How Can You Inexpensively Repair A Bumper On Your Own?

Posted on: 21 October 2020

If you're in a fender-bender or if you accidentally scrape your bumper against the curb, you may end up with severe cosmetic damage on your bumper. The best way to restore the appearance of your bumper and make it look like new is to take your car to an auto body repair shop. If you don't have the funds for a complete bumper repair at the moment, you can attempt some DIY repairs. To find out how you can inexpensively repair a bumper on your own, read on.

1. Use a Clay Bar on Your Bumper to Clean It

Before you decide what to do about your damaged bumper, it's a good idea to clean it first in order to see how bad the damage is. You can clean a bumper using a detailing clay bar, which you can find at an automotive store. Spray soapy water onto the damaged area in order to provide lubrication for the clay bar, and then gently rub the bar against the surface in a circular pattern.

The clay bar will remove dirt and other residues from the area, including paint that may have been transferred to your bumper from another car during a fender-bender. In some cases, using a clay bar on a damaged bumper can hide the damage better. If the damage is still highly noticeable after using the clay bar, your bumper will need more extensive restoration.

2. Source a Replacement Bumper From a Scrapyard

If you have a scrapyard nearby, see if you're able to find a replacement bumper there. Scrapyards often allow people to come to remove parts from the cars in the yard, and that includes bumpers. Removing and replacing a bumper is typically an easy process, and it's doable if you have some mechanical skills and some tools. On some cars, you may need to remove the taillights in order to remove the rear bumper, but this is often easy as well.

Finding a bumper in a scrapyard that matches your car's color can sometimes be difficult, especially if you have a car that's not common. You may spend some time waiting for the right car to arrive at the scrapyard. However, you also have the option of using a bumper of a different color and then painting it yourself.

3. Paint Your Bumper Yourself

In order to paint your bumper yourself, you'll need a respirator, safety goggles, and an area that doesn't have much airflow such as your garage. Start by sanding down your bumper with fine-grit sandpaper in order to remove the existing paint from your bumper. Afterward, wash off any remaining paint residue with a hose and wait for your bumper to completely dry.

Next, you'll need to apply the adhesion promoter to your bumper. Paint won't adhere to plastic very well without it. Tape off the parts of your car that are near your bumper using painter's tape in order to avoid getting any adhesion promoter on them, and then spray it onto your bumper. Wait for the adhesion promoter to dry, and then spray paint that's a similar color to your car's paint on the bumper. For the best results, you'll want to use three coats of paint. Wait for the paint to dry completely between coats.

Painting your bumper by yourself won't give you the same professional results you'd see from an auto body shop, unfortunately. It's difficult to get an exact color match, so it's likely to stand out against the rest of your car. However, it's an inexpensive method of touching up your bumper to make the damage less noticeable Later, you always have the option of having your bumper repainted at an auto body shop—if you've already replaced the bumper on your own, you'll pay less than you would if your car needed a new bumper along with a new paint job.