Repairing Minor Dents In Your Vehicle

If you recently tapped something such as a guard rail, parking bumper, pole, or even your garage door, with your vehicle, you may have minor damage to be repaired. Small dents are not that difficult to repair if you have the proper tools and some time set aside where you will not need your vehicle. Here are some instructions that you can use to help repair minor dents from a low-impact hit with your vehicle.

Assess The Damage

Before getting your materials out to make repairs, take a good look at the damaged area on your vehicle. If the damage has a ripped or torn area, or if there are any pushed in areas that alter the shape of your vehicle, you will want to bring it to an auto body repair shop instead of taking on the job yourself. 

Materials You Will Need

  • Sander
  • Sandpaper in course, medium and fine-grit
  • Auto body filler and hardener
  • Plastic bowl
  • Plastic spreader
  • Block of wood
  • Spot putty
  • Paper bag
  • Painter's tape
  • Primer

Filling In The Hole

When repairing a dent, use a sander to sand all the paint off of the affected area. Sand right down to the metal of your vehicle. Mix auto body filler with filler hardener inside a plastic bowl. Use a plastic spreader to mix the materials together. As soon as the filler has a creamy consistency, it will be ready to apply to the dented area. Use your spreader to smooth the filler into the dent, making sure to drag some of the filler over the edges so the dent is completely covered. Allow the filler to harden thoroughly.

Smoothing The Surface

Place a piece of course-grit sandpaper around a block of wood and use it to smooth the hardened filler. Switch to medium-grit after larger pieces are removed. This will give the filler a smooth surface that is uniform with the rest of your vehicle. Apply some spot putty over the hardened filler. This will fill in any holes or gaps that the filler may have missed. After it dries, use a piece of fine-grit sandpaper to remove it from the top layer of the filler. Small particles will stay behind, filling in and strengthening the filler in place. 

Finishing The Job

Cut a hole in a paper bag in the size of the area you have just repaired. Place the bag over the affected area so the filler is seen in the hole area of the bag. Tape it to your vehicle using painter's tape. This will keep the rest of your vehicle safe from primer and paint. Add three coats of primer to the affected area, sanding down with fine-grit sandpaper in between coats to smooth the surface. After the last coat is applied, sand it with wet sandpaper, leaving you with a fine, smooth surface ready for paint application.

If if you run into any problems or have questions about filling in dents, you may be better off taking your car into an auto shop like All Out Customs & Collisions to ensure that the job is done properly,