Auto body work is definitely intimidating. Even a skilled woodworker might be wary to do any body work on their car. Of course, auto body filler is readily available at any home improvement or auto parts store. However, it is much harder to work with than traditional wood patch. With some basic instruction and practice, you can master the techniques to patch your car body like a pro. This article explains the best methods for patching with auto body filler.
Practice Makes Perfect
First of all, you should immediately try to apply patch on your car body if you have never worked with it. Auto body filler is thicker and stickier than wood putty, and it dries much faster. So, you need to practice before you try to patch anything on your car. You want to familiarize yourself with the consistency of the filler and the drying time.
You can start by practicing on a piece of wood or a similar hard surface. Body filler comes in a large tub with a small tube of liquid hardener. It should also comes with a mixing stick and a plastic putty knife. Using a plastic tray or paper plate, mix the hardener in with the putty. The measurements are easy to figure out by reading the instructions on the can (each brand is slightly different). Usually, the more hardener you mix in, the fast it will dry. If you don't add enough hardener, it will never dry hard enough. Practice spreading the filler with the plastic putty knife. You want to create a smooth finish with no ridges. You won't be able to perfectly shape the patch with just the putty knife. You need to wait for it to dry and the sand it down to perfect the finish.
Applying the Filler to Your Car
When applying the auto body filler to your car, you need to be especially careful to not scratch the paint with the putty knife. Remember to only use a plastic knife. You also want to contain the patch so you don't end up spreading it all over the good paint on your car. Using some painter's tape to mark off the area you are patching is a good idea.
If you have never used auto body filler to patch your car surface, you should not be too intimidated by it. That being said, make sure you follow these steps and practice before working on your actual car. For professional help, contact auto body repair shops like High Point Body & Paint.