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DIY: Dint and Chip Repair


Posting aimlessly ..
Mar 6, 2005
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MX6 - Turbo .... so flame me
as an add on for DIY: Repsray

I will not post a how-to on repairing body damage, nor will i post a how-to on repairing anything more serious than the proverbial "ding". if you have sizeable body damage, take it to a panelbeaters because the larger the dint, the harder it will be to attain a 'factory panel' straightness which is a little bit out of the novice league.

Materials: Tools and Equipment

(body filler is known as:- Bog, Filler, 2pak Putty) plus some other stupid names.
1 x tub of body filler. supercheap auto stuff is good value. you get more than you will ever use on a single car and its actualy decent quality stuff for a change.
1 x applicator card. atm cards and old licences (not your current!) will suffice if your too poor to afford $1.50 for a pack of 3 lol.
1 x pack of razor blades to clean your applicators. MOST IMPORTANT.
1 x sanding block.
1 x packet of scourers (scotchbrite)
1 x 800grit wet/dry
4 x 400grit wet/dry
4 x 240grit wet/dry
1 x tub of elbow grease
1 x 500ml can of thinners
1 x spraycan of primer. (heresy for painters i know, but you can get away with it for just using it to see if its straight!) lol

i priced all of this at my local autoshop. $35. though the elbow grease was very hard to find ...
this is enough to repair the wear and tear of parking in shopping centres on most cars. re-read the top of this post now if you have anything larger than a mobile phone.


- wash your car. clean water and a sponge is fine.
- park your car in the sun and walk around the entire car with a scourer in your hand and find all the dints you wish to repair. DONT scour the dints. just make a circle around the general area of damage with the scourer. FYI if you scour the dints, it will make them bloody hard to see.
- one panel at a time. examine each panel from different angles and be sure to look down the length of the car in general. some dints dont give themselves away until you're looking at a car down its longest point. (you'll get what i mean)
- no sanding is required on dints. common misconception. all you need to do to make 2pak putty stick is to give it a quick assault with a scourer. just do the area where you circled earlier.

** dont bite off more than you can chew at this point. if you even THINK a dint might be a little big for you, it probably is **

spend a good 15 minutes examining the car, dont just walk around it twice and say 'yep. got em all' i'll guarantee you didnt. look at it as if you've never seen the car before in your life.


- ideally get a ceramic tile or piece of glass to use as your putty board, pizza boxes have been known to make good substitutes too.
- if your using old applicators hit them with a razor blade and 800grit sandpaper to smooth them off. applicators MUST have a perfect smooth edge.
- get a 50c piece sized portion of filler and put a tiny amount of hardener in with it. (as per directions on filler tub). the hotter the day, the quicker it will go off. dont mix too much, you wont use it. especially if your a novice at the game, you'l lspend too much time mucking around with filling one dint, you wont get to the others before it goes off.
- mix it up clearly till its a uniform colour. REALLY pale pink is what you want.
- use your CLEAN applicator to pick up a dab of filler on the corner of the applicator card. you really dont need much for sharp stone dints.
- ever wiped crusties from the corner of your eyes with a little finger?? use that same kind of motion to apply the filler over a dint. dont try to push the filler in, you'll stuff it up. just wipe the card over the dint with a little tiny pressure. the filler will find its own level.
- theres no rule that says your dint must be filled in one shot. build it up over a couple of applicatoins if you like, in fact, your likely to get a better result doing this as you'll find the right shape bit by bit in the putty and wont need to shape by sanding quite as much.

practice makes perfect. if you make a mistake.. dont worry, get a rag and soak it with thinners, and the putty will wipe straight off. get your technique worked out and you'll be sailing.

ideally putty should be left in over night. Yes! even small amounts! the longer you leave a repair, the better it will be, but if your an impatient sort, give it an hour at minimum on a warm day. 2 hours on a colder day.


this is all dependant on where your repair was. i'll give 2 examples.
Broad Flat Panel (bonnet) and Small Round Panel (guard)

Broad Panel
- wrap a bit of 240grit around your sanding block and diagonally to the front of the car move the block across the repair.
- DO NOT PRESS DOWN. just literally move the block over the repair, and use the flatbottom of the block to shape the filler into the surrounding panel. if you take too much, dont stress, its about .03 cents worth of filler to put a bit more in.
- stop and look at your repair every few strokes by running your hand over it quickly! if your still unsure if its smooth or not, put a piece of newspaper down over the repair, and then run your hand over it. putting paper between your hand and the repair accentuates the shape and will make it easier to feel.

