Surviving the Elements: Auto Body Paint and Other Blogs

Five Easy Ways to Remove or Hide Dents on Your Own

by Mae Fisher

If you have dents in your car, the easiest way to remove them is by taking your car to a professional panel beater. However, if you don't have the time or resources to do that, there are other dent-removal strategies you can try. Check out these five DIY strategies:

1. Plunge out the dents

Some dents respond to suction, and if your dents are smaller than the circumference of your plunger, you may be able to remove them using that bathroom tool. Take a clean plunger and place it over your dent. Form a seal and then pull your plunger quickly toward you. In many cases, the force of that pull will reverse your dent.

2. Use hot and cold to return your panels to their original shape

If a plunger cannot remove your dents, try applying hot and cold to your dents. Grab a blow dryer and train it over the dent so the hot air heats up the metal of your panels. Then, tape a patch of tin foil over the dent. This step protects your paint, but you must complete it quickly so the metal does not have a chance to cool.

Once the tin foil is in place, you want to cool the metal as quickly as possible by rubbing dry ice over it. Remember to wear gloves so the dry ice doesn't damage your hand. Ideally, the expansion created by the heat followed by the contraction created by the cold should cause your metal to pop back into its original place.

3. Beat out the dent yourself

This approach may be the riskiest because if you make a mistake, you may end up with more dents than you originally had. However, if you are confident about your aim, this technique can work very well, particularly on dents that you can access easily from their backsides.

To pound out a dent, grab a rubber mallet and simply pound on the metal forming the back of the dent.

4. Fill the dent with expanding foam

Rather than trying to remove your dents, try to hide them with expanding foam. Simply spray the foam into the dent, let it dry, and then sand the foam so it is level with the panel surrounding the dent. Spray the expanding foam to match your car. This can work as a temporary solution, and when you are ready to have your panels beat professionally, you can simply remove the old foam.

5. Cover the dent with art

Finally, if you cannot afford to fix your dents, make the most of them by turning them into art. If the dent's shape reminds you of a favourite cartoon character, paint his or her face into the dent. Alternatively, cover the dent with a comical band aid or plaster. You can even add a thought bubble near the dent that says "ouch".

Contact a company such as Bannockburn Panel Repairs to learn more or ask any questions you have.