How To Paint A Plastic Bumper

How To Paint A Plastic Bumper

When you have a bare plastic showing though on your bumper, or maybe you have purchased a brand new plastic bumper. I get the question all the time, how to paint a plastic bumper?

Painting a Plastic BumperI also get a few other questions like,

  • Will paint stick to the bumper?
  • How do you Properly prepare the plastic for paint?
  • How can I find out what type of plastic bumper I have?
  • Can the paint flex with the bumper

How To Paint A Plastic BumperFirst of all we would need to find out what type of plastic bumper you have. Some of the time you can get lucky, and find a code that will let you know what the material is by having a code that looks like this – >PP<. 90% of the plastic bumpers on cars are Polypropylene. This type of plastic is semi rigid, and meaning it will flex slightly.

With Polypropylene bumpers that are not marked, one way to find out if it is PP, or similar plastic, if you take a grinder, and if it gets smeared, or looks greasy then it will require some type of adhesion, or paint promoter. As I stated earlier, 90% of the bumpers on cars will need an adhesion promoter to let the paint stick to the plastic. If you do not use adhesion promoter, then you paint will eventually peel of the bumper.

To properly prepare a plastic bumper for paint, you will want to sand it with a p-80 grit sand paper, preferably with a DA, and at lower speeds. Then you will use your adhesion promoter, and put your primer surfacer right over that. Because bumpers are mostly semi-Rigid, you really don’t have to add a lot of flex-additive to your paint. The paint will naturally stick, and bend, and move with the surface of the bumper. If you have a very flexible bumper however, you can visit your local paint shop and buy some flex additive to make the paint flex with the part.

If you have a rigid, or solid part that does not flex at all, you will be fine just using regular body filler, and no flex-additive at all. If you do have a semi-rigid, or flexable plastic, using a good plastic body filler is a must. It will not last if you use regular body filler in your repair.

Hopefully this helps you to know how to paint a plastic bumper, and properly prepare a plastic bumper for paint.

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