DIY Paintless Dent Repair

dent above car tail light
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30-150
What You'll Need
Toilet Plunger
Dent removal kit
Aluminum foil
Canned air
Hair dryer
Air duster
Soft cloth
Dent pulling tool
Block of wood

Paintless dent repair is commonly used to avoid more time consuming and expensive repairing methods. When you get a small ding in your car, try repairing the dent yourself rather than hiring a professional.

Before trying any of these methods, inspect the dent. Some dents may be fixed easily while others may require more extensive repairing. Next, acquire the tools for whichever method you'd like to try first. Most of the tools can be found in any home toolkit.

1. Use Aluminum Foil, a Lighter, and Canned Air

One basic method is to place a piece of aluminum foil over the dent. Then, switch on a lighter and hold the flame right over the foil for half a minute or so. Flip a can of compressed air upside down and spray so that the liquid comes out and covers the foil area. (Be sure to wear protective gloves, as this liquid can freeze and burn your hands.) The sudden change from a high to a low temperature should help the metal change its form, removing the dent and returning the car to its original shape. Wipe with a soft cloth to remove any traces.

2. Use a Hairdryer and an Air Duster

A similar method to apply a change in the metal's temperature is to heat up the area where there is the dent with a hairdryer. Then, after about a minute, spray the heated patch with compressed air. Again, you should hold the can upside down so that the liquid is released, not just air. A layer of ice will form over the dent. When the ice begins to melt the dent should pop back and be fixed. Once the ice has melted, wipe the area completely dry with a soft cloth.

3. Apply Suctioning

Purchase a dent removal kit from an auto parts store. Place the suctioning tool found in the kit over the dent you wish to repair. This is often in the shape of a cup with a string at the other end. You have to pull the string in order to apply the pressure in the space encompassed between the cup's interior and the vehicle's metal. Alternatively, if you do not wish to buy such a kit, you can always use a toilet plunger. If the dent is not complicated, this will lead to the metal to pop back in place linearly. You may try to repeat more than once so as to try and achieve a bigger suctioning. If not successful, you can proceed to more extensive DIY paintless dent repair methods.

4. Using Other Tools from the Dent Repair Kit

Apart from the suctioning cup, a dent repair kit will also contain a dent pulling tool. Place this over the dent. Then, pull hard so as to make the dent pop out. When this is achieved you may use a small hammer to push it back more linearly with the rest of the body as it may protrude a bit outwards at first. It is best to fix a board or a block of wood at the back of the metal while doing this.