How to Repair Bumper Scuffs

Many modern cars come equipped with plastic bumpers. After a minor fender-bender or trip to a mall car park full of hurried drivers the car's bumper can become scuffed. This scuff can be repaired at home for a fraction of the price of a fix performed by a professional mechanic. All that is required is a trip to an automotive parts store to pick up some supplies.

Wash the scuffed area with a soft towel that has been soaked in soapy water. This will remove any dirt, grime and grease that is on the affected area.

Allow the bumper to dry and sand the affected area in several different directions with 400-grit sandpaper. Do not concentrate on one area for too long, as this could cause an uneven finish when the sanding is completed.

Rub the area with your hands. This will give you some idea if the surface is smooth enough to continue. If you feels ridges or bumps, sand them down.

Clean the area with a soft cloth that has been soaked in soapy water. This will remove any remaining dirt as well as the dust created by the sanding process. Allow area to dry.

Use heavy paper to cover the bumper area that surrounds the sanded spot. Tape the paper down with masking tape, leaving the scuffed area exposed.

Spray a light coating of automotive primer onto the scuffed area. Hold the can six to eight inches away from the bumper to avoid any drips. Allow the first layer of primer to dry and apply a second.

Apply a final coat of primer and allow it to dry for 30 minutes.

Apply a light coat of colour coat to the scuffed area. The colour coat should match the original colour of the car. To find the perfect match, locate the original colour code of the car, which should be found in the owner's manual or can be located at an automotive parts store based upon the car's make and model year.

Allow this first layer to dry before applying a second. Continue to apply light coats until the desired colour is reached.

Remove the tape and heavy paper. There will be an edge that was produced by the painting process. This ridge can be removed by rubbing it down with an automotive rubbing compound that can be found at many automotive supply stores.

Apply a layer of clear coat to the finished paint job. Allow it to dry before using the vehicle.


Wear safety goggles and a respirator when applying the primer, paint and clear coat. Work in an outdoor space or well-ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Water
  • Soft towels
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Heavy paper
  • Masking tape
  • Automotive primer
  • Colour coat
  • Rubbing compound
  • Clear coat
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About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.