Bumper-to-bumper car repairs is a type of auto body repair that can be costly if you don’t know what to do. Luckily, there are some things you can do yourself at home without the need for any special tools or equipment. Fixing hail damage is definitely something that can be done at home.
What is Hail Damage?
Hail damage is one of the most common forms of damage that can be done to your car. There are many types of hail, but most people will think of golf ball size hail when they hear the word “hail.” Hail is oftentimes formed in a severe thunderstorm, and if left untreated it can cause extensive damage.
Is It Cheaper to Do It Myself?
While it will cost you money to repair hail damage on your own, it will also save you money. Most people would think that they’d get the most savings by going to a body shop and having them fix all of the dings and dents in their car. But what they might not know is that if they ever need to sell their car down the road, they’ll want it to be in the best shape possible.
Fixing hail damage on your car is a great way to help increase the value of your vehicle if you ever plan on selling it. So, fixing your dings and dents yourself could actually save you money plus earn you more money once you sell your car. You can save even more money if you do not have comprehensive coverage on your insurance, meaning that these types of repairs are not covered by your car insurance company.
You can however take your car to a body shop and ask them to restore the paint back to its original condition after you are done repairing it at home. This process will require you to drop your car off at the body shop but could save you some money because it will be cheaper than having an entire repaint done.
Is It Worth Fixing?
In most cases, if you have hail damage on your vehicle, it is worth having it repaired. In the long run, it will not cost as much as you think to repair your hail dings and dents. On average a professional repaint costs around $250 per door so if you have a car with four doors that’s about a thousand dollars just to get the paint back to normal condition. Most people would be better off repairing all of their hail damage at home rather than going through this process. The entire process could take you approximately four days to complete but in the end your car will look brand new again without paying for an expensive repaint.
How to Repair Hail Damage
1) Get the right materials to fix your car
The first thing you will need to do is go out to your local hardware store and purchase all of the necessary materials. These include:
- Rubber gloves (to protect your hands)
- Acetone (used to clean off excess paint)
- Nail polish remover (used for cleaning items like chrome, plexiglass windows, etc.)
- Plastic sheets (protects things like carpeting, fabrics, etc.)
2) Remove the dents that are on your car
Use a flathead screwdriver or other similar tool that can be used to pop the dent out of the hail damage area. The tool that is used isn’t as important as to how much care and effort you put into doing this. You will want to be very careful not to scratch the paint because every time you do, the value of your car goes down a little bit.
3) Use an adhesive dot to fill in the dent
After popping out all of the dents, use an adhesive like Fix-A-Dent or several toothpicks with adhesive on both sides and place them strategically around your dings and dents. This will give it a level surface so that when you start painting your hail damage areas, there won’t be any inconsistencies or roller marks.
4) Clean up all areas that have been affected by hail damage
Take acetone and wipe down all of the areas that have been damaged. You will want to wipe it down in circular motions so that there is no excess damage afterwards.
5) Paint the hail damage areas with primer
Take out your can of primer and spray it generously over all of the hail damage spots on your car. Make sure to put several coats on, then wait 5 minutes in between each coat. If you are looking for a much cheaper option take some leftover paint from when you painted your car last time, mix 2 parts paint to one part water, put it in a spray bottle, shake well and use this as your adhesive. This should work just fine but make sure not to use too much water because if there is too much water used in the mixture, the paint will run and then you will have to do your entire car over again.
6) Spray the color of your car onto each spot that has hail damage
Once you are done painting with primer, take out your can of color paint and spray generously over all of the spots on your car where there is any amount of hail damage. You may desire to use several coats so that it covers up most of the primer for a more even look after they both dry. Once again wait 5 minutes in between each new layer before spraying another coat on top of it until you get what you are happy with.
7) Paint any other areas that require touching up
After allowing time for everything to dry, if there are any other areas that you want to paint then take out your can of color paint and spray over all of the scratches or nicks that need touching up. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect because the next step will bring everything together.
8) Fix chipped paint on car with nail polish remover and a q-tip
If there is any chip in the paint, use a Q-tip and some nail polish remover to go over each spot so that it has an even look after being painted.
9) Spray over entire area with clear coat spray paint
This is going to give your car a shiny effect as well as protect any areas from future damage. Make sure you have several coats on there so that it covers up most of the color that you sprayed before.
10) Protect your car from future damage
Take some wax or any type of clear coat paint spray and put it on top of all the areas that have been painted just to ensure that there is no more hail damage in the near future. This will also give your car an overall shiny appearance. If this doesn’t appeal to you then apply a new layer of clear coat onto your entire vehicle.
11) Remove excess paint with acetone
After using all of these products, if there are any parts where the excess paint has gotten onto other parts, use acetone so that everything looks uniform and like it belongs on your car.
The steps above are a pretty good guideline for repairing car damage from hail, but the best way to repair hail damage is by getting it fixed at a professional auto body shop. You can also use these methods when you get paint scratches on your car and want to do it yourself, but make sure to take all necessary safety precautions when using chemicals like acetone and primer. If you turn out great results then we would love if you shared them in the comments section below!