How to Repair Plastic Bumper Scratches




Introduction: How to Repair Plastic Bumper Scratches

Is your car bumper scuffed or scratched? While not as severe as a crack or dent a trip to a repair shop not only costs quite a bit, but they will probably need to keep your car for a day or two.

So why not fix it yourself?

In this instructable we are going to show you how to repair a scratched plastic or fiberglass bumper cover on your own, in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost.

What you need:
  • Factory-matched paint in a spray can
  • Automotive spray primer
  • Automotive spray clear coat
  • Some sheets of coarse and fine sandpaper
  • Scuff pad
  • Cleaning towel
  • Wax and grease remover
  • Scratch-filling putty

Step 1: Apply Masking Tape

Mask off areas around the damaged area that you do not want to be hit by spray paint.

Step 2: Sand Bumper

Using firm pressure, sand the damaged area of the bumper until you have smoothed the scratches out.

Step 3: Clean Panel

Wipe down the panel with a cleaning towel, then clean the entire area with wax and grease remover.

Step 4: Fill Scratches

If you find any scratches that will not sand out, fill them with a thin layer of scratch-filling putty.

Give the putty five minutes for it to harden, then sand it using some coarse sandpaper.

You might need to repeat this step again in order to smooth everything out.

Step 5: Scuff Repair Area

Using a grey scuff pad, scuff about 10 inches around the repair area.

This will help the paint stick and be more durable over time.

Step 6: Prime Bumper

Apply a thin layer of primer, wait two minutes, then apply a heavier layer of primer until you have covered any areas exposed by sanding.

Step 7: Paint Bumper

Sand the primer using fine-grit sandpaper with light pressure until it feels smooth.

Apply multiple coats of paint from a distance of about 10-12 inches.

If you encounter any bumps, cloudiness, or what looks like "cat" scratches wait five minutes, sand again, and re-apply paint.

If you car is silver or gold and you notice stripes, following up with some vertical passes.

Step 8: Clearcoat Layer

Give the paint five minutes to dry, then apply a light layer of clearcoat.

Wait two minutes and slowly apply a heavier layer, overlapping each pass by around 50%.

Give the clearcoat 10 minutes to dry before removing the tape and paper.

Step 9:



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    13 Discussions

    Is there do you know any any easier way is there like a chemical scratch remover could spray on or something like that and and buff wipe it in and then let it dry and wipe it back off and then wax it or something. I heard of something like that but can't remember where


    2 replies

    Sounds like someone having a laugh, there is no such product available for scratch removal, no magic sprays to remove scratched paintwork, its a process of sanding filling and sanding, and polishing that's the only way you will get a professional finish

    No. When the paint is gone. You must replace it with paint.

    I would not recommend using putty as it does not harden properly, best to use thin layers of body filler, also you will need 240 - 320 - 1000 grit wet and dry sanding paper, and scotchbrite pads to get the correct finish, plenty of videos on you tube of how to do this correctly

    what brand of putty type stuff did you use in step 4? (fill scratches) Ex instructable btw!

    What type of sand paper for Step 2? There's different kinds?

    Where can i find the paint?

    how long are these steps will taken upto finish.?

    These steps look doable and the details look complete. I will give it a try on my 2007 Audi A4 and post the results when done.

    Thank you very much for an easy to follow guide.


    4 years ago