The Best Paint for Truck Bumpersby Richard Rowe
Whether you want to give your truck a new look, or to simply repair a few scratches and nicks, there is a bumper paint for every need. Trucks with polyurethane bumpers could make do with a coat of regular car paint, but the flexible plastic underneath will eventually cause the paint to fracture and crack.
A number of companies, including Duplicolor and Painter's Pride, make flexible paint specifically for use on polyurethane bumper covers. Depending on the depth of scratching, you may need to spray the bumper with a coat of plastic-specific primer. Duplicolor is available at auto parts stores and retailers such as Wal-Mart, and Painter's Pride is available online. If no aftermarket company makes the color you need, contact the body and collision center at your manufacturer's local dealership. Paint should be available through the manufacturer.
Chrome paint has developed something of a bad rap over the years as being dull and hazy. However, modern compounds, such as MirraChrome, are very high-tech and, when properly applied, do a very good impression of real chrome. This paint requires sanding the original chrome with 220- and 320-grit sandpaper, then coating with a self-etching primer. Standard black gloss car paint is applied over the primer, followed by two coats of chrome paint and a coat of clear. MirraChrome is available online directly from the manufacturer, or from retail sites such as eBay Motors and Amazon.
If your truck has metal bumpers, then one of the best options available is powder coating. This type of paint forms a thick plastic shell, which initially adheres to the bumper via static electric charge. The coating is baked in a 400 degree oven and sets almost immediately. Powder coating comes in many colors, and is very resistant to scratching and chipping. It generally yields a satin or eggshell finish, and looks especially good in black. The bumper must be removed for powder application and baking.
Truck bed-liners, such as Rhino Lining and LineX, are popular with off-road enthusiasts for their utilitarian good looks and tough-as-nails finish. These linings can be applied to frames, under-bodies, engine bays and interior components. So why not bumpers? Bumpers see a lot of wear and tear, and need a tough coating just to avoid damage resulting from normal use. Truck bed coatings seem tailor-made for this application. These finishes come in a variety of colors and are available in every grade of finish, from matte to eggshell to gloss. Truck bed coatings go on easily and offer unique possibilities for textures. The final finish is handsome, rugged and may well outlast the rest of your truck. Rhino Linings and LineX are available online from the companies' websites, and a similar Herculiner coating is sold at most Pep Boys locations.
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