In cars, body filler—or Bondo, if you prefer using that name—is growing in popularity as a way to make cosmetic repairs to dents, scratches, and other blemishes on the car body.
There’s a lot to know about using body filler properly, though. Improper application can lead to more damage and an unsightly repair.
However, body filler is a great way to make your car look new again when used correctly. Let’s look at what you need to know about what body filler is and how to use it properly.
What Is Body Filler?
Body filler is a plastic putty used to fill holes, dents, and other imperfections in a car body. It typically consists of polyester resin, fiberglass cloth, and talc or calcium carbonate fillers.
When mixed, these ingredients create a putty-like substance that can be spread over an area and then shaped as needed. Once it hardens, body filler can be sanded down and painted to match the surrounding area.
Different Types of Body Filler
There are three main types of body filler:
- Standard Body Fillers
- Medium Body Fillers
- Premium Body Fillers
Each type of body filler has its advantages and disadvantages. Standard body fillers are the cheapest and most common type of body filler. They’re also the easiest to use but don’t always provide the best results.
Medium body fillers are more expensive than standard but provide better results. They’re also harder to use and require more experience.
Premium body fillers are the most expensive but provide the best results. They’re also the hardest to use and require the most experience.
Best Cases To Use Body Filler
You should only use body filler for cosmetic repairs. It doesn’t work as a structural repair material.
You should only use it to fill in small holes, dents, and scratches and not fill in large holes or cracks.
If you have a large hole or crack, you will need to use a different type of repair material, such as fiberglass or metal.
You can use filler to repair:
- Hail Damage
How To Use Body Filler
Now that you know what body filler is and when to use it, let’s look at how to use it.
Prepare the Area
The first step is to clean the area that you will be repairing. You should clean it because you need to ensure that the surface is free of dirt, grease, and other contaminants.
If the surface is not clean, the body filler will not adhere properly, and the repair will not be as strong.
Use a degreaser to clean the area and then sand it down to create a rough surface. This tool will help the filler to adhere better.
Mix the Body Filler
Once you prepare the area, you can mix the body filler. Follow the instructions on the package to mix the filler properly. In most cases, you will need to mix equal parts of the filler and hardener. Once mixed, you will have a limited time to use the filler before it hardens.
Apply the Body Filler
To apply the filler, use a putty knife or spreader. Spread the filler over the area that you are repairing. Try to make the surface as smooth as possible.
Let It Dry
Once you have applied the filler, let it dry for the recommended amount of time. Do not touch or disturb the filler while it is drying.
Sand the Area
After the filler has dried, you will need to sand it down. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper and then move to a finer grit. Sand until the area is smooth.
Paint the Area
The last step is to paint the area. Use paint that matches the rest of the car. You should find an excellent automotive paint supplies wholesale website to purchase the paint for your vehicle.
Common Mistakes When Using Body Fillers
Now that you know how to use body filler, let’s look at some common mistakes people make. Avoiding these mistakes will help you to get better results.
Not Cleaning the Area First
One of the most common mistakes is not cleaning the area before applying the filler. As mentioned above, it is crucial to ensure that the area is clean before starting. If there is dirt or grease on the surface, the filler will not adhere properly, and the repair will not be as strong.
Not Mixing the Filler Properly
Another common mistake is not mixing the filler properly. You need to follow the instructions on the package to mix the filler properly. In most cases, you will need to mix equal parts of the filler and hardener. If you do not combine the filler properly, it will not harden correctly, and the repair will not be as strong.
Applying Too Much Filler
It is also important to avoid applying too much filler. You should only use enough filler to fill the hole or scratch. Using too much filler won’t be easy to sand down, and the repair will be noticeable.
Not Sanding the Area
After the filler has dried, you need to sand the area. It will help blend the repair into the rest of the car. If you do not sand the area, the repair will be noticeable.
Not Painting the Area
The last mistake is not painting the area after you have repaired it. Once you have sanded the area, you need to paint it. This paint will help blend the repair into the rest of the car and make it less noticeable.
Using body fillers can help you make minor cosmetic repairs to your car. You should always follow the instructions and take your time to get the best results. If you make a mistake, don’t worry. You can always sand down the area and start again. Just be sure to avoid these common mistakes.
National Autobody Wholesalers is your trusted source for all your automotive paint and refinishing supplies. We offer a wide selection of high-quality products at wholesale prices. Visit us online or contact us if you need help finding the right product for your needs.