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Ivan, ASE Certified Master Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 4871
Experience:  ASE Master Tech w/ 20+ years in the field. Self employed for 9 years. Member of AUTOLAB radio show.
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Hi Ivan, I will post a new one here. The other ones say they

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Hi Ivan, I will post a new one here. The other ones say they are closed. A friend is helping me sand and cut out some rust on the blazer, Wanted to discuss with you. Also I have bondo, and some other materials, and paint, to do the job. Except I dont know best place to get some spray paint that will match my blazer color?

tims auto repair :


tims auto repair :

ivan doesnt seem to be online

tims auto repair :

i will try to help you,if you dont mind

Scott, let Tim help you with this. I'm in a RV and I don't want to leave you hanging. Thanks Tim!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Tim

Do you know where I can purchase original factory colored paint for my 1999 Chevy Blazer. I have the original Sales sheet that came with the vehicle, and they mentioned the paint color on there, otherwise, I will check on the door for a paint code. But mainly I am not sure the best place to look for spray paint. I realize it may not exist in the same exact color. All I need is one can of spray paint for now. Thought you might know the best place to start looking online....


Scott, let me know tonight if you still need help. I don't think I'll have access on my next stop.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Ivan, I actually found a real custom paint shop, that mixes factory colors for many of the shops around here. And I spent 30 minutes talking to the person about various things. I bought a nice paint gun set from him. It has 3 paint guns, and cleaning tools etc.

I got the exact factory blazer brown metalic color. And I got bae coat primer with hardener, and also clear coat with hardener. I know thats a little overboard for what I need to fix. But I also bought a nice small, but powerful 200 psi air compressor. And used it to cut out the rusty metal on the blazer. And now I am doing the bondo, and shaping it. Then I will use wet sanding in 400, 600, 800, 1000 to feather it out past the bondo into the paint.

Once I have all that done on the main repair, I have another smaller rusty spot I am gonig to do the same thing. Sand down rust, if needed apply some rust convertor on that little spot, and then put gray primer, then base coat brown color, then clear coat.
The paint is the real deal, since it has hardener with it, supposedly very much like factory paint. Of course the final work wont be perfect because this is my first time cutting rust, using bondo, and painting with all those 3 materials/paints.

But I will never learn until I do this kind of work myself.

I will mask EVERYTHING on the blazer before I paint it outside, I will make a little plastic house around the area to be painted, so not too much dust or dirt or bugs will get in there while its drying. Kind of like a little tent over it. I know thats kinda silly for two small areas of painting, but what the heck why not

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I also got paint thinner or whatever it was, from custom paint shop, to clean out the paint guns. And I just decided tonight that after I get the color code from my 280z, (its a custom color), then I am going to buy a 1/2 pint of the blue color and repaint the front air damn on it. When I had it painted originally, I told them to paint it factory 510 blue. Well that is when I learned that my car is not 510 blue. Its a darker custom blue. So anyway, I wanted to discuss that with you, when I get ready to prep it. I believe I just need to clean all the bugs off of it (after removing it from front of car), and then clean it, and then wet sand it to *scuff* it up. Since its still like new. I was hoping I could just scuff it up with the wet sanding, and then just repaint it, and clear coat it with 2 coats of clear. Since I have the compressor, and paint guns, etc....I figured why not. It will be very satisfying to accomplish that. And the cheapest anyone was going to prep and paint it was for 175$, which isnt bad, but I can do it only for the cost of a 1/2 pint of blue :-)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Ivan

I spent 10+ hours today watching all kinds of videos about paint guns, rust repair, feathering paint, bondo etc... my head is swimming with questions for you. I have been discussing a few things with another person on justanswer. So he is helping me a little. But I really will like to talk to you about the details. Because I know you dont mind, the kind of meticulous details that I need to know, in order to do this right.


After watching all those videos today and all night, I have learned a lot more. But I have a list of things I need to clarify, before I can take the next step. The main questions reside about prepping for painting. Because I understand how to use the bondo and sand the bondo, that stuff is easy. but its the feathering around it, and maybe using 800 grit wet sanding in the other area that I want to repaint.

Hi Scott, I will reach out to you over the next day. I'm camped out at the Grand Canyon and barely get a Internet signal. I have been seeing your replies, but without being able to use the computer it is difficult to correspond. This one is from my phone. Look for me tomorrow night.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

that is so awesome you are there!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy.

