Wipe parts with a cleaner such as Prep-sol, then wipe dry and scuff with 220 or finer.. Blow off and wipe clean with a tack cloth then prime.. Do not use Rustoleam as it is not compatible with other paints..
And never put epoxy on top of phosphoric acid etch. Not compatible. Big No No. Both are excellent. Epoxy nice cause you can paint right over. Phosphoric etch primer needs Primer surfacer on top. Can not put paint on etch.
Not to doubt any of you guys, and your procedures. If you want to spend all that extra money and time go right ahead, but ya'll are making it too complicated.
Sandblast each part down to the bare metal (where applicable), wipe it clean with a tack cloth while using latex gloves to keep your greasy hands from leaving any oil deposits on the parts, and then spray some good primer on it.
Sand it smooth, wipe with tack cloth again using gloves, and then paint.
I have painted five tractors, and two turning plows. The paint on every one is holding up great.
As Charlie once told me, "for crying out loud it's only a garden tractor!!!!"
Can you elaborate on why Rustoleum is not compatible with other paints?
I have been using Rustoleum grey auto primer for several years, and have had no issues.
Not sure about using it with other paints. I see no need to stray from the original.
Rustoleum is linseed oil based paint.. Not compatible with other paints as they are urethane enamel and have a differant chemical composition.. I have had problems with it wrinkling and fisheyeing when you try to spray enamel over it..