How to Patch Dents in a Metal Door

Make dents disappear from your metal doors.

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Introduction

Metal doors don't hide dents and scratches as easily as wood doors, but you can make your old garage service or entry door look new again with this simple three-step repair.

Tools Required

  • Putty knife

Materials Required

  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Patching compound or auto body filler
  • Primer

Project step-by-step (3)

Step 1

How to fill dents: Prepare the door

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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.

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Step 2

Fill the dent

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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.

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Step 3

Sand smooth

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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.

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.

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