ArchitectBoy is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Self-etching primer being sprayed on a wall by a human hand wearing a black glove to encourage smoothness.

The 8 Best Self Etching Primer in 2022

Are you thinking about replacing your old primer? If you don’t get the desired result with your old primer, it’s time to change it. There are lots of popular etching primers available on the market. Among them, some are expensive, and some are budget-friendly. It is really important to choose the perfect primer for getting a better result. So, which is the best self etching primer?

We have tested and selected 8 different primers that are quality, budget-friendly, and provide excellent adhesion. After reading our article and our experience and insights on these tools, you can easily decide which primer you should buy according to your budget and your job. So, let’s take a cup of coffee, sit on your couch and enjoy the article.

How Did We Choose The Best Self Etching Primer?

Choosing a good primer is not an easy task. Choosing the best primer for self etching purposes is very important and helps in at least one of your creativity issues. So, what are the criteria we use to select a good primer from hundreds? We care most about quality, adhesion, price, and consumer feedback.

We had to spend so much time looking, reading and asking different people who used this product. Motivated by customer reports, we have shortlisted the 8 best primers on a cost-effective budget and provide excellent adhesion. You can get an idea about the result after using all these primers at home or in a commercial workshop of DIY tool makers, such as woodworking, furniture making, carpentry workshops, etc.

Editors Choice: 3 Best Self Etching Primer

[amazon table=”3865″]

8 Best Self Etching Primer Guide

A quality primer can provide you with the best result on one of your creativity profile issues. So, we looked for this issue in our buyer Guides and came up with 8 primers. They should be the best self etching primers according to their quality, price range, and people’s feedback. In this section, we will discuss every product’s advantages and disadvantages side. So, let’s have a look:

1. SEM 39674 VOC Black Self Etching Primer.

[amazon fields=”B000PL25XY” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Introducing our first selected primer from SEM self etching primer. This is one of the best primers used by hundreds of DIY tool makers to achieve excellent results at home. SEM 39674 VOC BLACK Self-Etching Primer helps perfect adhesion and stain resistance, allowing easy self-drilling. This primer is also useful for sawing or sanding your furniture project into the wood. After two hours of protective coatings application, this primer gives a hard and water-resistant finish.

Product Features

This is odorless, thin, and penetrates very fast in your workbench or DIY workshop space, ensuring it lasts for more hours during actual use. Also, with these primers, you can do any task on wood irrespective of thickness like carpentry, machining, and sawing, etc.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t brush in the sun. Due to its thickness, you will have to wait longer before using the primer. You need to apply another coat of paint or primer on top and let it dry overnight. After that, you remove all dust from the surface, which is done easily because of its watered-down formula.

SEM 39674 primer is the priority for a perfect self etching primer; also, it is budget-friendly, quality item, and value for money.

Highlighted Features:
  • Ultra-lightweight and quick drying system.
  • Maximum adhesive capabilities.
  • Comfortable and Non-toxic.
  • Skilled results ·
  • The manual non-stick system applies very smoothly.

Walter Jensen said

This stuff really seems to dig into metal. I’ve used it as a primer on a vehicle for a quick “please don’t rust out over winter now that your original paint is going bye-bye” job and it held on for over a year, even with the lack of prep I provided. I imagine that if you really clean up the surface first, you’ll get phenomenal results.

This paint is also very ‘thin’. I sprayed it without any additional thinner through my good ‘ole harbor freight gun backed by a 20 gallon compressor, and the results were damn good.

[amazon fields=”B000PL25XY” value=”button”]

2. Custom Coat Self Etching Acid Etch Primer.

[amazon fields=”B07MDL82KH” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

The custom coat is basically a spray paint-type primer. It originated from a painting store and was termed a custom coat. This primer provides anti-corrosion properties to your wood, plastic, and metal works. It contains acid etch agents that help you get good results without spending much time on it. Also, the Custom coat primer gives out high resistance to environmental acids like rain, bathroom products, and kitchen sinks as they have antimicrobial properties.

Product Features

This primer is a great all-rounder for different applications, including household items like windows or doors. So, you can apply this primer smoothly on your finished toilet knobs, bathroom fixtures, etc. The phosphoric acid etching formula is pretty self-explanatory, and the instructions given are like any other primer out there.

So, we think it is better to have this complete set of Primers. It includes Brush-On Primer at a reasonable price compared with all others on our list!! Before buying any product, you must take the best advice and always research your homework.

