How to fill dents
Photo 1: Prepare the door
Scrub dirt off the door with detergent, then rinse and dry the area. Lightly sand the dented area with 80-grit sandpaper to help the patching compound bond, then wipe clean.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Fill the dent
Press patching compound into the dent with a small putty knife, then smooth and feather out the edges as if you’re spreading drywall mud.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 3: Sand smooth
Sand the area flat after the filler dries using 120-grit sandpaper wrapped around a flat block. Switch to 150-grit sandpaper to smooth out the edges of the patch.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Steel entry and service doors provide years of reliable service but will get dinged and dented. Hiding the dents is just like taping and sanding drywall except the patching material is a little thicker and tougher.
The easiest way to fill in the dents is with a premixed patching or glazing compound designed for steel doors. It’s available at home centers and hardware stores. For a heavy-duty fix, use a two-part auto body filler. It’s available at auto parts stores.
Apply both fillers in the same manner. Prepare the surface of the door, patch the dent and sand it smooth as shown in Photos 1 – 3 (deep dents may require a second coat after the first one dries). Prime the patch and repaint the entire door to hide all evidence of patching.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- Putty knife
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- 80, 120 and 150 grit sandpaper
- Patching compound or auto body filler