I'm not sure this is as bad as it looks. It looks like you may have used the wrong bit (too small) and the bit was not held perpendicular as force was applied. On a painted head like these, the correct size bit will be a very tight fit and will very likely damage the paint due to the tight fit. Once you get the bit firmly in place, use one hand to apply pressure to the bit to keep it seated in the bolt head while the other hand turns the ratchet to loosen it. Make sure you have a long enough ratchet so you can apply adequate force with one hand.ok tried to install Smittybuilt atlas steps. Can not get the bolt loose and think I started to strip one. What now?
At 5:02 mark in this video, they show how to remove painted tailgate hinge bolts.
From the picture of the damaged bolt, it looks like there may be enough undamaged area deep down in the bolt head that the correct sized bit, properly seated, will be enough to get the bolt out.
You probably don't have anything to lose by trying another bolt. If it get's messed up, it's an easy enough job that I don't think you'll get charged any more for extracting two damaged bolts than you would for one. And after you are successful at getting the rest of the bolts loose, you may have some luck getting the damaged one out.
And so you don't feel too bad, I just had some work done on one of my cars and after they stripped a couple torx bolts, they charged me full retail for factory replacements.