Highlighted Features:
  • Heat Resistance.
  • Quick-drying system.
  • Corrosion protection against rain, bathroom products.
  • Non-toxic.
  • Provides anti-corrosion properties.

Chris Harrell said

I used this primer to prime over two old style, shiny Chevy bumpers. Ran a coarse grit sanding over the bumpers and sprayed it with this primer. Outstanding bond. Also used it on plastic material of my emblem…repaired the Chevy emblem and primed it …..bonded extremely well to that.

[amazon fields=”B07MDL82KH” value=”button”]

3. SEM 39683 Grey Self Etching Primer.

[amazon fields=”B000GTIRAU” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

This is another brand from SEM company. It is a grey colored primer that is meant to be sprayed on various surfaces and offers the same performance and characteristics as all other primers from SEM Company. SEM 39683 primer works great for preserving the natural look of your DIY products, lumber, steel, aluminum, etc. It has a special formula that prevents heavy corrosion for metallic materials like wood and metal accessories in your home, such as door handles, bathroom fixtures, nails, etc.

Product Features

It also comes with a little paint line which helps in easily spotting a fogged-up surface. The primer gives out high resistance to environmental acids like rain, bathroom products, and kitchen sinks as they have antimicrobial properties.

The primer will lead the way for easy painting jobs by clogging your spray systems with minimal overspray save time and effort! For this reason, we recommend it more highly than most primers available on the market today!!

Highlighted Key Features:
  • Ensures professional application.
  • The primer is used to consolidate the existing coatings.
  • It is made to preserve and protect wood furniture.
  • Quick-drying facilities.

Hog Driver said

Yes, you can get cheaper paint, but the SEM paint is without question the best paint you’ll ever use. I was amazed how well it covers bare aluminum (to be sure I did rough up the surface slightly with 000 steel wool). The color is even throughout the can. I did create a drip or two, but amazingly the paint completely evened out once dry and the drips disappeared. Depending on what you’re painting a single coat may be sufficient given the excellent coverage. Shipping was Amazon standard (outstanding), but also I liked that each can was individually sealed in a plastic sleeve in case of leakage…nice tough. If the project is worth your time, but it’s probably worth paying a bit extra to get the better paint. Highly recommend this product.

[amazon fields=”B000GTIRAU” value=”button”]

4. POR-15 Self Etch Primer Spray.

[amazon fields=”B00O4U3RES” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

POR-15 is another prominent selection for any surface, which offers great performance and characteristics compared to other common primers. Por 15 Primer spray has excellent weather protection as it will seal off any unwanted moisture, corrosion, or damage.

Product Features

The size of the primer is 15 Fl Oz that will enable you to rejuvenate your old worn out painted surfaces. It has great application capability. It may be used for exterior and interior furniture such as doors and cabinets, plumbing fixtures, etc.

This primer is a fast-drying primer with high resistance to acids so that it will not crack or chip- any time of the year! It needs only 20-30 mins for drying and serves as a sealer for new paint finishes. You will get a very solid surface with this product. It’s not like any other kind of primer available in the market at present, and so it will help you save your time and money.

Highlighted Features:
  • An aerosol item formed.
  • Quick-drying facilities.
  • Oil or spray paint type.
  • Adheres to Metal & Painted Surfaces.

Barnuts said

Awesome product. I ordered a few cans but in the meantime I bought another product at my local parts store. What a mistake , their product sprayed out in chunks and ruined what I needed to prime.I had to sand that product off completely. My cans of POR etch primer arrived and their product flowed as good as an expensive spray gun , with an even pattern, same as their top coat. You’ll only make that mistake once using anything else

[amazon fields=”B00O4U3RES” value=”button”]

5. Seymour 20-1675 PBE Professional Primer.

[amazon fields=”B0088LVJTE” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Are you finding the best primer for use on metal surfaces? Then Seymour 20-1675 is a great option for you; it comes with a durable and zinc enhanced coating that ernests to paint finishes and protects the surfaces from tarnishing, corrosion, and other chemical reactions that are caused due to exposure of water. The electrochemical galvanic action helps in strengthening zinc series protective coatings on metal surfaces.

Product Features

The primer also inhibits rust formation and protects the painted surface from chemical reactions of gases formed during heating. The heat is resistant up to 250˚F, allowing for further application of paint finishes. Its great properties keep it in line with its name as a professional-grade primer, and the product is suitable for use by experienced professionals too!