I have a lot to catch up with you, when you are back on Earth :-)))

Thank you. You'll hear from me at my next/last stop as long as I have access.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Ivan

Well, I have been working away at sanding and bondo work. My most important question right now is this

I have a few spots around the bondo'd area, that I see a little rust spot. And it will be diffcult to sand it, although I can if I really need to. But I thought maybe what I could instead is just use some of eastwood rust convertor on those little spots. And then I was wondering if I can put bondo over that stuff???? I dont know if bondo would adhere or not, to the rust converted spots?? What do you think?.

If bondo will work over those few last spots, with the rust convertor on them, then I can move ahead with the next phase of sanding and prepping for paint.

To get you past this part, use the Eastwood product to stop and coat it and try to get behind it too, if it is present there too.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

THIS IS VERY SLOW GOING FOR ME, SINCE ITS MY FIRST RUST REPAIR. i KNOW i COULD keep going and sand more and more, but I only want to deal with the noticable bad spots now. And I am like 98% done except these last spots mentioned. So I decided to use my dremel with a little wire wheel and it got the rust. Or as much as I think it will do. What is left is very minor and I know I should. make it perfect, but I am doing the best I can. It still will be lot better than it was with that big old rust spot.

But I am worried that the new bondo that needs to be applied over a product like rust remover will not work. Im sorry to belabor this point./ Are you sure bondo will stick to any converted rust spots that I treat with that stuff


I also bought some etch primer and I thought I could spray a little into a plastic bag,- and use a qtip to grab some of it, and then treat these little areas that will beimpossible to spray paint with the etch primer can..


Im sitting here ready to apply some bondo to fill in those spots and the low spots, and to bondo up that other area that I buzzed down.


But I want to know how to deal with the exposed metal. I sanded the few other rust spots down with the dremal, and some sand paper. And I thought that if I just applied bondo to bare metal, thats not a good idea.


SO this is a multio part questoin....sooooooooory!

What do you suggest I do to thos bare metal spots?

I thought I would check in once more for the night. This is the last night in the Rv. We are in Utah and have to get up at 4:45 to get to Las Vegas early enough for our flight back. Hit that area with the neutralizer, then hit it with that etching primer. The bindi should stick well to that. The key is to prevent the rust from coming back. From there you should be good.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Ivan

Thanks for info. I will use rust convertor, and then etching primer. but I cant spray etching primer on bondo, right? I think that might be bad combination.

Assuming I cannot spary etching primer on top of bondo, then that means all I can do is dab some etching primer into those little nooks and crannies that I am dealing with. So I could spray some etching primer into a plastic bag I suppose, and then use a Qtip to dab it onto those areas I used rust convertor on. I cant imagine that would be a problem would it? Otherwise I dont know how else I can use etching primer, because the areas we are talking about are small.


Basically, I just dont want to use a bad combination of chemicals, and end up with paint that comes right off. So I figured I better clarify these few things with you. Thanks



My other main problem now, is how to sand properly. Since I am going to repaint a section on the blazer that is probably 12 inches across by 6" tall (that is where the bondo is at, and some other rusty spots I am fixing). sadly like 85 to 90% of that area is fine and I should NOT mess with it)

However, I am trying to learn how to do basic body work, and painting.

This is nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I dont know how to sand down the paint around the bondo areas properly. I see scratch marks because of using the courser sand paper.

But I seem to be learning that I can sand off only the clear coat, or I can keep sanding and then I see the gray primer, and below that bare metal of course.


But no matter what sand paper I am using (only doing dry sanding so far) with everything from 60 up to 1000 grit. So I can see what they all do. I was suprised how much clear coat that even 1000 grit removed


Do I have to have ALL those little scratches gone, before I paint on the primer? I mean they are small scratches now that I have sanded down with 600 grit

Ok, Scott, I'm in flight and responding to you at 39000 feet. Yes, you can use self etching primer over bondo, but the bondo must be fully cured first. Then you want to wet sand those last top coats with 1500 or so to get the surface ready for real paint. You want it perfectly smooth with no scratch marks. Pull off the heavy material with the coarse paper and finish the surface with fine paper that can be used for wet sanding.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Ivan, wow I cant believe you are typing a message at 39000 feet :-)

Tonight I sanded and experimented with different grit sandpaper. I seem to have the edges around the bondo now perfectly smooth. I cannot feel any difference between the surrouding area and the bondo. And it looks feathered. I still have some extra bondo to sand off in the middle sections of the bondo'd area. I will do that tomorrow night.

