How to repair plastic bumper scuffs

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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How to repair plastic bumper scuffs
Small spaces and large vehicles lead to many car park bumper scuffs. (cars parking in parking area image by L. Shat from

You can repair plastic bumper scuffs to restore the look of a damaged vehicle. Collisions and scrapes that impact plastic bumpers rarely cause them to break or dent. The resilient plastic material does tend to show scuff marks and lose or pick up paint at the point of contact. Fixing the scuffed plastic bumper at home could equal savings in the hundreds of dollars. Return a bumper to the condition it was in before an accident by eliminating all visible scuff marks.

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Things you need

  • Mild detergent
  • Soft sponge
  • Towels
  • Car wax
  • Fine sanding sponge (320 to 400 grit)
  • Masking tape
  • Paper grocery bags
  • Plastic primer spray
  • Auto touch-up paint (colour matched)

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  1. 1

    Wash the scuffed section of the bumper with a mild detergent and soft sponge. Dry the cleaned area completely.

  2. 2

    Dab a small amount of wax on the corner of a folded towel and work it into the scuff marks in a tight circular motion applying medium pressure. Some of the paint left behind from the other vehicle or object may come off completely from the light abrasion of the wax and towel.

  3. 3

    Sand the more stubborn areas of the scuff marks with a fine grit sanding sponge. Move the sponge back and forth across the length of the scuffed area using light pressure to even out the remaining paint on the surface of the bumper.

  4. 4

    Clean the bumper a second time with the mild detergent and soft sponge to remove any particulate matter generated by the sanding. Dry the surface thoroughly.

  5. 5

    Apply masking tape to the area surrounding the damage and cover larger areas of the car and bumper with flattened brown paper grocery bags. Full coverage for 3 feet in every direction is usually sufficient to prevent over spray on the undamaged panels.

  6. 6

    Spray the plastic primer on the prepared section of the bumper in light coats. Allow dry time according to the label on the primer and sand the surface smooth after each layer dries. Three layers of primer are usually sufficient to get full even coverage.

  7. 7

    Coat the primed bumper section with three layers of colour-matched paint allowing sufficient dry time between each layer. Touch-up paint is available for the specific colour of the car model from most new car dealers.

  8. 8

    Peel away the tape and brown paper after the last layer of paint has dried completely. Use the sanding sponge to lightly sand the edges where the new paint meets with the old. Fade the border between the repaired and original sections even more by spraying a little more colour very lightly around the edges.

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