The dry film is 86-Percent pigment suitable for spraying water-based and oil-based paints. This makes it easy to paint on all coated walls. The dry film is also abrasion resistant by inhibiting material removal or wear in welding applications.

Highlighted Features:
  • Perfect for metal surfaces.
  • Durable zinc coating.
  • Heat Resistance up to 250˚F.
  • Comfortable and lightweight.

Rob said

I can’t vouch for how well it protects against rust as it’s inside the pieces I welded together, but it goes on easy and has a high-quality tip that will shoot horizontal or vertical. It does affect the the welding process a little, but you can still get a good quality weld with it. It does seem to burn and smoke quite a bit once it heats up though.

[amazon fields=”B0088LVJTE” value=”button”]

6. U-Pol Products ACID Etch Primer.

[amazon fields=”B004SR5ZXS” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

U-Pol is one of the most popular brands for producing paint primers at affordable prices and provides the best care to their customers. The product is lightweight, fast-drying, easy to apply with aerosol spray cans. It doesn’t have complicated application rules like applying weight over some time. The size of the primer is 1 Liter. The primer is formulated for application on metal structures as well.

Product Features

The product delivers fast penetration, even to this the lightest and soft metals exposed to chemicals. It protects the surface from corrosion, otherwise known as rust formation, by inhibiting iron oxide formation due to moisture. During the transfer process of paints between rollers and painting sections in a spray booth, it can be brought about.

With U-Pol Primer, there is no issue in spraying paint, especially the water base paints on a painted surface with high asphalt content. It protects to deliver an excellent sub curb look by preventing fading or cracking due to pollution effects.

Highlighted Features:
  • Provides paint adhesion to difficult substrates.
  • High corrosion resistance.
  • Budget-friendly and quality item.
  • Fast-drying system.

Hmcgoldric said

I used Acid 8 on several fabrication projects where bare steel is welded and sanded. I cleaned with lacquer thinner and sprayed Acid 8 followed by Raptor Bed Liner spray. Never had any issues with adhesion and the finished project looks great. Some projects are 3 years old and stored outside in the North East with no rust.

[amazon fields=”B004SR5ZXS” value=”button”]

7. Eastwood Self Etching Black Primer.

[amazon fields=”B07Q45BKNM” value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

The bare metal priming by Eastwood primers is a renowned name in the automotive industry. This paint primer provides excellent durability without compromising aesthetics. The product improves color retention, helps to protect against corrosion during storage. It enhances the overall appearance of bare metal while reducing excess glare and luminous glow due to its whitish hue.

Product Features

It is a fibreglass-bonded primer that helps in the preparation of bare metal while at the same time ensuring to protect it from rust. The product is thin-film material with thickening technology. It enables them to deliver exceptional adhesion without compromising its durability. The stainless steel surface is protected from corrosion during storage time.

The Non-Epoxy Top Coats are tough on paint and coatings. They are used to protect bare metal from excessive abrasion or abrasive chemicals. The product becomes a solid protective barrier against severe abuse by keeping rough surfaces bright without harming any coating of applied material.

Highlighted Features:
  • Maximum adhesion.
  • High-performance self-etch primer.
  • Perfect for stainless steel surfaces.
  • Customer satisfaction guarantee.

Rena L. said

Amazing, amazing stuff. Make sure you clear and prepare your surface. I was painting brass door knobs, hindges, latches, etc. Multiple coats and let it CURE. You would never know the old knobs were brass underneath. Took them from 10 years old to looking brand new, without flaking, chipping, etc. I suggest multiple coats for heavy use areas. But for an old lamp. 2 coats and done and no need for primer, etc.

[amazon fields=”B07Q45BKNM” value=”button”]

8. Rust-Oleum 249322 Automotive 12-Ounce Self Etching Primer.

[amazon fields=”B01GWCUDK6″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

Rust-Oleum Self Etching Primer is our last but not least selection. This is a regular primer that will give rust resistance to bare steel. It is a paint that tans quickly and will have the effect of protecting from corrosion on all types of steel surfaces. You can also apply this primer on plastic and vinyl surfaces. It is one kind of spray primer that is safe for use. It provides anti-corrosion protection on plastic and promotes no adverse effects.

Product Features

You will get approximately 12 Fluid Ounces that is enough for at least 2-3 hours. The flow factor produced is unique. It will give you a good result as it leaves no streaks or marks after application on paint and plastic surfaces. The manufacturer also guarantees this product to be free of all harmful ingredients like CFCs, formaldehyde, phthalates.

