Paintless Dent Removal or Paintless Dent Repair is the art of removing dents, dings, prangs from car body panels without the need for any fillers or paint. Access is usually required to the rear of the dent, where ultimately the car body dent is massaged back into shape. Another term is "Cold Metal Repair" however the terms Paintless Dent Removal & Paintless Dent Repair are more widely used and is fast becoming the people's first choice when car body repairs are required.
Paintless Dent Removal (PDR) requires absolute concentration, great skill and patience by the bucket load. Even the smallest of dents may require hundreds of minute pushes to tease the panel back to its original form. Every push has to be deadly accurate, down to fractions of a millimeter in order to perfect a repair. Push too hard in the wrong place and the repair could be ruined. You will often see a Dentman using Tap Down Sticks throughout the repair. He is gently manipulating any high spots or ridges in order to reshape the panel, this is all part of the process.
A Professional Dentmaster would have spent many hundreds of hours simply learning the basics of PDR and several years perfecting his skills. As no two dents are the same, even the very best of Dentmen are still learning and improving old techniques. With modern cars changing so rapidly access to the rear of car body panels is becoming much more difficult, advanced PDR tools are constantly being produced for an ever changing market.
The Dent Repair Specialist uses the power of reflection to see the minute details of the dent. The Fog or Line Board are the most commonly used forms of reflection, natural and artificial light are also used. The boards cast a reflection over the dent which is distorted by the different shapes in the car body panel. The Dent Technician then uses the reflection to guide his tool tip to exactly where he needs to be. He will then make many hundreds of tiny pushes with the tool tip, gradually returning the car body panel back into shape. His ultimate aim is to make true the reflection on the panel.
Where access is extremely restricted or even non existent, the glue pulling method may be used. If the Dentmaster cannot find access to the rear of a panel, glue tabs can be attached to the dent where it is then pulled out as apposed to being pushed.
Glue tabs come in many different shapes and sizes, each being used for a particular shaped dent. Long straight tabs for creases for example, small round tabs for minor dents and so on. Glue is heated up using a glue gun then applied to the chosen tab. The tab is then pressed into the dent and the glue allowed to set. Once a Slide Hammer or Mini Lifter is attached to the tab, outward pressure is then applied causing the dent to lift out. This method is often used on larger dents to lift the bulk and release pressure within the panel.
These methods of repair are very different however the same amount of skill is equally required. The use of reflection and the desired outcome remains exactly the same