Auto body filler can be used to fill small dents and scratches on the exterior surfaces of a vehicle. It is important to take care of dents and scratches as over time if left untreated water and debris can get under the paint causing rust and damage to the vehicle panels.
Use a soft cloth to clean away dirt and debris from the area you are going to apply filler on. Be sure that the area is dry as well.
Place a golf ball sized amount of filler on a piece of cardboard. Use a spreading stick or a wooden ruler to spread the filler around. Squeeze a small amount of filler hardener across the top surface of the filler in a line.
Take the stick or ruler and mix up the filler and hardener until it is well blended. When mixing the filler do not “whip it” like you would when preparing cookie dough. You do not want to create air pockets inside the filler. Simply stir it around until the hardener is evenly distributed within the filler. The mixture is sufficiently stirred when the overall color of the mixture is even.
Take a plastic spreader, available at paint stores and auto parts stores, and slide it into the mixture picking up roughly the amount of filler you’ll need to evenly cover the scratch or dent.
Spread the filler across the dent or scratch until the entire area is evenly covered. Use the plastic spreader tip to smooth out the filler using even pressure as you go. Do not pass over the filler more than once.
Wait for the filler to harden and dry completely. The drying process may take 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Use standard sandpaper to gently sand down the area covered by filler. You want it to be smooth to the touch. Do not apply too much pressure as this can wipe the filler off completely.
Carefully wipe away any debris or dirt that may have landed on the surface. Use a soft paint brush to apply auto body paint that matches the color of the vehicle. Ensure that the entire filler area is covered. Allow the first coat of paint to dry and reapply another coat if the filler is still showing through the first coat of paint.
Although auto body filler is an easy and inexpensive way to repair small dents and scratches it can not be used for larger deep dents or scratches than go through the metal. Also body filler can not repair structural damages and should not be used to fill in holes in the car body caused by accidents or rust damage. Clear structural damage and holes in the body should be taken care of by a professional as these types of occurrences could compromise the safety and structural integrity of the vehicle.