A panel beater is a person who repairs vehicle bodies after they have been damaged during an accident. This process of repairing and restoring a vehicle to its original state is known as panel beating. It can be a laborious venture that involves a lot of work like removing dents, shaping the panels, smoothening and spray painting damaged areas.
Panel beaters can also perform paintless dent repairs and also re-align vehicles after accidents. This process can be done to restore vintage cars too that didn’t necessarily have dents but just to make them look abit new.
This is a process that involves the following:
Shrinking and stretching-A dent is stretched by heating and then it is hammered with a special
hammer so that it can be reshaped and also shrink it to its original shape before the dent occurred.
Plenishing – It is a technique that involves finely shaping and smoothing the panel surface by use of a special hammer that presses out the damaged metal.
Welding – This is the joining of metal pieces together to reinforce the structure of the vehicle and thus giving it strength.
Filling – At this stage a paste is mixed and applied to the vehicle’s surface. The paste should be applied quickly because it dries out very fast. Once it has dried, it is smoothed and shaped.
Sanding – This helps to smooth the contours and prepare the surface for painting. Depending on the results required, the texture of the sanding pad is considered.
Spray painting – This is the final stage of the whole process and it involves using a paint that cannot chip. It is done in a place that is dustproof and once all that is done, the vehicle is placed in a special oven where it is baked to give it a factory finish.
Re-alignment of the vehicle can be done if at all the mechanical parts and the chassis were tampered with during the accident. Panel beating is done only if the damage to the vehicle was not to a large extent or otherwise replacing the damaged parts would be the other alternative.