Is POR 15 Metal Prep Necessary? (Explained)

When buying POR-15 to apply to your car, the vendor may recommend adding Metal Prep or Metal-Ready to the cart. They will tell you that Metal-prep will improve the adhesion of the surface to POR-15.

If you are a curious shopper, you will probably wonder – is POR-15 Metal prep necessary? Can’t I spray POR-15 protective coating on the surface and get done with it?

This article answers this question and educates you more about POR-15 and what it offers.

rusty spots on the car - close-up rust spot car

What is POR-15, and Is It Necessary?

POR-15 Metal Prep is a special water-based liquid formula. It’s not toxic, and neither is it flammable. That’s according to POR-15.

The manufacturer of POR-15 rust protective and treatment paint recommends that a surface first be sprayed using metal prep to adhere better to the coating. Metal prep does exactly what the name suggests. It prepares a surface for the application of POR-15.

Even though you can skip the application of POR-15 metal prep, it’s advisable not to. If a manufacturer recommends two products to be used together, you should do so.

The reason is that failure to use metal prep can lead to POR-15 adhesion issues. Even if you apply it correctly, there is a huge chance that POR-15 may not hold up for long. Or it may start to peel.

To avoid that, buy the metal prep alongside the POR-15 rust protective coating. And make time to spray it on before applying the rust protective coating.

Even if you doubt the usefulness of POR-15 metal prep, it costs less than $30 on Amazon. When you order it alongside POR-15, you can save more. Is $30 worth risking a poor POR-15 paint job? Probably not.

You shouldn’t hesitate to buy metal prep because it is worth every dollar. Also, you can store it for future use.

What is the Purpose of Metal Prep?

If you don’t think POR-15 is necessary, allow us to list some benefits of using this product. As a result, you may better understand the benefits it can offer you.

POR-15 metal prep;

• Dissolve rust – The first and perhaps most important benefit of metal prep is removing rust and clearing the way for a decent paint job.

Even though POR-15 can remove rust on its own, it’s advisable to remove any loose rust on the surface to make it ready to paint. Metal prep does exactly that. The rich formula dissolves any rust that is on the surface.

• Etch metal – By etching the metal of the surface you want to paint POR-15 with, it ensures the paint has an ideal surface for painting.

POR-15 paint will bond better to etched metal than a smooth surface. If you want the POR-15 to last, make sure that you use metal prep before the beginning of the project.

• Introduces Zinc Phosphate to the Metal Surface – You probably wonder what Zinc Phosphate has to do with painting POR-15. This compound has two jobs. One, it prevents the further development of rust. Secondly, it promotes better adhesion of paint.

• Gets Rid of Rust Stains on Non-metal Surfaces – For restorative projects on surfaces such as fiberglass and ceramic, metal prep does a great job at getting rid of rust stains. This will help enhance the aesthetics of the surface that you plan to work on.

Having seen the many benefits POR-15 metal prep offers, do you still think it is unnecessary? If you want the best results on your project, always apply some POR-15 metal prep.

Should I Always Apply It First?

POR-15 metal prep should always be applied first. Just from what the name suggests, Metal prep needs to go before other coatings.

The good thing about metal prep is that it can be used to prepare metal before applying any coating, not just POR-15.

This should even encourage you more to buy metal prep because it can be used for a wide range of uses other than just preparing metal for POR-15. Another DIY use of metal prep is to restore rusted tools.

How Do I Use Metal Prep?

Now that you know the role metal prep plays in a POR-15 paint application job. You need to know how to apply it correctly.

Please note that metal prep is relatively easy to apply. You don’t need to be a detailing expert to use metal prep. Here is a quick guide on how to use metal prep.

Step 1 – Get Your Hands on Some

The most important thing is to get some metal prep. It’s very easy to apply to your car. You can order metal prep from POR-15 or other online vendors. Look around if you can find it in a nearby auto store.

Step 2 – Spray It Directly to the Metal

Without any technique, spray the metal prep to the rusted metal and let it dry. It’s that easy.

Step 3 – Wash Off the Metal Spray

This is the only part you may find a bit hectic, but it’s very doable. POR-15 metal prep needs to be washed off after it has dried.

Even though you can paint directly over it, washing off the metal spray ensures your finish looks flawless. Wait for the metal prep to dry.

Then wash it off with a garden hose or wet rag. Whichever you choose is entirely up to you. If the part you want to clean is still wet, dry it with a hairdryer. Do not apply a POR-15 protective coating over a damp surface.

Step 4 – Spray POR-15 Paint

When you are done with the above, you can immediately spray POR-15 and let it protect your car from rust.

Are There Other Options I Can Explore?

If buying POR-15 metal prep doesn’t sit right with you, there is another DIY alternative. It entails cleaning the surface thoroughly before applying the POR-15 paint and spraying an acid solvent.

The cleaning here will remove any surface rust. And because POR-15 paint is powerful enough to be used directly on top of rust, there is no need to dissolve the corrosion.

The purpose of the acid is to etch the paint. If you have some acid lying around, you can create your DIY metal prep and save the money for another product you may need to restore your car.

All you have to remember is that etching the metal is crucial in promoting the adhesion of paint.

The only difference here would be the acid you are using is highly flammable, toxic, and corrosive. Metal prep doesn’t have any of these features.

It is safer to handle and is very effective. You, therefore, have to decide which option sounds more ideal.

Does Metal Prep Cause Flash Rust?

When you go through some reviews of this product, you will realize that one of the most common complaints is in regards to this product causing the metal to flash rush.

This is bound to happen if the metal prep dries too quickly. Flash rusting doesn’t have to be a cause for concern because as long as the metal has been cleaned thoroughly, the POR-15 paint will deal with the flash rust.

How Easy Is It to Use POR-15 Metal Prep?

As you can see from the above description, it’s evident that POR-15 metal prep is very easy to use. All you need to do is spray it on a rusted surface and wait for it to do its job.

Cleaning it after is usually very easy, and you don’t need any special tools or equipment.

Does Metal Prep Help with POR-15 Adhesion?

One of the primary uses of metal prep is to promote the adhesion of POR-15 paint. It does that by etching the surface of the metal.

When the surface is properly etched, POR-15 paint will hold onto the surface much stronger than on a smooth metal surface.

Failure to use metal prep can result in the paint smearing the surface. Because the manufacturer recommends its use, it means that it helps with the overall painting process of POR-15.

Can I Use Any Other Type of Prep?

There are many metal preps in the market, PPG being a good example. They all do the same job, which is to etch metal for paint adhesion and removal of rust.

However, if you use POR-15 paint, it is advisable to use POR-15 metal prep. That way, you won’t run into any compatibility issues.

If you already have another metal prep that you want to use, go through the manufacturer’s instructions and determine if it’s recommended.

Should I Use Metal Prep or Skip It Altogether?

Using metal prep has its advantages, which makes it a crucial part of the POR-15 paint application process. If you can afford metal prep, we recommend buying and using it. Besides helping in the adhesion of POR-15 paint.

It also has other uses, such as removing rust from tools. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use metal prep. If you are in a hurry, you can always use acid, provided you handle it carefully.

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