How to Remove Scuffs From a Plastic Bumper

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Most drivers will at some point receive a scuff on their plastic bumper, and whether it is their fault or the fault of another, repair is costly. The inconvenience of taking the car to the shop, being without a car, and paying for the repair puts a strain on life. You can fix many scuffs at home if you have the patience and a small amount of skill. Follow a few simple steps to remove the scuff mark and get your bumper looking as good as new.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Cloth
  • Paper towels
  • Sandpaper
  • Newspaper
  • Automotive primer
  • Grease and wax remover
  • Automotive paint
  • Automotive clear coat
  • Clean the scuffed area with dish soap. Use a small cloth on the end of your finger to scrub the area to remove dust, dirt, wax and paint particles. Rinse completely to remove all the soap and pat dry with a paper towel.

  • Check the extent of damage by using your fingernail to determine if the scratches are shallow or deep. If your nail hangs on a scratch, it is a deep one.

  • Polish the scuffed area gently with a piece of sandpaper. Use a grit of at least 120. Continue polishing the area until it is smooth to the touch. Sand the whole area evenly so that no low spots are evident.

  • Affix newspaper behind the bumper to cover the exposed section of your car. This protects your car from the paint.

  • Spray automotive primer over the area of the scuff. Do not overextend the primer into undamaged areas. Use two coats of primer and allow at least 30 minutes between coats for the primer to dry.

  • Polish the primer using sandpaper until it becomes smooth to the touch. Use 300 grit or larger sandpaper to polish the primer.

  • Wipe the area with grease and wax remover to completely clean the surface of any oil, dust or wax buildup. You need an absolutely clean surface to achieve a satisfactory finish after painting.

  • Hold the can of automotive spray paint approximately 8 inches from the bumper and spray a light coat of paint straight on the scuff. Allow the coat to dry for minutes before applying each successive coat. Use two or three coats to cover the scuff and primer.

  • Spray two coats of clear coat on the area using the same procedure as you used with the automotive paint. Clear coat requires at least 24 hours to dry, so do not drive the car until the last coat of clear coat has completely dried.

Tips & Warnings

  • Select a can of automotive paint that matches the color of your bumper. You may have to ask at the dealership if you can't find one at the auto parts store.
  • If you are in doubt as to the coverage of the primer, apply another light coat of paint.

References

  • Photo Credit dinosaurs image by Scott Williams from Fotolia.com
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