Auto Body Filler: Application Best Practices for Future Auto Body Technicians

auto body technician careers
Auto body filler, otherwise known as putty, mud, or its original brand name Bondo, is used by auto body technicians to fill in spaces on a vehicle’s exterior. Usually, it’s used to repair vehicles after dents have been corrected. Using filler is necessary because even when dents are fixed, the area may not be flush with the rest of the vehicle. Filler helps to fill in that gap and create a smooth and even surface before the vehicle is repainted.

Working with filler can sometimes be tricky because of how fast it hardens. However, by adhering to the following best practices, you’ll be well on your way to completing expert auto body repairs.

Auto Body Technicians Know to Wear Safety Equipment When Working with Filler

Body filler’s fumes are toxic when inhaled in large quantities, which is why it’s a best practice to always wear the proper safety equipment when working with filler. In addition to being toxic to breathe in, the hardener ingredient used in fillers can cause burns when left on the skin for too long. As a result, filler manufacturers and professionals with auto body technician careers recommend wearing safety glasses, a respirator, and gloves when mixing and applying filler.

Auto Body Technicians Should Prep the Surface Before Applying Filler

Before you even begin to apply filler to a vehicle, it is important to adequately prepare the surface of the car. If the car isn’t prepped correctly, the filler won’t stick and could end up lifting and separating from the vehicle. That’s why it’s important to apply primer to the area you are going to apply filler too. Once the primer is dry, you should use coarse sandpaper to rough up the surface. A rough surface allows the filler to grip and bond to the vehicle, which prevents it from lifting later on.

Auto Body Technicians Know to Use Just the Right Amount of Filler

An experienced auto body technician will tell you that it’s important to use just the right amount of filler. Not too much, and not too little. When you use too little filler, the area won’t look smooth and you’ll have to go back and forth mixing more filler to correct it. This is a hassle and a waste of time, and will likely leave your job looking less than perfect.


auto body repair technician
When preparing filler, make sure you have just the right amount for the job

On the other hand, mixing too much filler is a waste of product. In addition, when you apply excessive filler to the vehicle, you’re just creating more work for yourself since you’ll have to sand it down to make it even with the rest of the vehicle. By paying attention and mixing the right amount of filler, you can save yourself lots of time and hassle.

Auto Body Technicians Should Check Progress When Sanding

After you’ve applied the filler and let it dry, it will be time to sand it. While you’re sanding the area, it’s a best practice to make sure you stop and check your progress often. You shouldn’t go for too long without checking, or you may end up sanding off more than you wanted and have to start the process all over again. Sanding and then checking your progress will help you be much more efficient when repairing vehicles.

Are you interested in becoming an auto body repair technician?

Contact an advisor at Automotive Training Centres today!

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