Basically had a bit of an dent in my car when i brought it and I wanted to fix it up. I filled the body in with filler which worked well and had brilliant results, but when it came to painting it, it had just gone wrong. As you can see from the picture it looks like a giant stick or a kind of plaster even though I spent most of the day working on it and sanding it making sure to get a flush finish. Any advice on what to do next. This is on an unseen part of the car in a small area but it will annoy me to leave it in such a state. Also the mess to the side of the paint job is just dirt from sanding which can be wiped off

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  • Looks like you still have a few craters in the filler. It is a good idea when filling to do it in a number of thin layers, sanding flat between each layer.
    – HandyHowie
    Apr 7, 2019 at 10:16

2 Answers 2


The problem is, you needed to paint the entire panel. Usually you do this from seam to seam or panel to panel, whatever will work. You need to scuff the entire panel, then mask off what you don't want to paint and go from there. You obviously found out what it looks like when you've just painted a portion of it ... realistically, what you did paint looks pretty good, so keep on with what you're doing, but just expand the area of what you're working. Remember, with body work/paint, there's no shortcuts.

  • Thanks for the advice much appreciated. The issue is that the panel I’m working on is the strip that runs underneath the doors on the side of the car and the rest of the panel is in perfect nick. Seems a shame to waste a good paint job. I usually try and avoid paint jobs as if you mess them up, they’re difficult to correct and can ruin a car
    – Morgan
    Apr 6, 2019 at 21:55
  • It isn't a shame when you you need to make the whole thing match and look good. You can't just have one spot look good and call it a day. Apr 6, 2019 at 22:10
  • so how would you suggest I blend the paint job I did that looks patchy with the new paint when I paint the entire panel?
    – Morgan
    Apr 7, 2019 at 7:17
  • @Morgan You could try painting up to the horizontal line above where you are working in that photo.
    – HandyHowie
    Apr 7, 2019 at 10:13
  • @HandyHowie thanks for the advice. I spent ages on the filler and the craters kept appearing everytime I'd spread it flat. Any solutions to avoid this?
    – Morgan
    Apr 7, 2019 at 13:40

Looking at the repair, I think the problem is that you've not re-masked the area at each step. What I mean to say is, when I paint a small part of a panel, I'll prep the area I intend to paint. I'll then mask of a slightly larger area and apply the primer. Once the primer has gone off and is ready to be flatted back, I'll remove the masking and flat the primer with a finer grade of paper (wetted wet and dry with a tiny bit of dish soap in the water bucket - keep re-wetting it) over the whole primed area and slightly into the paint around the repair.

I'll then mask off and apply base coat over all of the area that I've flatted back (not just the primer). I'll then remove the masking once more and when the base coat has gone off, use an even finer paper wet (it can't be too wet or wetted too often) to flat back the base coat and again a small amount of the surrounding area. I'll then mask an area larger than the flatted back area, apply clear coat and then, once it's had time to fully go off, polish it with a very very fine, wet paper followed by cutting back the entire panel.

You may call this "feathering" the edges of the repair. What you absolutely need to avoid in a hard line between the repair section and the rest of the paint. One really useful tip is to get a rubber sanding block which is properly flat. Don't try to shorten drying times and don't try to do the job quickly. You can get away with a hard masked line at the edge of panels and where there is some feature in the panel. Had I been painting it, I'd probably have used the horizontal line across the panel as the upper limit of the paint and tried to fade the paint at the left and right areas.

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