Video Tutorial: Do-It-Yourself Car Paint Repair – Part 1

Today, I wanted to share with you a two part car paint repair video tutorial.  It will show you how professionals at the body shop repair major car paint damage.

The car had a deep scratch and a small dent. In part 1 you will learn how to prepare the area for primer and how to prime (be ready for a lot of sanding). Video Tutorial Part 2 demonstrates how to apply spray paint and clear coat. Some of the tools used in the video are expensive, but there are cheaper options you  can use.

Body shops can charge hundreds of dollars for a simple repair like this. But you can do this repair yourself for under $100. Watch the video and read my comments below.

Items you will need for this part:

Step 1: Cleaning
Start by cleaning the repair area from dirt, wax and other contaminants. Wash it with water with few drops of dishwashing soap. Follow it with prep solvent. The are should be clean and dry.

Step 2: Sanding
Sand the area. In the video they are using sanding machine with 80 grit sanding paper, but you can do it by hand. The goal is to prepare the area for body filler application by scuffing the surface so the filler will adhere properly.

car paint sending

Step 3: Body Filler
You need to apply body filler to even out the area. Try not to use more filler than necessary.  Body filler come with hardener that needs to be mixed together before application. Keep in mind, you will have only few minutes to apply it before it starts to harden. Apply the filler with a plastic spreader using smooth long strokes covering the entire area from side to side.

mixing body filler

applying body filler

Step 4:  Sanding Filler
After filler is dry, sand it with 40 grit and then with 80 grit sanding paper.

sanding body filler

Step 5:  Feathering
To make sure the area is smooth, sand the area around the damage. In the video they are using P240 and the sanding machine, but you can do the same by hand with dry 180 grit sanding paper and then move to 320 grit.

Step 6: Backsanding
Continue sanding the area around the damage with 320 grit sanding paper.

body filler sanding

Step 7:  Masking
Now, the surface is smooth we are ready for primer. Mask the area with some old news papers and auto tape. Don’t use duck tape to avoid sticky residue.

car masking

Step 8: Primer
In the video they are using a professional spray gun that costs between $100 – $150. You can use a primer in a spray can the same way. Apply 3 coats of primer giving each coat enough drying time. Wait for 30 min before sanding the primer.

applying primer

Step 9:  Sanding Primer
After primer is completely dry, remove the masking paper. Sand it with 320 grit sandpaper. In the video, they’ve applied a black  shoe polish as a contrast material. You don’t have to do that. For final primer sanding use wet/dry 600 sanding paper. Use a lot of water with few drops of dish soap to make it more slippery. Keep checking the surface for smoothness with your fingers.

final primer sanding

Step 10: Removing Overspray
After applying primer you will have primer overspray around the damage area that can be easily removed with 1,500 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Use a lot of water with some dish soap.

sanding overspray

Now that you are done with the part one, here is part 2:

Video Tutorial: Do-It-Yourself Car Paint Repair – Part 2

~Mike Davis

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