Better Body Filler: Tips & Techniques

Dings and dents in an automobile can be unsightly. Before the car can be restored to its original condition with a new coat of paint, these dings and dents must be corrected. Your body shop is probably using a body filler to help level out any dents and dings present in the body of a vehicle.

Here are some tips and techniques that you can use to ensure your customers are satisfied with your finished product when using body filler in the future.

1. Applying body filler to bare metal.

Stripping the paint off a dented surface will make it easier to apply a successful layer of body filler. Once you have applied a layer of body filler into a customer's dent or ding, you can use a steel ruler to smooth the body filler into place. Drag the steel ruler slowly across the surface of the area where you have applied body filler.

This technique will remove excess body filler and reduce the amount of energy required to sand the surface smooth. When you are ready to begin sanding, make sure that you use an 80-grit sandpaper. Although this fine sandpaper will clog faster, it will help you sand out any scratches that could affect the paint application later on.

2. Applying body filler to a painted surface.

In some instances (like when the damage affects only a small area), it can create more work to strip the paint from a customer's car before applying body filler. Since modern body fillers can adhere to pretty much any surface, it may be more beneficial to apply your body filler directly over the paint to save time and money.

If you don't properly prepare the paint in the surrounding area before beginning your repairs then a fresh coat of paint could create a visible edge around the filler. Take a 240-grit sandpaper and prep the area you will be repairing to ensure a uniform paint application after the body filler has fully dried.

3. Applying body filler to a welded area.

If your customer's repairs require you to weld a piece of metal onto the existing frame of the car, you will likely need to apply body filler over these welded seams.

Your weld could contain tiny pinholes that will become visible once paint is applied, so be sure that you shine a flashlight behind the seam after grinding to check for porosity. Finish off your repairs by applying body filler to both the front and the back of the welded seam to prevent air leakage and reinforce your seam

For more information, contact Lou's Auto Body or a similar company.