Final Touch-up

With the dent filled and sanded, it's time to apply a primer paint coat made specifically for metal. Choose either a rust-inhibiting automotive primer or a brush-on metal primer. We used a spray primer because it dries quickly and costs less.

Mask off the area around the repair with sheets of newspaper. Apply a thin primer coat and let it dry, then apply a second thin coat.

When the second coat is dry to the touch, remove the newspaper and smooth the primed area with 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper that you've wrapped around a sponge. Dip the sponge and sandpaper into a bucket of water and lightly sand the area.

Thoroughly dry the door, then brush on two light coats of an exterior-grade enamel paint. Apply the paint in vertical strokes to reduce the chance of unsightly brush marks.

Depending on the condition of the rest of the door, the freshly painted patch may stand out from the surrounding surface. If that's the case, you might want to repaint the entire door.

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