Who says you can’t do it yourself? Car body repairs may require a higher skill level than fixing brake pads, but it is quite simple once you know how. We are really talking about fixing relatively minor damages such as repairs to dents or scratches, and spray painting the affected area to bring it back to optimum condition. Knowing these skills will save you hundreds at the auto repair shop. Even the sleekest cars with the latest gadgets eventually require these basic skills and here is how you can do it:
Repair Dents and Rust Holes
Six tools are needed:
1.Metal dolly (to secure against the back of dents) 2.Ball-peen hammer 3.Body filler 4.Putty 5.Wire brush (steel or bronze) 6.Sandpapers for wet and dry use
Dent repairs kits that include almost everything to fix a dent are also available at local automotive stores.
Wet Sanding and Drying: • Sanding block • Pail of water • Soap • Sponge • Several clean rags
The Process: Repairing a Dent and Rust, and how to Spray Paint When working on dents it is not at all necessary to hammer the body part back to its original shape—instead, lightly hammer in the dent to approximately 1/8 of an inch—to its original shape. Body filler and putty is used to complete the process of smoothing-out the dent. In this stage, your car paint will most likely start to chip, which takes you to the next stage: 1. Use 120 grit wet sandpaper to remove the chipping paint. Create a clean surface area of approximately two inches away from the exposed metal.
2.Dab the exposed area with anti-rust compound. Avoid applying it on painted area.
3.If rust is evident, use a wire brush to remove all traces.
4.An optional technique to follow after the removal of rust is to apply primer, but only if the exposed metal is no bigger than the palm of your hand.
5.Let the area dry fully before applying filler. Most body fillers are sold in two parts and then mixed to form a quick-drying compound. Use sparingly. Apply the mixed compound in one direction to fill the dent on the car body.
6.After the filler has hardened, wet sand the area gently with 320 grit sand paper. Ensure that the body filler feathers [no ridges] for a smooth contour.
7.Now apply (thinly) glazing putty over the filler to cover slight imperfections. Next, wet sand with 600 grit sand paper to the area with slight overlapping to painted area. Let dry completely.
8.Apply primer surface spray closest to original paint color. After primer has completely dried wet sand again with 600 grit sand paper. Let dry completely.
9.Spray paint the color unto your car using 4 to 6 coats, letting each coat dry completely.
10.After the final coat has dried wet sand very lightly with 1000 grit sand paper.
11. Rub the entire work with rubbing compound to bring out the shine and luster to the paint job.
Spray painting requires added skill. When spraying, hold the canister about 9 inches away from the area using a side-sweeping motion. Overlap each stroke by approximately 1/3 of an inch. Always mask off areas not to be painted. When the job is finished, not only would you have saved time and money but also, you will feel extremely gratified knowing you did it yourself.