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How to fix a Dent in a Steel Entry Door

xosder11's picture

Well....I was trimming a cased opening in a hallway across from the brand new steel entrance door I just installed. I needed to grab something so I leaned a 6'-8" piece of 1x6 poplar against the wall and turned to grab whatever. I turned back in time to watch teh board slide then tip and nail the corner right smack into my steel door.

This experience taught me two things: one, that I should be more careful not to lean things where they will tip, and two, that I need to learn to relax a little when bad things happen.

Anyway, I have a small dent, net a very deep impression, but about teh size of a quarter. Not visable from straight on, but with the hall light on it is noticable from the side.

I want to fill it, sand it, and repaint it. My girlfriend says it's okay and not to worry, I should just leave it. I think you guys know that's not an option.

What should I fill it with? The door is already finished with latex paint. I need to know what will stick to the paint that I can put on there and then sand. It is a 4 panel door and the dent is in the middle of the top right panel, so I'll just repaint that one panel. The paint was done two weeks ago so the color will match ok.

I was planning on scuffing the paint a little, then filling with wood filler and sanding smooth and repainting. Will this be OK? My concern is that teh wood filler will not bond well. My second option was to bondo, but I want to avoid that if possible.

I am probably making more of this than I should, but I'm nervous about effing up a brand new door, and making more of a mess than I've got now.

Hey, stuff happens right?

(post #71991, reply #1 of 22)

sand the paint out of the dent,drill a couple of small holes. Fill the dent with bondo,sand and paint.The holes help to grab the bondo.


mike

(post #71991, reply #3 of 22)

Thanks Mike. Just to be sure, the dent is only 1/16" deep. Only noticable in certain light. The fill will be shallow. Under those circumstances you would still drill the holes?

Also, I've never used bondo, so is there anything I need to know about that.

Thanks

(post #71991, reply #2 of 22)

Have you considered glasing putty?
Red putty available at auto parts stores

(post #71991, reply #4 of 22)

Never heard of it. I can look into it. To be honest I was leaning twoard wood putty. It would be a real thin layer as teh dent is not deep. Is this not a good Idea for some reason? Neither you or Mike mentioned whether it was a bad idea and why.

(post #71991, reply #7 of 22)

Use auto glacing putty, good for shallow fill.


Take the paint out to bare metal, no holes needed and the glacing putty will bond to the metal. I don't think wood filler will work in the long round because it doesn't stick to a smooth surface that well.

(post #71991, reply #8 of 22)

Ok, leaning to glazing compound as others mentioned.  One question: can I paint right over it? 

(post #71991, reply #10 of 22)

Yup, prime and paint.


As Dan said in the above post you may want to do a final coat on that side of the door. Don't sweat the small stuff.


My advice? If gf said fine, I'll leave it at that. But if DW said fine then it may be a differnet story. :)

(post #71991, reply #11 of 22)

Only bad part about working on my own place is I know about all the little imperfections. No one else knows.....but I do. Maybe I'll put it on the list of things to do AFTER I finish the kitchen gut job I'll start next week.

Priorities.

(post #71991, reply #12 of 22)

Just to be sure you understand, the posts are not talking about normal glazing compound you'd use for windows. I believe what they are refering to is a type of auto body putty used as the final, smooth coat in auto body repair. The stuff I've used is red and comes in a tube. It'll stick to the metal and, when dry, you can sand it smooth and flush, prime & paint.


Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA


PS. The stuff is also a bit flexible and sticks to metal well, so it won't crumble out later as wood filler would.


Edited 5/17/2006 3:26 pm ET by MikeHennessy

Mike Hennessy
Pittsburgh, PA
Everything fits, until you put glue on it.

(post #71991, reply #13 of 22)

Got it, thanks Mike. I'm gonna head over to AutoZone later and get the stuff. Good point about flexibility, as the skin of a steel door will tend to flex a bit more than a wood door I would think.

(post #71991, reply #14 of 22)

yup

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!


Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #71991, reply #17 of 22)

Like someone else said its a finishing putty for cars but I have also seen painters use it on woodwork on high end homes
Quick dry for those small imperfections and easely found for sanding.

(post #71991, reply #5 of 22)

You could probably skip the drilling of the holes that someone else mentioned if the dent is very shallow.


Someone else mentioned it, use the glazing putty, its a bondo type thing but you dont mix two parts, just squeze it from the tube. You should be able to get that wherever they sell auto body supplies.


Doug

(post #71991, reply #6 of 22)

sand the paint off...


fill the dent with glazing coumpound... (not the window kind)


get the stuff from NAPA 9in the body reair section... it comes in a ready to use tube...


multiple coats is better...


sand to blend...


the stuff from NAPA can be faded in to prefection..