But what really has me confounded is how to properly fix/sand the area around the bondo. I will upload a picture of the area I am working on. And highlight in green the area I want to repaint. I figure it will be good experience to repaint that whole lower portion of the truck. Instead of trying to paint two small areas.



Im sorry the area in yellow is hard to see, but it had a rust spot that I have sanded down and put some of that rust convertor, and then bondo over it. I just didnt use any etch primer. I realize I am going to get rust back again, but after I FINALLY get this all over with, I will know better how to do it next time.

So that whole section down there, where the yellow spot is at, all the way up to the top of where the red hightlighted area is at, I plan to rough it up and put new gray primer on the whole section, then the new factory brown paint, and then clear coat.


But I am having a heck of a time understanding how to prepare the areas around the bondo, and then the entire rest of the panel.

I am gonna need you to help me step by step for each little part I am going to be doing, or I will mess it up for sure.

The main problem I am worried about what that whole section is supposed to look like before I put new gray primer over it.

Should it be sanded just with the clear coat gone? so I lightly sand it, until I see as much gray primer from the factory? or do I just sand off the clear coat, and then make sure there are no scratches in it.

I am also not going for perfection. I just wanted to try my hand at using bondo and painting before I tackle some other painting jobs. I dont know how to weld, so I couldnt weld in a new piece

And the other thing is I NEED TO GET THIS DONE BY THIS WEEKEND. I dont want it to drag on any longer than needed.

Its very time consuming becuase I have to go so slow...and and and.... :-O


Ok, all the painted areas need to be is ruffed up. Like with a scotchbrite pad. Just rough enough for paint to stick. You should feel no distinction between the bondo and that surface. For any area that is already painted and you will paint over it, (not new paint), you just need to scuff the surface before applying paint. Also use a paint prep solution over the whole area first so you remove any harmful residue.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

(can you switch this to chat mode?)

Hey all that doesnt sound so bad. But here is the main problem I am facing. While sanding the bondo I put scratches that you can still see. When I used the 3M Scotchbrite (fine grit) pad I got from the autoparts store, it even seem to leave little scratches.
But what I dont know is if the scratches are so insignificant, that the primer will fill them in. I mean I didnt go nuts and rough up too much of the clear coat yet. Most of that section between those two spots I am fixing is still factory paint. But since I feel the experience of doing this, and because I think it will be a lot easier for me to paint a larger area versus two smaller plan is to scuff up the top coat as you said


So here is what I think I need to do. I wont go too far into detail, except for the current issues

1. Finish sanding bondo, I found some high spots and I need to level them out. After I do that, the bondo is ready to paint. I will sand final bondo with like 1000 or 1500 or 2000 (I have some of those), and try to make it as smooth as possible.

2. The bondo is going to probably get a little wet tomorrow, it may be raining. Is that going to do bad things? I have heard that as long as I let it dry before painting, then it will be OK. But how long do you wait before its really dry? I have no idea.

3. Right now, I think I have the edges between the bondo and the paint around it, even. What I mean, is if I run my finger over the edges of the bondo I do not feel any difference, which tells me I have that setup properly.

4. The problems comes into play, all around that bondo patch. Because that spot was in a very difficult place to sand, I ended up using 80 grit while sanding bondo. Well I ended up putting scratches into the paint around it. I have been sanding that paint around it (im talking like 1/4" to a 1/2" away) with different grits, to see what happens. I am learning how using different grits and different pressures with different grits, will sand only clear coat, or only brown factory paint, or gray primer, or down to metal. I dont think I actually hit metal in too many places at all, but I have at least sanded down to gray primer in several places now.

5. So I have this really inconsistent work area or pallet to work with. And I know the answer might be to make it all as consistent as possible. I think the main thing I have to do, is get rid of noticable scratches. I will be honest, it seems impossible to me, that I can ever get rid of the scratches in the paint completely, not matter what sanding technique that I use.

6. I am hoping you will tell me that the gray paint will at least cover up the sins of some minor little scratches. I planned to paint it with at least 2 gray primer coats. Will that happen? Cover up very small scratches in paint?

