How to Perform a Quality SMART Repair

Written by a Guest Blogger

I’m often asked how it’s possible to pro-form high quality SMART repairs where others often fail, giving the industry a bad name. Experience helps, being 40 something and having been in the trade since leaving school is a benefit.

However, the truth to success is very simple and applicable all walks of life. Attention to detail!

When I access any repair I always ask myself whether I would pro-form this on my car or use a bodyshop? Recently I sent my partner’s car to Furrows bodyshop due to damage being beyond my abilities when done outside.

Knowing your limitations will serve you well.

So, I’ve accessed the damage and confident the repair will be good. Next, I find the paint code on the car and check the paint manufacturers paint swatch to determine the correct variant.

In this example, the car had a large dent in the rear quarter. I removed the paint and welded 6 pins to the bare metal and carefully lifted the dent using a slide hammer. Once I was happy with the basic shape I sanded the surrounding area down with 80 grit sand paper, blow away any debris and degreased with panel wipe and a clean tissue. Body filler was carefully applied and allowed to dry thoroughly before being sanded back into shape using 80 grit and a 30cm ‘Dura’ block to ensure the shape was correct. Again, the area was cleaned and finishing glaze was applied over the repair. This time I used 240 grit, followed by 320 grit and a light dusting of black aerosol paint so expose any defects such as high/low points, pin holes or scratch marks.

Next step was to ‘scotch’ the repair area and thoroughly degrease the area requiring paint and mask off the car. Primer was applied and allowed to cure before guide coating was applied. The repair was then 600 grit wet and dry blocked before again cleaning, drying and degreasing and finally tack clothed.

Paint was applied, using an Iwata LPH 50 1.0ml E4 gun in the usual way. Warmed to c 20 degrees, gripper coat followed by several slightly heavier coats, dried and tacked in between applications until the repair was properly covered. A drift coat was then applied over and beyond the repair area to ensure the repair is well hidden and no colour issues could be noticed. I’m now happy with the repair and all that sands in my way of a excellent repair is the clear coating.

Clear coat and panel should be warmed to c 20 degrees before application, gripper to half coat with 5 minute interval before applying the final wet coat. Allow to ‘flow out’ for a further 10 minutes before adding infra red red heat at 70 degrees for required time, allow to cool and de nib with 2000 grit wet and dry before a light compound and final polish. De mask, job done.


Paint Medic provides mobile car repairs and scratch repairs in and around Shrewsbury, UK

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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