Paint chips, scrapes, and scratches on the once smooth and clean auto body panel may be ignored. This is especially if these are barely visible; most vehicle owners don't see the need to fix the damage right away, thinking that they only affect car aesthetics. But, even a simple dent, ding, or rough space can actually create more trouble than you can think of. Rust or corrosion may develop on the metal underneath the paint. Damage will go beyond the surface and into the metal. If left untreated, rust or corrosion may spread to other areas of the car and destroy the auto body. So before it's too late, repair the scratched or dented auto panel right away. This way, you can save yourself from the expensive cost of having to replace the entire panel instead of just fixing the damaged spot.
Tools and materials:
- 180-grit sandpaper
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Body filler
- Wax and grease remover
- A spray can of clear coat paint
- A spray can of primer
- A spray can of paint
- Masking paper
- Masking tape
- Microfiber towels
- Plastic squeegee
Step 1: Sand off the paint on the dented or dinged section of the auto body panel with a 180-grit sandpaper. You have to sand right inside the paint and around it (extending up to three inches). See to it that the sanded area is already dull and that the paint had been removed completely before applying some body filler.
Step 2: Cover the dented area with several coats of body filler. Use a plastic squeegee to smooth out the filler and spread this evenly. The filler surface would be a bit higher than the rest of the panel. Let the filler dry fully. This may take about two hours.
Step 3: Use a 220-grit sandpaper to sand the dried filler. This will leave the filler smooth and even as with the rest of the body panel surface. After this, you have to apply some wax and grease remover on the area to get rid of dust from sanding and oil left behind by fingerprints. Use a microfiber towel for this so you won't scratch or scrape the surface and will effectively remove dirt and contaminants that can destroy the paint.
Step 4: Tape the repaired area once the surface has been cleaned. Put masking tape and paper around it to keep the untreated surface clear of primer, paint, and clear coat. Once the area has been covered, you can now spray a thick coat of primer on the fixed surface. The primer should dry fully before you start applying paint and clear coat. The drying time may take about half an hour.
Step 5: Apply three thin coats of paint through a spray can. Every coat should dry completely before you add another one. The interval between each layer or coat could be 15 minutes. This should be followed by three thin layers of clear coat paint. Same as before, the drying time for each coat or layer could take about 15 minutes. Peel off the tape and paper and see how the paint on the body panel goes.