3-Step Guide To Repairing Minor Dents On Your Car's Body After A Collision

If your car has recently been in a minor collision, you may find some small dents. In order to save money, you may decide to try to fix them yourself. If so, use the following three-step guide for patching the dents with plastic filler.

Step 1:  Prepare The Dent By Sanding It

The first step involves preparing the surface as a precursor to patching it with plastic body filler. This is done by using sandpaper to remove as much paint as possible and to provide a slightly rough surface to make the filler stick better.

For this step, you will need a plastic scraper, a sheet of coarse sandpaper and a sheet of medium grit paper. You also need a handheld sand block, if you do not want to sand using your bare hands.

Start out by using the scraper to remove any large, flaky patches of paint. Once you have removed all of the loose flakes, use the coarse sandpaper to further remove the paint until you get to the underlying surface.

After using the coarse grit, switch to the medium grit to create small grooves in the surface. When sanding, use light pressure so you do not damage the body.

Use a wet mechanics rag to wipe away the dust. This type of cloth is ideal because it is lint-free and will not snag. After wiping away all of the dust, go on to the next step.

Step 2:  Patch The Dent With Plastic Body Filler

Once the surface has been prepared, it is time to fill in the dent with a plastic body filler. You will need a plastic mixing spoon and a wide, plastic spatula.

After opening the filler's container, use the spoon to mix it thoroughly to smooth it out and remove any air bubbles. Then, pour a small amount onto a plastic board or sheet. This will make applying it to the spatula easier.

Dip the spatula into the filler. Apply a small amount all the way across the end of it. 

Starting at one end of the dent, smooth a thin layer of the filler into it as you pull the spatula. Then, repeat for each layer until the patch is even with the undamaged surface of the car.

Allow the plastic filler to dry. This will depend on the brand you are using, so look at the directions on the container. Once it is completely dried and set up, go on to the finishing step.

Step 3:  Finish And Paint The Patch

In this final step, the filler patch is finished by sanding and painting the surface. You will need 1000-grit sandpaper to make a smooth surface. You will also need a small container of touch-up paint that closely matches the color of your car and a fine bristled paintbrush.

If you have an electric sander, you can use it on the lowest setting. If not, use the sanding block to lightly sand the surface, applying light pressure. Do not push down too hard because you could gouge the paint.

Once the surface is smooth, apply a thin layer of paint over the patch and let it dry. Then, apply a second layer. Once this layer has dried, lightly sand the surface to polish it.

Once you are finished with the above steps, the dents will be filled in enough to make them less noticeable. However, if you find out there is more extensive damage than your previously though, you may want to ask professionals at sites like http://alloutcustomsandcollision.com/ for more suggestions on ways to repair the dents in your auto body.