A faded bumper can make a car look older than it really is, bringing its value down. Bumpers that have lost their lustre only need a bit of sanding and refinishing. All of the techniques used to restore a bumper to its original state can be used for all of the other plastic trims decorating the outside of a vehicle.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 80-, 180-, and 320-grit sandpaper
- Air compressor
- Auto body filler
- Putty knife
- Plastic/leather cleaner
- Lint-free rag
- Textured spray
- Flexible bumper primer
- Bumper colour coat
- Car wax (optional)
- Car polish (optional)
Remove the bumper from the automobile by popping off the plastic covers hiding the bumper screws, then unscrewing the hidden screws. Also remove all of the plastic fastener pegs holding the bumper in place. These screws and fasteners can be found in various places according to specific models. Inspect all sides of the bumper along with the inside of the wheel wells to determine the placement of the fasteners.
Clean the bumper with a degreaser until the water runs off when it is rinsed instead of beading up.
Sand the entire bumper with 80-grit sandpaper to remove all of the bumper finish. Dust off the bumper with an air compressor, making sure to remove all of the sanding debris.
Fill any scratches or gouges with body filler. Press the filler into the damage with a putty knife to release any air pockets. Also use the putty knife to smooth the surface of the filler, making it blend in with the contour of the bumper. Sand the filled areas with 180-grit sandpaper once it has dried.
Spray the bumper with a plastic/leather cleaner, then wipe it off with a clean, dry, lint-free rag. Rinse with fresh water, and let the bumper dry.
Coat the front of the bumper evenly with a textured spray if needed, holding the can 15 to 20 inches from the surface of the bumper while spraying.
Paint the front of the bumper with a flexible bumper primer, and then sand the bumper with 320-grit sandpaper once the primer has dried completely.
Spray the front of the bumper with a bumper colour coat. Find a matching colour where bumper colour coat is sold. Let the colour coat dry, and then sand with 320-grit sandpaper. Repeat two more times.
Spray the bumper once more with the bumper colour coat to give it the finishing coat. Make sure that the spray is applied evenly and with a fluid motion. Do not sand again.
Reattach the bumper by reversing the previous steps used during the removal process. Wax and polish the bumper along with the rest of the automobile for a finishing touch.
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