Grand Entrance
Steel entry doors are secure, they feature highly efficient magnetic weather stripping and they come in a variety of traditional and contemporary styles. Some models even have an embossed wood-grain pattern that can be stained. Plus, steel doors typically cost less than wood or fiberglass doors. It's no wonder they're so popular.

But steel doors aren't perfect. They dent fairly easily if struck by a hard object, such as a boot heel, rock thrown by the lawnmower or rising fastball. The good news is, with the proper patching compound you can permanently repair any dent, gouge or hole in less than two hours.

•Sand the dented area down to bare metal with 150-grit sandpaper. Be sure to remove paint from deep crevices.

•Clean and degrease the sanded area with a soft, clean cloth dampened with either acetone or rubbing alcohol.

•Squeeze out a bead of hardener beside the mound of auto-body filler. Blend the two with a putty knife.

•Use a 6-in.-wide plastic spreader to apply the filler to the dent. Be sure to slightly overfill the area.

•Smooth the patch first with 80-grit sandpaper on a rubber sanding block, then switch to 150-grit paper.

•Mask off the repair area with sheets of newspaper, then apply two light coats of a rust-inhibiting primer.

•Wrap 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper around a sponge, dip it into water and sand the patch until it's glassy-smooth.

•Brush on two light coats of a high-quality enamel trim paint, allowing the paint to completely dry between coats.

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