Bondo on steel doors can be too crude and extra work...


painting is yur problem...


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!


Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #71991, reply #9 of 22)

Don't use wood filler. Use a pre-mixed spackle, after sanding the spot down to the factory primer with moderately coarse sandpaper (and washing/wiping clean). Then sand, prime, and repaint the spot, after which you'll likely want to give the entire side of the door another coat.

Or just don't worry about it. There are more important things in life than a small dent.


If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. --James Madison


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #71991, reply #15 of 22)

I used to work where we did the steel door and window frames  made them that is grind or sand rather the paint off and then fill with the red glazing putty sand smooth and repaint


 

(post #71991, reply #16 of 22)

Almost every house we trim has a beat up steel door, or four.

Sand around and in the dent. Get to the steel. Bondo. Sand. If the bondo didn't fill everything, then use the glazing...it's only for very small imperfections...

Prime before the steel rusts, then relax & buy me a beer<G>

I need a dump truck, baby, to unload my head

www.tvwsolar.com

The Village Woodworks, Inc

Chapel Hill, NC

 

We'll have a kid Or maybe we'll rent one He's got to be straight We don't want a bent one He'll drink his baby brew From a big brass cup Someday he may be president If things loosen up

(post #71991, reply #18 of 22)

If you have ever done any auto body work, this is the same thing, with latex topcoat. Get it clean and dry, use the glazing compound (NAPA, PPG Ditzler, 3M, etc) and sand it smooth. If there's any texture to the metal, you should be able to match or mimic it in the finishing stage.

Bondo and glazing compound are WAY better than wood filler.

"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."
"I cut this piece four times and it's still too short."

(post #71991, reply #19 of 22)

Nothing is really going to adhere through the paint. Sand it down, fill with Bondo from wal-mart auto dept., some filler putty from same place, sand, prime, sand, prime, finish sand, prime and paint.


Just like fixing a dent in a fender.


 


If you don't want to do all that the auto paint store has some stuff that will do it in one coat. Real smooth just sand prime and paint after filling. Many shops use it right out of the tube on hail dents. It's more than glazing putty and thinner than Bondo. Several brands. 3 M makes the one I use.


 


 


Live the Good Life in the Permian Basin. 

 


Edited 5/17/2006 10:56 pm by intrepidcat

"If you have enough energy you can solve a lot of other problems." - Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway.

We have an abundant supply of domestic natural gas. Let's get busy solving problems.

(post #71991, reply #20 of 22)

The best solution is a two part thin bondo that is used as a glazing finish coat for small imperfections or rough sand paper scratches. It is excellent as it does not shrink as does the red and green putties mentioned earlier. It would be expensive just to buy for a small dent. But regular bondo should work fine on your door, just reprime the area and spot paint should work.

The red and green putties sold as glazing compound in auto body shops are a lacquer product. Hence they are one part ( no hardner ) and dry by evaporation just like lacquer paint. Their downfall is they continue to dry and therefore produce what is known in the auto body field as sand scratch swelling. They show up after the finish coat is dry, and there is no cure except refinish.

But I have never used them under latex, so the sand scratch swelling may not be noticeable in house work. Just don't use them for high gloss work like auto bodies! And never for real dents, just for small imperfections.

My steel front door is refinished with PPG Acrylic Urethane in Black. What a shine! It did require bondo work to be smooth enough for black.

Frank DuVal

You can never make something foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

Frank DuVal

(post #71991, reply #21 of 22)

Generally Ive had good success with bondo and patch work as mentioned above...with one exception:


Ive added a 3/4 length stained glass insert in a metal exterior door and used bondo to fill a portion of the bottom raised panelling that was still exposed to make the bottom 1/4 of the door smooth.(the upper raised panels were cut out to accept the insert) However, after one winter season, the bondo has popped out. I had stripped off the old paint & primer and sanded the steel real well. Then the bondo was applied in layers till I had the finish I wanted.  The bondo has come off as one solid piece...obiously not bonding to the door...I guess I never thought to try the hole method mentioned earlier...Or is this just to deep of a fill for bondo? Has anyone tried this?


 

(post #71991, reply #22 of 22)

Like I always said.....


a gallon of Bondo is cheaper than a new fender.....


 


 


....ur, door?


 


<G>


 


Live the Good Life in the Permian Basin. 

 

"If you have enough energy you can solve a lot of other problems." - Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway.

We have an abundant supply of domestic natural gas. Let's get busy solving problems.