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I have a dumb waiter in my apartment with a metal door approximately 2ft x 1.5ft, 1" thick but hollow, it appears to be made of 1/16" steel. The door is sligtly beat up, minor dents but nothing major. I want to replace the lock and hinges, but also want to restore the door and remove/cover the dents. The door is painted, so I plan to strip it first; it has no rust on it.

Once the door is stripped, cleaned, and sanded, what should I use to fill in dents and level the surface? bondo, fiberglass, etc?

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On bare metal, as long as the dents are very minor, I would skim coat the surface with bondo and use a large sanding block to sand the surface flat. Be sure to do a fine grit sanding after primer and it should come out looking good. If there are dents that will require the bondo to me more than 3/16" at deep any point, you will need to correct those (pull them out) first.

  • Ok, so anything more than 3/16" deep, pull them out. What if I can't pull out some dents deeper than 3/16" but not more than 1/4" deep? Is there an alternative to bondo for such dents? – raffian Oct 13 '17 at 2:10
  • 1/4 is probably OK. I said 3/16 for a little margin of error. You may have coat twice an be sure it fully cures. – WoodAirGrille Oct 13 '17 at 17:49
  • I checked the door again, the dents are minor, 1/16"-1/8", but most dents are along the edges where the door and jam meet, so the bondo will be subject to wear and tear few times a week. Is bondo still the right choice? – raffian Oct 15 '17 at 2:19
  • It is not ideal, but it should be fine. – WoodAirGrille Oct 16 '17 at 14:34

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