How To Apply Auto Body Filler To A Dent In Your Car Before Your Car Gets Painted

7 June 2016
 Categories: Automotive, Blog

Spring is a good time to get your car painted now that the harsh winter weather and road conditions are done for another season. If your car has some little dents in it, you should have them removed before the car is painted to make sure the car looks as good as it can. You can save a little money by fixing the small dents yourself with auto body filler before you take your car to an auto shop to get painted. Applying auto body filler to small dents is something many car owners can do in an afternoon in their garage. If you are a car owner who wants to save a little money repairing small dents before your car gets painted, here is how you can apply auto body filler to the dents.

You Will Need:

  • Auto Body Filler Material
  • Hardener
  • Polyethylene Board
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Dish Soap
  • Water
  • Wide Plastic Trowel
  • Rotary Sander
  • Medium-Grit Sandpaper
  • Eye Protection
  • Breathing Mask
  • Rubber Gloves

Mix Body Filler and Hardener

The auto body filler material typically comes in gallon sized plastic pails. Put on some rubber gloves to protect your hands before handling the material. Take a plastic trowel and scoop out the material and place it on a polyethylene board. The reason you want to use a polyethylene board is because the material won't readily stick to the board and it is easy to clean. Only place a scoop or two of the body filler on the board at one time.

The hardener will come in a little squeeze tube. Squeeze out a couple of tablespoon size dabs of hardener onto the top of the auto body filler. The auto body filler and the hardener are two different colors. Mix the material until it is all one color.

Apply Body Filler

You only have a few minutes to apply the auto body filler material before it gets too hard to work with. Apply a thin coat over the dents. Do not try to fill the dents all at once with the material as it will crack as it dries if it is applied too thick.

Wash the material off of the polyethylene board with mineral spirits while you wait for the filler material on the car to completely dry - this shouldn't take more than twenty minutes or so. Cleaning the board will prevent clumps of dried material from getting mixed into a new patch of filler. Clean the mineral spirits off of the board with soapy water and rinse well.

Mix another patch of body filler material with the hardener and apply another layer of filler over the dents. Keep on repeating this process until the dents are filled up with the material.

Put on a breathing mask and eye protection to protect your eyes and lungs from the dust you are going to create when sanding down the filler material. Sand the filler down with a rotary sander (if you don't have a rotary sander, you can use a sanding block) fitted with a medium-grade sanding pad. Make sure you feather the material out over the surface of the car to make the repaired surface smooth. The car will be ready for painting once you finish sanding the filler down over the dents. To find out more, visit a website like