Fixing Your Own Dings Before Having Your Car Painted

If you want to repaint an old car, you will likely need to fix several dings, dents and holes in your car body. Most auto body paint shops will also do auto body repair, but it will definitely cost you extra. In fact, it might double the total cost of your paint job. If you are trying to make your paint job more affordable, you can do the small auto body repair on your own, before you take your car in to be painted.

Preparing to Patch

Before you apply any patch or body filler to your dented spots, you need to prepare the area. You should lightly sand a small circular area around the perimeter of the dent. You will need wet sandpaper to sand on your auto body. Wet sandpaper is extremely high grit, usually over 1,000. To use wet sandpaper you will need to keep a small bucket of water that you can dip the paper into. You want to keep the paper wet so it is lubricated and will not scratch the paint. Since auto body paint is so delicate, you should not apply too much pressure when sanding.

Patching the Dent

Using auto body filler can be a little tricky, mainly because it dries so quickly. You should practice using auto body filler on a spare piece of metal. Familiarize yourself with its consistency and drying time. You want to be prepared when it comes time to apply the body filler to your car. Carefully spread the filler using a plastic putty knife that will not scratch the paint. Trying to make sculpt the patch with your knife so it matches the contours of the car. However, you will not be able to get it to perfectly match.

Sanding the Dent

You need to wait for the patch to dry completely (at least 24 hours) before you can sand it. By slowly sanding down the dent you can try to match the car's contours. Use the same wet sandpaper that you use before. The patched area should be just as smooth as the rest of the car body.

This is pretty much all you have to do to prepare you car to be painted. If you did a thorough and careful job, your patches will not even be noticeable once the car is painted by a professional like Collision-One, Inc. Best of all, you will have saved a little bit of cash on your paint job!