How to Paint Bumper Covers

Written by ryan lawrence
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How to Paint Bumper Covers
Do not use a low-grit sandpaper--it might make the surface too rough. (sandpapier image by Thomas Aumann from Fotolia.com)

You don't have to be a skilled professional to paint your bumpers covers. Before you attempt such a project, however, you must consider some important factors. Because bumper covers are made of plastic or fiberglass, they aren't conducive to good paint adhesion. You will need to condition the surface through abrasion before you paint, or over time, the finish will peel. In addition, you will need to employ a specific application technique, or there may be sagging in the finish coat.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Palm sander
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Heavy-duty fabric drop cloths
  • Spray bonding primer
  • Spray acrylic latex primer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area like a garage.

  2. 2

    Remove the bumper cover from the bumper, and place it on top of a fabric drop cloth.

  3. 3

    Sand the bumper cover with a fine-grit sandpaper, effectively abrading the surface to promote adhesion. Stop sanding when the cover feels slightly gritty to the touch.

  4. 4

    Remove dust from the bumper cover by wiping it down with a tack cloth.

  5. 5

    Apply a thin coat of bonding primer. Spray in intermittent bursts. Do not drench the bumper cover with a steady stream of paint as this may cause runs and sagging in the finish.

  6. 6

    Allow the primer to dry for two hours, and then apply two light coats of spray acrylic latex primer using the same application technique from step five. Allow two hours of dry time between coats.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use a low-grit sandpaper--this may make the surface too rough and could prevent a smooth-looking finish.
  • Do not use rags in place of a tack cloth as this may leave dust on the bumper cover that could interfere with adhesion.
  • Do not work in windy conditions, as this may interfere with your ability to apply a smooth coat of paint to the bumper cover.
  • Do not use plastic drop cloths in place of fabric ones; they may blow up and stick to the wet paint on the bumper cover.

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