How to Paint a Metal Bumper

by William Zane

If not properly cared for, over time metal car and truck bumpers can get rusty and dingy looking. Painting a metal bumper on a car is a quick and easy way to improve the appearance of the vehicle's exterior and takes a minimum of supplies and expertise.

Step 1

If the bumper is still mounted to the car, remove it to make the painting process easier.

Step 2

Strip existing paint from the bumper with paint stripper. Apply the stripper and allow it to soak into the paint for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrape the paint off with a plastic scraper. Repeat until all of the paint is removed.

Step 3

Scuff the bumper with 220-grit sandpaper.

Step 4

Wipe the bumper thoroughly with mineral spirits and a clean, lint free rag. Repeat until the surfaces are entirely clean. This is a crucial, as a clean surface will ensure that the paint adheres.

Step 5

Spray on a light coat of primer. Let the primer dry for a minute or so and then apply three to four coats.

Step 6

Wet-sand the bumper with 220-grit sandpaper. Wipe the bumper with mineral spirits until is clean again.

Step 7

Spray on a light coat of paint. Let the paint dry for a minute or so and then apply three to four coats.

Step 8

Wet sand with 220-grit, 400-grit and 800-grit sandpaper. If a smoother finish is desired, you can also use 1500-grit and 2000-grit wet sandpaper.

Refit the bumper to the car if it was removed.

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