How to Repair a Dented Car Fender

by Jenny Carver

The fender of a car is easily damaged in any type of collision because of the fender's location and thin material. The sheet metal on a fender is usually very thin and can easily accumulate dents and dings. A collision repair center will charge several hundred dollars to repair a dented car fender, but with a few tools and following some instructions, you can learn how to repair a dented car fender in your own driveway.

Drill small holes in the dent, starting with one in the center and a few around the center. Place the screw tip of the dent puller into the center hole and rotate it several times so that the screw is firmly in the hole. Slide the handle of the dent puller up and down several times to pull the dent out. Remove the dent puller and insert the screw tip into the other holes, alternating as you slowly pull the dent out. Only pull the dent until it is moderately straightened, but not rising above the surrounding surface of the fender. The dent should still be the lowest area of the fender's surface.

Sand the entire dented area and up to two or three inches surrounding the dent with 180 grit sandpaper. Sand until all of the paint is removed from the surface and you only see the bare metal. Use the plastic squeegee to apply body filler to the area that has been sanded. Use enough filler so that it fills the dent and is higher than the fender's surface. Allow the filler to dry for two hours. Once it has hardened, sand it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. Sand until the filler is smooth and level with the surface of the fender.

Place masking tape and paper around the repaired area. Wipe the area down with wax and grease remover using a microfiber towel. Spray a thick coat of primer over the reparied area. Allow thirty minutes for the primer to dry. Once dried, sand it smooth with 300 grit sandpaper. Wipe the area again with wax and grease remover.

Spray three thin coats of paint over the area, holding the can six to eight inches from the surface. Make slow, even horizontal strokes, overlapping each stroke slightly. Allow each coat fifteen minutes to dry. Apply three coats of clear coat paint in the same manner that the paint was applied. Remove the masking tape and paper. Wait a full day before handling the repaired area.


  • check Spray paint from an automotive store can be used as well as automotive paint and spray gun found at an auto paint store.


  • close Never sand or spray paint in an enclosed area. Always work outside or in a well ventilated workspace.

Items you will need


About the Author

Since 1997 Jenny Carver has served as editor and freelance writer for many offline and online publications including,, "Hoof Beat News," "Import Tuner" and others. Carver owns a custom automotive shop where she has been doing paint and body work, custom interior work and engine building for over 11 years.