7. Let me clarify something else, so, I have this large area maybe 6" tall and 12" wide that needs to be roughed up (and then cleaned with PRE cleaner I assume - before painting right). Because I want to repaint it with gray primer??? Or are you saying that I can just repaint that other area with only the factory brown?


Ok thats enough, sorry this is so long, but i Have a LOT of questions about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that it takes people a while to figure all this out, but I dont have a lot of time, because I want to get it painted before to omuch water gets on the bondo. So far it hasnt rained on it...

Hey Scott. So the little scratches are good. The etching primer will fill them in and grab onto all of that surface area. The rain will not pose a long term problem, just let it dry fully before doing any painting. All will be ok, you sound like you are doing a great job so far. I can't toggle between chat and Q&A. I can go one way but not the other. I got home at 3 am this morning, but I'll be on for a while. I am trying to get caught up with some work.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry you had such a late night, I am sure you are fried. Youre a champ!!! for being on here. ;-O !!!!!!!!!!! Im so lucky to have a friend like you.
I am glad I got the edges around the bondo feeling at the same height around it. And in 1 more day I will have sanded off the high spots, and it will be good enough. It may not be pro, but we have to keep things in perspective :-) this is a 14 year old truck! And this is my first body work too.I still cant believe we cut out a metal piece, and now all the bondo and sanding...etc. I have already learned a lot.

But all these darn scratches..and patches that I made. Like some spots are sanded down to gray primer, some are just into the clear coat, and some have the clear coat gone and just into the original brown color. Its nuts!!! I am trying to be so careful, because I dont want to sand too much.

I will write more in a minute...


Sounds good. The most important part of the job is always the prep.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Its the same with software development, easily 70 to 80% of the work is in the preparation (desiging it and collecting requirements).

1. So are you saying that if I just roughed up the rest of the area with that scotchbrite fine grit pad, in the picture (we are talking about maybe 6" tall from the bottom of the truck, and 12" wide in between those two spots I am fixing). That scotchbrite pad will just/only rough up the clear coat?

2. And if that is all I need to do (just rough up clear coat), are you saying that I wont repaint with primer? and only repaint that other area with the brown factory color paint, and then of course new clear coat?

Correct. You want to cover the bondo area with primer, but if you roughen that other area and preclean the area with a prep agent, you should be able to paint right over.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When you say to paint right over the roughed up area, you do mean to paint factory brown right over it?

This is going to be tricky for me, because we are talking about me having to paint those small areas with gray primer, and right next to it, to only paint the factory brown color ...ughghghggh!


Also, you see it seems like when i used the fine scotchbrite, even lightly, that it leaves little scratches :-) I know that is probably the point so it will make paint stick., but I am kind of nervous about making it look badly.
So I saw this product or something like it at the auto parts store. It is not what I bought, because I wasnt sure its purpose yet and wanted to talk to you about it.

But now, it seems like maybe it might be useful to fill in some of those other imperfections I have made, because of the crazy sanding I have done.
However, my other concern about using a product like this primer filler, is that it will not provide a good base coat, for the professional paint I bought at the auto paint color store (they are the place that mixes and sells paints and supplies to many body shops around here - I just found out about them last week).

So I am worried that if I dont use their professional gray primer as the only primer, that using something else below it (like filler primer), will end up causing paint to come off :-( because they wont like each other


What I bought (maybe I shouldnt have, and since I havent used it, I may try to take it back) was etching primer and it was like 22$. But you see, I thought that product is only to be used on bare metal??? isnt that true?


I got rust convertor goop/paint stuff that I used, and now etching primer (I havent used any yet because I tried rust convertor. And also the areas we are talking about are SO small, it would be impossible to spray it on those little spots.

And then I got the 3 professional paints (the gray primer, the exact factory brown color, and clear coat from this auto paint shop). That I will use in my new paint gun (I also finally bought a decent 200 psi/ 5cfm compressor)


this is very meticulous the first time through it many variables!

Ok, then do this, use the primer and cover that entire area. Tape it off and shoot it. You will be completely fine. Just prep well.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1. Im liking the sound of that. So you are saying once I finish bondo, and sanding out scratches as best as I can, that I should just rough up that whole area down there, and then prime it?


2. Sorry, do you mean to use the filler primer like from Amazon, or the gray primer from my local auto paint store that I bought (im soooooooo glad I found a place like that BTW - they said they matched my brown color exactly, and made a comment that it has a LOT of different colors, its like kinda metallics are in the paint and not just a simple brown color, and he had it mixed in 10 minutes)
3. I also learned about back-masking, where you put the automotive masking tape on backwards. So the edge is stickup around the whole area. Which allows a less rigid line around the edges, so I was planning on doing that too. It allows the paint to lay in there a little easier/better.


