How to Repair a Black Bumper

Written by brooke lane
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How to Repair a Black Bumper
Although black bumpers tend to show any dent or ding, home repairs are inexpensive and moderately easy. (black car image by Viachaslau Makouski from

Black bumpers are notorious for letting every little blemish show. Sending a damaged bumper to a shop can be costly, and some will order a new bumper, instead of making repairs to save themselves time. When repairs are made at home, it often saves car owners money. But, many people are timid about taking on a bumper repair project. Unless the bumper is crumpled and jagged, the repairs are very straightforward and can be finished satisfactorily by even novice car owners.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Car degreaser
  • 80-, 180-, 320-grit sandpaper
  • Air compressor
  • 1/8-inch drill
  • Adhesion promoter
  • Brush
  • Bonding adhesive
  • Wire mesh
  • Body filler
  • Card-stock
  • Texture spray
  • Bumper colour coat

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  1. 1

    Remove the bumper. Bumpers are attached with screws, plastic pins and rivets. Some screws and rivets are hidden under plastic caps, which look like circles, built into the bumper and the surrounding area. Examine all angles of the bumper, in the wheel wells, as well as inside the boot to remove all the fasteners. Once the fasteners have all been found and removed, pull off the bumper, and set the fasteners aside. Help may be required to remove the bumper, as some models are quite heavy.

  2. 2

    Wash the entire bumper with a grease removing liquid dish soap, scrubbing well to remove all traces of dirt and grime. Follow up with a car degreaser to remove any tough grease residue that may be left over.

  3. 3

    Sand the entire front of the bumper to remove the paint with 80-grit sandpaper. Blow the paint debris off with compressed air. If there are any holes or cracks in the bumper, drill a 1/8-inch hole into the ends to keep the crack from spreading. Sand the back of any cracks, holes or tears with 80-grit sandpaper, as well.

  4. 4

    Brush an adhesion promoter to the area surrounding the back of any holes, cracks or tears, and let it cure for 10 minutes. Apply a bonding adhesive over the adhesion promoter, and embed a piece of wire mesh into the adhesive, applying more adhesive over the mesh to bury it. Let it dry.

  5. 5

    Apply a coat of adhesion promoter to the front of the bumper, coating the damage and the surrounding area. Allow 10 minutes for it to dry. Apply body filler, making sure that every nook and cranny of the damage is filled. Smooth it with a piece of card stock. Allow four hours for the filler to dry.

  6. 6

    Sand with 180-grit sandpaper to remove any excess filler. Blow all of the dust off the bumper with an air compressor.

  7. 7

    Spray on a texture spray, if the bumper previously had a textured finish. Hold the spray can 15" from the bumper at all times, and move from one end of the bumper to the other in one fluid motion. Sand with 180-grit sandpaper, and then spray again.

  8. 8

    Evenly spray the entire bumper with bumper colour coat. A matching colour can be found on a chart where bumper colour coat is sold. Let it dry, and sand with 320-grit sandpaper.

  9. 9

    Repeat the previous step four times. Refrain from sanding the bumper after the final coat.

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