How to Prepare Your Car Bumper Before Painting

by Contributor

When painting a car, it is important to pay special attention to preparing the bumper. You want to paint both the bumper and the car body; however, the bumper is made of different materials than the car. Give the process some thought and dedicate some time to preparing the bumper for fantastic results.

Wash the bumper with soap and water. After drying, sand down the bumper to remove paint residue. Remember to start any painting process in a well-ventilated area, as paint and other chemical fumes are hazardous to your health.

Wipe a solvent-soaked soft cloth across the car bumper. You must use the solvent, since water will not clean leftover paint and road grime from this type of material.

Use an air compressor when drying the bumper. Hold the air compressor a few inches above the bumper and spray to ensure dryness. Repeat Step 2 to remove any remaining paint or oil.

Tackle old bumper sticker residue with rubbing alcohol if it doesn't come off with the solvent. If the alcohol doesn't work, use a stronger product that removes leftover glue from all car surfaces.

Be sure the bumper is thoroughly dry before doing anything else. This drying rule applies to any type of bumper.

Apply a coat of plastic adhesion promoter to a clean plastic bumper before painting. Use primer on all bumpers with a light sanding afterwards.

Mark any drill holes with a wax marker so the paint will not stick to it, allowing you to easily drill the hole later.

Items you will need

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.