Body repair by you:
It’s been done by everyone. You back into a pole, hit a stray shopping cart, or hit the trunk lid with a hefty object. The end effect is an unsightly dent or scraped surface. Small damage claims can be costly to file with your insurance, and if you’ve obtained an auto body repair quote, you know that parts and labor can be costly to pay out of pocket. However, there is another option: you can repair it yourself. That’s correct. The typical do-it-yourselfer can repair small dents and scratches with a plunger, a bottle of touch-up paint, and a few supplies. Here’s how to do it.
Dents that are unsightly:
You may be able to get the dent out if the collision did not break the finish and only damaged a larger body panel. Pour a pail of soapy water over the dent and use your plunger to remove it. The water should aid in the formation of a good seal, and you may be able to reshape the panel. The soap will help you break the suction by allowing you to slide the plunger down the panel.
If your damage is in a small spot along a crease in the vehicle, you can use a mallet to gently pound a small block of wood at the tip of the dent to drive the misplaced metal back into its original shape. Gently tapping around the dent’s edges may help pop the metal back into form. Take care not to scratch the finish; bare metal can corrode if the paint is chipped.
Stone Chips, Scratches, and Scrapes:
Most body shops will sell you a touch-up paint bottle. They’ll also inquire as to what you’re mending and offer to do it for a hefty cost. Please reject and only ask for a bottle of touch-up paint. To obtain the manufacturer’s paint code, they will require access to your car. This is usually found in the glove compartment or the door jam. If your car has been painted a different color than the original, the auto body specialist can mix your paint to match the remainder of the finish as nearly as possible.
In addition to the paint bottle, you’ll need fine grit sand paper, a pail of soapy water, wax, and buffing cloths. Wash the scraped area thoroughly in soapy water, paying close care to any bugs or tar. Wet your fine grit sand paper and sand the edges of the scrape or stone chip, ensuring sure the sand paper stays wet. To ensure complete drying, thoroughly dry the area and leave it to sit for at least ten minutes. Then, for at least two minutes, shake the bottle of touch-up paint. Over the damaged area, apply a light coat of paint. After the first coat has dried, you can always add a second coat. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a rubbing compound and a coat of wax to maintain your finish.
When it comes to paint repairs, a sunny day with low humidity is ideal. If this isn’t an option in your location, make the repairs inside a warm structure with a dehumidifier running. To help cure the paint, you can use heat lamps or a hair dryer on the lowest setting.
You can save money by repairing little damages yourself with a few tools and a little know-how.
How to do Basic Body Repair