleaner also does a much much better job of removing sanding residue.
- Careful! Some brands of water borne cleaner are soapier than others, so be sure it’s not leaving a residue on the panel. Also, you have to wipe off all of the droplets from spraying the cleaner on. They will stain. So just be sure to wipe it all dry.
- Wax and Grease remover. The typical solvent based wax and grease remover is also necessary. It removes all oil based contaminats.
Typically, prior to paint, I like to wipe the panels down twice with water borne cleaner, and twice with solvent wax and grease remover. Also, there is a lot of cleaning that takes place throughout the entire body work, primer, and prep process. Don’t short cut it!!