A vehicle with a damaged bumper doesn't necessarily need to be taken to an automotive repair shop. If the bumper has minor cosmetic damage, such as small scuffs or holes, a car owner can usually fix the bumper at home. However, for heavy damage, such as a crumpled bumper or a bumper that has been broken into separate pieces, installation of a replacement bumper is probably in order.
Things You'll Need
- Gray scuff pad
- Wax/grease cleaner
- Plastic prep cleaner
- 24-, 80- and 180-grit sandpaper
- Air compressor
- Adhesion promoter
- Wire mesh
- Wire cutters
- Bonding adhesive
- Putty knife
- Body filler
- Flexible bumper sealer
- Flexible bumper primer surfacer
- Bumper color coat
- 320-grit, 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper
Prepare the bumper for repairs by scrubbing it with a gray scuff pad and a wax/grease cleaner. Follow up with a plastic prep cleaner.
Sand the front of the bumper with 80-grit sandpaper, and the back of the damage with 24-grit sandpaper, extending three inches around the damage. Blow all of the sanding dust off with an air compressor.
Apply an adhesion promoter to the back of the damage with a paintbrush and let it dry for 10 minutes.
Cut a piece of wire mesh with wire cutters. Make sure that it is large enough to extend one inch around the edges of the damage, then spread a thick layer of bonding adhesive over the adhesion promoter with a putty knife. Push the wire mesh piece into the bonding adhesive and cover it with another layer of adhesive. Let the adhesive dry completely.
Sand a hollow over the front of the damage with 24-grit sandpaper. Spread body filler into the hollow with a putty knife and press the filler to remove any air bubbles. Smooth and let dry.
Sand the front filled area with 80-grit sandpaper, and then again with 180-grit sandpaper.
Seal the bumper cover with a flexible bumper sealer, spraying evenly.
Prime the bumper for paint with a coat of flexible bumper primer surfacer.
Apply a bumper color coat and then wet sand the bumper with 320-grit sandpaper once the paint has dried. Rinse well and let the bumper dry once again. Apply four more layers of paint, sanding and rinsing between each coat. Apply another coat, wet sanding with 400-grit sandpaper this time and rinsing afterward. Apply one final coat of paint and let it dry for 12 hours.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
How to Repair a Vinyl Car Bumper
Those textured vinyl bumper covers on your car or SUV sure take a lot of abuse, and damage of some type is...
How to Paint Chrome Bumpers
Painting over chrome may seem easy, but after a short amount of time, the paint will flake off and reveal the chrome...
How to Use Rubbing Compound to Repair Bumpers
Rubbing compound is a blend of abrasive agents used as the final product on a finished surface. The abrasive agents provide a...
Bumper Cover Repair
Until the use of plastics in car construction became widespread in the 1980s, bumpers on cars were largely made of rubber or...
How to Fix a Crack in a Rear Bumper Yourself
Bumpers are the front line of defense for a vehicle and are designed to be sacrificed to secure the safety of the...
How to Remove a Plastic Bumper Cover From a Bumper
The “fascia” of the bumper is the plastic bumper cover that absorbs some of the force during a collision, protecting the frame...
Do it Yourself Bumper Repair
Dented and damaged bumpers can detract from the appearance, and value, of your car. As of 2009, a damaged bumper cost about...