How to Repair a Plastic Bumper
In this video I repair a super badly damaged/worn out plastic bumper. Why did I repair this plastic bumper instead of buying a new one?
Because it is impossible to find a Primera GT bumper in new condition these days
If you have the choice of buying a new plastic bumper, you may be better off doing that, depending on how much you can find one for and depending how damaged your bumper is at the moment.
Anyway, back to this video
This plastic bumper had cracks, gouges, dents and a plethora of stone chips
First step was to fix the dents and kinks
I did this by using a heat gun. I heated the relevant areas and used a straight edged piece of plastic to push the bumper back into shape.
Plastic bumper clips
Some of the clips of the bumper were broken. Actually, all of the clips/mounting holes on the bumper were broken
To fix these I used the finest metallic mesh I could find.
I cut the mesh to the size of the area I needed to repair. Then I laid the mesh over the part that needed to be repaired and used a soldering iron to push the mesh into the plastic of the bumper.
After this I used plastic welding sticks. Melting them with the heat gun, I worked the melted plastic into the mesh.
Sanding my plastic bumper
After the holes had been repaired I sanded the dings and gouges (and the parts I had just welded with plastic) down to a flush finish with 80 grit sandpaper and a sanding block.
After this I skimmed the entire bumper with filler. A filler specifically designed for polyurethane bumpers.
The stone chips were skimmed. For the bigger dents and gouges I filled the holes so they were flush with the rest of the bumper.
I then filed down the filler and then identified parts which were low and refilled them. I kept repeating this process until the entire surface of the bumper was smooth.
Sounds easy but this could take a few hours….
With the a smooth bumper I then wiped it down with alcohol to prepare the bumper for primer.
The bodyshop accessory store recommended I use a plastic primer. I found this impossible.
I needed to use a conventional “filing primer” so I could identify imperfections in the bumper. The plastic primer I was recommended to use was clear which was no go for me.
The imperfections that were highlighted by the filing primer.
Depending on how bad the imperfections were, I used different grades of sandpaper. For example, big imperfections, 240 grit, small imperfections 1200 grit.
When everything was PERFECT, I sanded the bumper lightly with 1200 grit sandpaper, cleaned the bumper, reprimed the bumper and started the painting process.
Four light coats was enough.
I checked for imperfections between each coat of paint
After that, I put 4 coats of primer and that was it, job done.
8-12 hours is probably enough even for a badly damaged plastic bumper like the one in this video.
Plastic Bumper Repair – Costs
Paint 25 Euro
Primer 12 Euro
Clear Coat 10 Euro
Sandpaper 5 Euro
Filler 4 Euro
Total 56 Euro + labour
I used a paint gun and compressor to apply the clear coat and paint. This made the cost of the repair much less.
If I had used rattle cans I imagine the paint cost would have been between 48Euro and 60 Euro.
The clear coat costs would have been around 40 Euro.
Total around 63 Euro more with rattle cans compared to using a compressor and paint gun.
For one bumper, it is probably more cost effective to use rattle cans but for two or more, the case for buying a 50 litre compressor and spray gun becomes much more appealing.
I repaired the front and rear bumpers on this car so I chose to buy the compressor and paint gun, the cost was still slightly more than using rattle cans but at the end of the job I still had a paint gun and most importantly, a compressor which I can use for other jobs with the relevant tools, eg impact gun, orbital polisher etc etc
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