DIY Car Bodywork Repairs

Updated April 17, 2017

A dent or ding in your car's finish from hail damage or someone parking too close to you in the car park can be a frustrating problem. As much as you try to avoid dealing with it, your eyes cannot avoid see the damage on your car. Instead of spending money for minor bodywork at a professional auto shop, learn a few techniques to fix a dent.

Wash 4 to 6 inches around the affected area and let it dry. This step ensures that debris does not prevent a tight seal with the dent pulling tool.

Place the dent pulling tool over the damaged area. Press firmly and slowly into the dent so there is a tight seal between the damaged area and the dent pulling tool.

Grab the dent pulling tool with a firm grip and pull out in an upward steady motion to pop the dent out of the car panel. If the dent is gone, your work is done and you can skip the next steps. If you have a larger dent, use the dent pulling tool to pop the dent as much as you can, then proceed with the next steps.

Sand the affected area with a disk sander. Use a fibre cloth to remove the sanding debris.

Use a putty knife to fill in the dent with body filler and extend it a few inches from the dent. Use enough body filler until the dent is even with the surface of the car panel. Leave the body filler to dry as recommended by the manufacturer.

Sand the dried body filler with a wooden block covered with 100-200 grit sand paper until it is even with the surface of the car panel. Repeat steps 5 and 6 if the area is still uneven.

Continue to sand the affected area with 300-grit wet sand paper until you cannot distinguish between the edges of the filler and where the car panel begins.

Rinse off the sanding debris and wipe the area with a fibre towel.

Apply touch-up automotive paint to the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Dent pulling tool
  • Disk sander
  • Putty knife
  • Body filler
  • Wooden block
  • Sandpaper
  • Fibre towel
  • Automotive touch-up paint
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