Use an etching primer, then wet sand it, the prep coat the area, the shoot the paint. The wet sanding is not a deep wetsanding, just enough to knock off any surface dust that may be in the paint.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Im sorry to keep asking, but I thought that etching primer was only for using on metal? And what do you think about using a product that wasnt from the auto paint shop, and then using their stuff on top of it?

I mean then I would be mixing and matching different kinds of paint. I honestly dont know what is in all this stuff. They gave me like a 5 page document explaining their paint and how to apply it, and whats in it, etc (thats a whole other thing for me to learn this week, if I make it that far that is)

I am going to try to keep my questions short and to the point. When you need to leave please tell me and I will stop asking questoins. We can pickup tomorrow night if you have time.


Im sorry again, for being so meticulous. but I truely want to learn and understand this process, so I know how to paint the other things I am lining up to paint. Which will include other parts of the blazer, the polyurethen air damn on the 280, etc...

you know me....

True, use a good primer that promotes adhesion. That will do the trick. Never apologize, you know that :)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

hmmmm It sounds like maybe I should ask the paint shop if they have a filler primer? Do you think they will? I didnt even know something like that existed when I was there last week. If I had known about it, I would have bought that instead of the other normal gray primer I bought. Because I know I am going to have scratches, because this is my first time doing all this crazy sanding. I just feel really nervous about using something that is not from them. I spent a lot of money on that paint from them. I mean a lot more than I would have, if I just didnt go crazy and buy the paint gun and all their paint. I realize I could have just used 10$ spray paint, and maybe got it looking somewhat close.

But I wanted the experience of using real products from a real auto paint shop, and using the real paint gun.


geeeze, I have my work cut out for me. So many new things!

I also have something liek this now, been using it when possible. but since I am working on small areas, it is NOT easy


And I bought this stuff, I know it turns bright red, to make it easy to see, versus the pink bondo. I have gotten OK at mixing bondo in small portions even. And it hardens just fine.

Don't go crazy, just do a little research on a good quality primer. Since you are wetsanding the area so smooth, don't worry about the filler aspect. That is good for the rough stuff. When you wetsand, do it by hand and you only need to get it smooth, you don't have to go deep.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well, I already have gray primer, and the custom mixed factory brown paint, and the clear coat paint too. Its all the same brand that I got the from auto paint store.

So did you mean something other than their gray primer, that I need to be researching?


Well I wil stop bugging you 2night, its getting very late for you. I still have a lot of questions, just about what we have talked about 2night. Maybe tomorrow night we can clear up those questions, and then thursday and friday I can finalize the sanding/prep work. I really really would like to be painting this weekend. But I will not do that if I dont understand exactly what needs to be done.

After all this work, after all the products, paint etc...I sure dont want to screw it up and have to start all over again. Oh man, that would not make me happy dude!


When I wet sand, I am wondering what grits you mean? And lastly, what about those areas that are uneven already? I mean those areas that have clear coat gone, or the original factory color gone, etc...there are several places like that in the paint. Maybe just 2 gray primer coats, will cover all those up....

I am not trying to be a perfectionist, although it would be nice if it looked like a pro did it, there is nooooooooooo way that my first job like this is going to look great. I have already accepted that fact. However, it should look better than some very ugly rust spots :-) and its an a low area in the shadows....

No, you should be in good shape. Wetsand with 1500-2000. As far as the uneven areas, yes hit them with several coats and when you wetsand, they will even up nicely.
Ok, Scott, I'll look for you tomorrow. It's beddy-bye time for me. Have a great night and this project will come out as good as all the others!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

im back in garage for more sanding and I wanted to chat a little bit about the process that lies ahead. Im still unsure of my exact steps, and this job really does require exact correct steps, or I will mess it up. And I want it to come out at least a C or a B would be nice :-)

I am going to accept this one, and start a new question for the stuff that is next.

Hey Scott. I'm online. I'm going to be doing some school work, so just yell when you are ready.
Ivan, ASE Certified Master Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 4871
Experience: ASE Master Tech w/ 20+ years in the field. Self employed for 9 years. Member of AUTOLAB radio show.
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