How To Repair And Repaint A Car Or Truck Body Panel

16 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If you have a dented panel on your car or truck, you want it to be repaired and repainted correctly and flawlessly. To do this, you may want to complete this job yourself. With a few tools and some diligent work, you can do a professional repair and repaint job on your own vehicle. Here is the procedure to repair and paint a car or truck body panel yourself:  

Remove All Dents Remove all dents in the panel to be painted by pushing them out from the back of the panel. Use weighted rubber mallets to remove the dents. Mask off the adjoining metal panels and windows with plastic sheeting and duct tape to expose only the panel you are repairing. Sand the panel with ultra fine sand paper. Apply metal putty to the surface of the panel to even it out. Colorize the putty to match the final exterior paint color. Allow the putty to dry completely. Sand the panel with ultra fine sand paper in a crisscross pattern to completely smooth the surface. Inspect the panel and reapply putty and sand where needed. 

Prepare Area To Be Painted Prepare the panel to be painted with an ultra-fine scuff pad. Apply glazing putty with a putty knife on any small chips or imperfections. Sand excess glazing putty with fine sand paper. With a shop vacuum, remove all dust and sanding residue from your work area. Wipe down the surrounding surfaces with shop towels moistened with water to make sure you have removed all loose dust and paint residue. Spray three coats of 2K urethane high build metal primer on the surface of the panel to be painted. Allow each coat of primer to dry thoroughly between applications. Sand the final coat of metal primer with an ultra-fine scuff pad to even the surface. Apply undiluted paint solvent to a clean shop towel and wipe the panel to remove any oil-based chemicals. 

Apply Automotive Paint Before you begin to spray automotive paint, put on a respirator mask, goggles, and gloves to protect yourself from aerated paint spray. Fill the paint reservoir of a paint spray gun connected to an air compressor. Turn on the compressor and adjust the air control valve so that the paint is sprayed without generating over spray. Keep your spray gun moving in a continuous motion at all times as you overlap each sprayed area with more paint. Allow paint to dry completely. Spray three coats of clear urethane sealer on top of your painted panel, allowing each coat to dry before applying another coat.

Finish and Polish  When completely dry, remove the plastic sheeting and tape protecting the adjoining surfaces on the car or truck. Polish the newly painted surface by hand with a clean polishing cloth. Polish the entire surface of the newly painted panel with a mechanical orbital buffer set on the slowest setting. Use very light strokes so that you do not remove any paint or sealant. Wipe the entire surface with a clean soft cloth as a final polish. 

By repairing and repainting your own car or truck panel, you can make sure that you have used the best products and procedures possible. With careful preparation and precise paint and sealant applications, you will have a beautiful paint job that will last for many years and you can take pride in knowing that you did it yourself. 

For more information or to find materials needed for your project, visit a local auto body DIY store, such as Space Age Auto Paint Store.