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TR2/3/3A Anyone care to share their bondo applying techniques


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When I apply putty, I find that I only get about one pass with the spreader before I run into problems with build up. If I try a second pass with the same spreader, the film and build up left on the spreader from the first pass bunches up the putty and makes the first spread worse.

What I do is use a second or third or fourth spreader if I make a more passes to smooth down the putty more. Do people wipe the spreader with a rag each time or something? I thought maybe a rag with a little bit of lacquer thinner might be ok to get the film off in-between wipes because that evaporates so quickly. Anyways always up for new ideas.



Country flag
While we call all body fillers Bondo...sorta like we call all tissue Kleenex...it turns out the actual Bondo brand filler sucks to spread. Evercoat Rage Ultra is the best spreading filler you can buy. Once you spread it you will never buy bondo again. If you have very thin areas to fill, the thick filler is also not easy to get down to 1/8” or so without trouble. So, when you get down to very thin filling, switch to Dolphin Glaze.

There are other very decent fillers, but these 2 are the absolute best I have used. Bondo is the bottom of my list in every respect. I still use bondo occasionally, just because it is cheap, available absolutely everywhere, and I have many projects that need filler without being car finish quality.

Another aspect of spreading is to use the right amount of hardener for the outside temperature. Once you get the right amount, you should be able to mix for a minute, and have about 3-5 minutes to spread. If it lights off in less than 2 minutes, you fight the filler more than the project. Then, it’s a fine line from lighting off at 5 minutes, and taking an hour...or forever...to light off.


Jedi Knight
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John is right temp is important and you may have to much hardener. two coats is better than one thick coat holes and rusted out require some playing around. welded patches might be best way to go. Thin and win. Madflyer


I also use Evercoat brand too. I also have one or two like new spreaders in my back pocket to even out the first application, if needed. I reuse them so always make sure the spreader edge is sharp and smooth, and wiped clean with lacquer thinner. Too much hardener and it starts to harden too quickly for a good result, but too little and it doesn't harden correctly, it's a fine line between how it looks and how well it holds.


Darth Vader
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I also tend to like the flexible metal (i have heard them called Japanese) spreaders much better than the plastic. They are usually sold in sets of 4 from wide the very narrow.



Jedi Warrior
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Also keep in mind not to use "bondo" on edges unless it is a thin dress coat.
"Metaltech" or similar is best.
And use "Fine Fill" for final dressing of small imperfections.


Jedi Knight
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Just to let you know the technical term for this stuff is body filler. Bondo has such a bad rap, that the industry doesn't use it anymore. One secret to good body filler work is to get a feather edge. Say you are filling a nickel sized dent. Apply the filler. do a ruff sanding before the filler has fully set up, maybe using a grater. finish sanding should be always at right angles to the edge. Don't try and go all the way across the filler. Small motions from the sheet metal to the center of the filler. Then continue in a circular patter around the filler. This is your best chance of getting a good result. Use an ungloved face of your hand to feel the surface. If you can feel the repair, it is not right.
Good luck, Scott in CA


Senior Member
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I'll share the method my previous body guy used:

Blob the stuff on thick with lots of lumps. Make your high school son (who does not want to be a body man) smooth it with a rasp. Make sure he cuts into the metal and removes the all of material from the dent. Repeat the process. Try to understand why the client (for no apparent reason) took his car to another shop.

I've also used Evercoat Rage with good results.

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