3 ways to paint a bumper

Table of contents:

3 ways to paint a bumper
3 ways to paint a bumper
Anonim

Painting your car's plastic bumper cover is an easy way to get a new look. Start by removing the bumper cover and washing it thoroughly. If you have surface scratches or cracks, fill and sand the damaged area. Clean the bumper cover, then apply several coats of base coat, drying and sanding the paint between each coat. Add two coats of polyurethane for added shine and durability, then let it dry for six hours before driving or remounting the bumper.

Steps

Method 1 of 3: Prepare the bumper

Paint a Bumper Step 1
Paint a Bumper Step 1

Step 1. Remove the plastic cover from the bumper or cover it with masking tape

To avoid painting other parts of the car, you can remove and paint the bumper separately or leave the bumper in place and carefully mask the body of the car. Removing the bumper will work best if you are repairing scratches or cracks before repainting.

Paint a Bumper Step 2
Paint a Bumper Step 2

Step 2. Wash the bumper cover thoroughly with degreaser and water

Rub the surface well with a microfiber cloth along with soapy water. Using a degreaser like kitchen soap will help remove dirt and oil, leaving the bumper cover clean and ready to paint.

Paint a Bumper Step 3
Paint a Bumper Step 3

Step 3. Wet sand the bumper cover with 600-grit sandpaper in alternate directions

Run your hand over the bumper to find the rough spots. Wet sand by hand with a spray bottle and 600-grit sandpaper. Maintain a constant layer of water between the sandpaper and the bumper by spraying the area you will be working on.

Make sure to alternate directions as you sand, moving side to side and top to bottom, for a perfect, smooth finish

Paint a Bumper Step 4
Paint a Bumper Step 4

Step 4. Wipe the bumper cover with a clean microfiber cloth

Remove dirt and dust from sanding with the soft cloth. The surface must be clean and dry for the paint to adhere properly.

Method 2 of 3: Apply the paint

Paint a Bumper Step 5
Paint a Bumper Step 5

Step 1. Use a spray can or spray gun to paint one coat of base coat and allow it to dry

Hold the gun or can about 12 inches (30 cm) from the surface and use constant sweeping motions to apply the first coat of basecoat, which should be the same color as the rest of the car. Overlap each pass by 50% for smooth, even coverage. Let this hand dry for 30 minutes.

  • To protect yourself from harmful gases, be sure to wear protective gear while painting, such as a mask and gloves.
  • If you're using a spray, be sure to spray some paint away from the bumper several times to clean the nozzle.
Paint a Bumper Step 6
Paint a Bumper Step 6

Step 2. Wet sand any imperfections with 1500-grit sandpaper and wipe clean

After the first coat has dried, check for any drips or blemishes. Sand them wet with a spray bottle and sandpaper. Wipe off the dust with a clean microfiber cloth.

Paint a Bumper Step 7
Paint a Bumper Step 7

Step 3. Repeat the painting, drying and sanding process one or two more times

Always wipe the bumper cover with a clean microfiber cloth after sanding your new hand. Apply up to three coats total or until paint has full, even coverage.

Paint a Bumper Step 8
Paint a Bumper Step 8

Step 4. Apply two coats of polyurethane to seal the base coat

Hold the polyurethane can or gun about 12 inches (30 cm) away from the bumper and spray it in light coat sweeps. Let this coat dry for 20 minutes, then apply a second coat and let it dry as well.

Every time you apply a coat of polyurethane to the bumper, overlap the previous pass by 50% for the best coverage

Paint a Bumper Step 9
Paint a Bumper Step 9

Step 5. Let the bumper cover dry for at least six hours before driving or reassembling

This time the paint should be allowed to cure and harden completely. The longer it dries, the longer the paint will hold and stay durable, so you could even wait up to 24 hours. After a minimum of six hours, you can remove any masking tape and material from the car, or remount the bumper to the body.

Method 3 of 3: Repair Shallow Cracks and Scratches

Paint a Bumper Step 10
Paint a Bumper Step 10

Step 1. Remove the plastic cover from the bumper of the car

Each automaker uses different ways of attaching plastic covers, such as screws, tabs, bolts, and other fasteners. Examine the bumper to find the connection points, then remove the clips and slide the bumper free.

These connection points can be near the trunk latch, taillights, or fender, as well as hidden under the bumper skid plate

Paint a Bumper Step 11
Paint a Bumper Step 11

Step 2. Sand the damaged area and clean it with a plastic surface cleaner

Use some coarse sandpaper to lightly sand the plastic. Sanding will help remove dirt build-up and create a rougher texture to help the adhesive adhere to the surface. After sanding, clean the area with a plastic surface cleaner on a soft cloth and wipe the surface to remove any remaining dirt or grease.

Paint a Bumper Step 12
Paint a Bumper Step 12

Step 3. Rinse the surface and allow it to air dry

Pour some clean water over the area to remove any residue from the surface cleaner. Lay the bumper on an old towel and let it sit until it feels completely dry.

Paint a Bumper Step 13
Paint a Bumper Step 13

Step 4. Clean the area with a solvent to prepare surfaces in one direction and then sand the area

Use a clean rag to spread the surfacing solvent over the area. The solvent will remove contaminants from the area, so be sure to only wipe it in one direction rather than back and forth. Cleaning in two directions will wash the contaminants back into the area to be repaired. Once the solvent is dry, sand the area by hand with 80-grit sandpaper.

Paint a Bumper Step 14
Paint a Bumper Step 14

Step 5. Check with an auto repair store to find the right adhesive

The type of filler you use depends on the type of plastic the bumper is made of, which is indicated on the back of the bumper cover with initials stamped on it. Call or ask someone at the counter of an auto repair store for some recommendations for refillable products before you buy.

  • Plastic types PP (polypropylene), PPO (polyphenylene oxide) and TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) stain easily when sanded by hand or machine. Plastic types PUR (Polyurethane Rigid Plastic) and TPUR (Thermoplastic Polyurethane Elastomer) will turn to powder when sanded or ground.
  • The brand doesn't necessarily matter, but you should use the same brand throughout the repair process to get the best results.
Paint a Bumper Step 15
Paint a Bumper Step 15

Step 6. Mix and fill in damaged spots with a light layer of filler

Mix equal amounts of filler and hardener on a clean piece of cardboard. Use a putty knife to smooth the filling into any crevices that are less than 0.25 inches (0.5 cm) deep, leaving a little extra on top. This way, when the filling dries and shrinks slightly, the cracks will be filled.

Paint a Bumper Step 16
Paint a Bumper Step 16

Step 7. Let the filling harden for about 20 minutes and then sand it down by hand

Start with 80-grit sandpaper, then move to 120-grit paper to level the surface. Finish by wet sanding with 400-grit paper to smooth all the way down to the natural contour of the bumper.

Paint a Bumper Step 17
Paint a Bumper Step 17

Step 8. Apply two coats of flexible sealer before priming and painting

Use a putty knife to spread the flexible sealer over the filled area. Apply the layers immediately one after the other while they are wet. After allowing the sealer to dry for 30 minutes, you are ready to begin priming and painting.

Paint a Bumper Final
Paint a Bumper Final

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