Making Perfect Gaps

A hallmark of exceptional body work is gaps that are precise and consistent.  Here’s how to get gaps looking perfect. 

We are going to assume that the door gap has been done correctly in metal, all the body work is complete, and the metal in the jams is properly prepped.  It’s now time to finalize the gaps. 

  • The idea is to use something, like plastic, that is the exact size of the gap you want.
  • Polypropylene plastic works very good. Body filler does not stick to it, and it is available in a lot of thicknesses. 
  • Put the appropriate thickness of plastic in the gap, and make sure it is square in the gap, and tight against the door edge. We aren’t trying to build the door edge out. 
  • Spread filler in the gap, up against the plastic. 
  • Let the filler dry. 
  • Pull the plastic out. 
  • Block sand the small section of filler along the edge until it’s flush with the door. 
  • You are left with perfectly straight and consistent gaps. 

Make sure the plastic is as far into the door jamb as possible.  There’s a balance with how much filler to spread in. Don’t push so much in it goes way past the plastic.  Also, make sure there’s enough filler that it sufficiently fills the gap. Make sure the filler is dry before the plastic comes out.  Repeat this process all around the door gap.  Save the corners and radiuses for last, do the straight sections first.