It has good adhesion capabilities. You can use this primer on all surfaces that have metallic surfaces. You need to apply the product with a brush or roller, and it will give you an even finish without having any streaks in your paint jobs. The primer is safe for wood, plastics, and linoleum floors too.

Highlighted Features:
  • Spot repairs capabilities.
  • Thick texture & easy application.
  • Perfect for plastic surfaces.
  • Easy coated application.

Beasley said

I used this to restore a cast iron trivet. first I used a rust remover Then applied three light coats of this primer which dries amazingly fast so I only waited about 2 minutes between coats. This left a perfect surface which was so smooth my wife thought I sanded it. Then Two top coats with a heat resistant paint and It looks amazing.

[amazon fields=”B01GWCUDK6″ value=”button”]

Best Self Etching Primer: Things to Consider Before Buying

self etching primer

Before buying the best etching primer for your work, several criteria should be considered. Some of these factors can vary from type to type, while others will always have in common such as their abilities and ease of use. Let’s check some considerations before purchasing the best piece of primer.

Corrosion resistance

The primer you get should be good corrosion resistance. The product’s main use will depend on your different surface but always be beware of areas, such as high humidity and corrosive atmosphere where dirt or rust is formulae to accelerate the classic deterioration in surfaces. Your choice should also consider their skin safety when working for women participants.

Cost effective

Always think about this factor before purchasing branded products rather than generic ones. Generic products may be excellent at their cost but are usually best-known for being cheap. All the selected items are cost-effective and budget-friendly items. So, any people can buy our primer. You should always think about it before purchasing any product.


When choosing an item, you should surely consider their finish quality too, like normal, semi-glossy, or flat. You cannot neglect this factor when purchasing paint stuff, as every product has its finishing level based on drying time. So always check before buying it from any online shopping website.


You should always consider the primer’s texture before buying it. When you’re aware of its finish, then style is the next factor that has great importance on every surface. Always check for their sticker adhesives or any other decoration stickers on the cheapest since these can interfere with the quality of the product.

Fast Drying Capabilities

You should consider another important option before purchasing a quality primer. A fast-drying system helps to save your time. Every primer should have this feature. Otherwise, you shouldn’t buy that item. So, choose an item wisely.

Frequently Answer Question(FAQs)

What is the difference between self etching primer and primer?

Self-etching primer is a paint that you apply to the surface of your metal. Primer is a paint that you apply to the surface of your metal. Another difference is that primer dries much faster, which makes it easier to furnish delicate surfaces like glass or plastic. Self-etching primer can’t be an epoxy primer but can be an oil (abrasive) or water-borne paint.

Is self etching primer good?

Yes! The advantages of a self-etching primer are fast drying time, finishing ability, and texture of the paint. Self-etching primer is a coating that drys strongly enough to become an economical choice. Self-etching primers tend to have the same oil or water-based paint characteristics, such as drying time and finish.

What makes a primer self etching?

This type of primer contains an acid that affects the metals while being painted. It helps to eliminate the wet look of paint, and so it will always remain fresh. The acid also stands for fading with time. It also helps to stop the bleeding of the paint on different metals. The primer etching makes a surface glossy, which will not be affected by water or sweat if they touch that part later on.

How long can you leave etch primer before painting?

It needs at least 24 hours to cure before you can use it and paint over the primer. It might be advisable to leave it longer if there is a need for a long time-to-dry mixed key or complex shapes. Some primers provide a curing time of at least 7 days in which it may need to be left longer. Some manufacturers claim 30-day timescales.

Can you use self etching primer on wood?

To get the best effects, use primer just as it is. However, a primer must be used with “wood conditioner” or “quick-drying top coat.” Because this will prevent blistering of wood and make etch a complete finish on exterior applications after hardening in sunlight for several days. It may lead to very interesting results when primers easily penetrate deep inside the wood grain, making a rust-proof coating.

Final Word

Before choosing the best self etching primer, I recommend that you not go for the cheapest ones. Even though you buy it at a low price, they probably have the same etching time as high price material. We have selected the 8 best primers, which are really cost-effective, have maximum adhesion, and have easy coated application. Also, we have tested them ourselves and selected them as they seemed perfect and the best ones in the market. So, you can put your trust in us.

So, guys, now we are at the very end of the content. If you are confused about any product, you can know us by leaving a comment below the post. Thanks for your efforts.


Read more