Small Round Panel
can be quite tricky for the inexperienced, but persitence will pay off.
- get your 240grit and using your flattened fingers lightly rub at the repair in circular motions just to take the smoothness out of the filler.
- take extreme care not to push too hard in any one particualr spot. the key here is to let the paper do the sanding, and to let it do it evenly.
- once youve got texture to the repair (should take about 5 - 10 circular sweeps) use straight, diagonal strokes over the repair. this is because when you start the repair off with straight strokes, you can physically lift the corners of your repair and take gouges out of it, if it isnt applied properly. but once you've got texture to it, it should be fine.
- most important here, follow the shape of the panel with your hand. dont try and accentuate the curve of the panel, just push the paper over the repair and let it follow the curve itself.
- stop and feel the repair constantly. if you take too much, simply apply more filler. stop once YOUR happy with the finish. its your car after all.


- cover or mask up any possible overspray areas (such as mouldings and badges) i would personally remove anything that might be damaged before commencing any kind of body work. better safe than out at wreckers looking for parts.
- spray your primer as per the cans directions over the repair area. dont go apeshit and spray it all over the place. just on the repair is fine. once its all the same single colour, it will be far easier to see if you have any high spots, or low spots.
- high spots .. get your block with 240grit on it and place it over the high spot and gently sand the area. the flatness of the block will take the high spot down. CHECK AS YOU GO because once the block starts sanding the primer in the surrounding area, your repair is now perfect and needs nothing more!
- low spots .. sand the low area free from primer with 240grit and apply more putty. NEVER LEAVE PRIMER BETWEEN FILLER LAYERS!!! it can sweat or get shrinkage and cause all sorts of havoc! sand as previous steps and reapply your primer and have another look.

- once your happy with your repairs, give them all a very light sand with 400grit paper to give them a 'finish'. then spray them all with 2 coats of primer.
- give the primed areas a light rub with a scourer to smooth it off.

your done!

:end notes:

this is NO substitute for a reputable smash repair shop, and if you doubt yourself over ability to repair a dint. then please dont try! it will just cost you more to have them redo your failed work and they'll laugh at your attempts after you drop off the car.. (yes we do) :thumbsup:

just a little afterthought - NEVER wash primed areas or areas with body filler with thinners. it will dissolve the primer and body filler.
you CAN use prepsol to clean as its a much more refined and gentle.

if you can contribute to this DIY please do! every bit of information helps the home panelbeaters!



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Feb 6, 2006
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'Ruby' 1991 VN Exec & '98 Proton M21 Coupe
Awesome how-to s0sage!! For both threads! Well done!

Maybe a follow-up thread of "reputable products"? There's a lot of nasty stuff out there, it's hard to know whats good quality and whats not.


Posting aimlessly ..
Mar 6, 2005
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MX6 - Turbo .... so flame me
id do an info thread on the products on the market ... but for every type of paint, theres 10 brands that sell it. for every brand that sells the paint, theres 100 types of clearcoat and so on..

and they've all got their own people that swear by them.

this is ONE mans opinion. mine. i swear by anything produced by Standox. and i wont paint a car in anything but 2k with fast hardener (unless its something like a ute tray to be bashed around, then acrylic it is :p ).

so yeah, sos says standox. but all sorts of paints, clears and primers spray out differently in all sorts of different spray guns at different settings. its much too broad a field to narrow.

and thanks for all the positive feedback on these how-to's! i just hope some people out there will get inspired and GET THEIR CARS FIXED!! i hate seeing trashed cars on the road commodores and otherwise!! lol!