I have a huge dent in my front passenger door from where I was attacked by an elk. This dent has been in the door for probably 12 months as I previously did not care that it was there.

Now I would like the dent removed, what is the most effective home remedy for dent removal?

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    This will really require a picture. Some stuff can be done at home, but if there are creases in the metal, it will probably be beyond most DIY. – JPhi1618 Apr 29 '16 at 16:34
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    It also depends on your goals. Are you looking for perfection? Or just less evidence of your elk attack? – Bob Cross Apr 29 '16 at 16:45
  • Related: Fiat Punto Door Dent – Mathieu K. Nov 25 '16 at 17:02

Roll the window up and pull the door panel, using various sized wood sticks (long ones for leverage) attempt to push or massage out as much of the dent as possible. You can gently use a hammer on the end of the wood stick to help with the stubborn parts, once you have done all you can do from inside pull the rest of the dent as best you can using a Dent puller. It's up to you how far you want to go and make it look good with body filler and paint.

Sometimes working the dent from inside the door is good enough for most people on a budget.

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  • love me some slide hammers. – DucatiKiller Apr 29 '16 at 17:13
  • Even better than slide hammers - hot-glue tabs for pulling dents. Great for DIY because there are no holes to repair. – JPhi1618 Apr 29 '16 at 17:57
  • Depends on how bad the dent is and door skin thickness if those will work. – Moab Apr 29 '16 at 19:41
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    @agentprovocateur, see my other answer to this question. It has links to a few other questions that talk about the glue tabs. They do indeed work well to pull a variety of dents. – JPhi1618 Apr 29 '16 at 20:26

As discussed in another recent answer one good method for paint-less dent repair (which is really the only DIY type of dent repair) is to use glue on plastic dent tabs:

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These come in different shapes and size for differently shaped dents and are applied to the dented area with non-maring hot glue. They are pulled with a handle or slide hammer and can be peeled off once the pulling is completed.

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    hot-glue tabs? im looking to do some bodywork in the near future. hot glue is strong enough to pull dents? require some kind of special hot glue? – agent provocateur Apr 29 '16 at 20:25

Sometimes an unopened can of beans wrapped around a tshirt works wonders. Just roll it slowly and softly over the dent for a little bit. It should start to com out slowly. If you feel lucky, you can use a heat gun to heat the sheetmetal from the inside out (the inside of the door with no paint) and then roll the can. It works, but you need to be patient.

Now, if the dent has any sharp creases you are SOL.


Use a simple household drain unblocking plunger. Simply suck it back out. Works 90% of the time :) Edit from @Paulster: Ensure the plunger is wet - it seals properly then.

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    Ensure the plunger is wet. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 May 4 '16 at 11:55
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 That sounds so weird... ;-) – race fever May 10 '16 at 19:23
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2: same goes for any suction cup, including purpose-made suction-cup-style dent pullers. Important enough point to edit it into the answer, I'd say. – Mathieu K. Nov 25 '16 at 16:47

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