How To Paint A Plastic Bumper With Spray Cans | A Complete Guide

It is really hard to keep our cars safe from bad road conditions, horrible weather, and regular wear and tear. They can make fade the paintwork and dull the cars all over, coating less than perfect. While few may restore to pricey services and take the car into any exclusive garage, it shouldn’t be the first port of call.

An easy way to make bright up the car looking is to renew the plastic apt found in and around the car with spray paint. According to our expert’s solution, we are here going to teach you how to paint a plastic bumper with spray cans.

how to paint a plastic bumper with spray cans

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Bumper?

Before starting our jobs, let’s try to compare how much it costs to spray paint on your car’s bumper by yourself and professionally. 

Yes, a professional service will cost around $1200 to cover the bumper. In some cases, it can be more than based on the value and need of the car. 

But if you can handle this task by yourself, it will save you money mostly. You need to spend just under $100. Though it is not an exact amount, it won’t go up to more.    

However, let’s get start painting!

How To Paint A Plastic Bumper With Spray Cans

Well, the thought of spray painting your own car’s plastic bumper may seem like it is beyond your capabilities. But actually, it isn’t right and couldn’t be easier than you thought. 

Follow our guide completely, including your selected spray paint can, along with some important tips and tricks. And enjoy the next few hours with the painting! 

Step:1 – Tools you need

It is most important to make sure to gather all the correct tools before spraying paint. You should take the following tools: 

  • Best paint can
  • Painter’s tape/newspaper
  • Primer
  • Sandpaper
  • One bucket
  • Soapy water
  • Sponge
  • Polishing cloths or towel
  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Work stands

Step:2 – Pre-prepare 

At first, prepare the bumper properly for painting. What should we do? 

  1. First, select a warm sunny day and even a ventilated area for painting. You can choose your garage if it is the right place.
  2. Leave the bumper under the sun. Place it on stands and leave it warm for ½ hour to 1 hour. 
  3. Wash the bumper cover and rinse it with water. Here you can use soapy water and scrub it well. 
  4. Dry the cover off with compressed air or a clean towel.  

Step: 3 – Use Mask 

Before starting any process, you have to mask the car so that nothing can happen to the staying of the chassis while painting. Here you can use newspaper or painter’s tape what you have.

Alternatively, you can remove your bumper carefully from the car and keep it aside on the ground. This way helps you to work freely.  

Step: 4 – Sanding 

When you prepare your bumper, the first task, you have to do before painting is sanding the plastic bumper. 

Why is it good?

It is needed to make friction from the heat so that the plastic coat can absorb heat with softening. For this, you can choose the best orbit sander, which has a double action. 

After sanding, the surface area helps the fresh coating stick over the previous coating most effectively. But if you can do some scuff sanding with your hands, it will give a better result in painting. 

Another benefit of sanding is that it delivers more clean areas to paint and cling onto. But if you sand very much, the plastic bumper can split, melt, or become thin lines. The same can happen for heavy power sanding. 

Step: 5 – Cleansing

In this next step, you need to clean the bumper after sanding. Some professionals have automated washers where use get water with some special detergent. The professional wash booth blow-dries all parts so that it can remove water and dirt properly.

With the detergent wash, some car workshop likes to apply a special paste that helps abrade the plastic.

When picking a grease remover, you can choose cleaners like solvent-based/alcohol-based. Usually, traditional grease remover is solvent base, and it can easily absorb into the plastic elements. 

But the alcohol-based grease remover can’t absorb into the plastic. And also, even most professionals suggest not using alcohol-based remover because they flash off and hardly do the cleaning. 

So, the best way is that use the solvent one, which can wipe quickly before the absorption begins.  

Step: 6 – Use Plastic Adhesion Promoter

Most professional workshop owners are agreed to use plastic adhesion promoters. The cause of it is that the promoters help open the pores of plastic, making it easy to apply coats of paint.

But there has a few issues for the adhesion promoters. These have a very short time window for adhesion. So, you have to act faster and paint the plastic bumper within a very short time. If you can’t complete the task in that opening, the adhesion promoters can’t perform properly.

These solvents are actually applied for raw and bare plastic, and the plastic must be sanded and even clean. So, if you don’t want to use it, you can skip this step.

Let’s move next!   

Step: 7 – Use Primer

This option is also optional for those paints which don’t require primer. But the paint has no option about primer, and you should do it before painting. Sometimes, sanding can’t expose whether the bumper is primed or not, especially the matte color.

Thankfully, some producers send the details in their packing when they deliver their bumpers. But most producers don’t send primed plastic bumpers. If you would like to choose a great primer, you have to use a water-based primer. In this stage, you have to dampen a rag and an enamel remover or wipe it on the bumper.

Check the sign of the primer resistance, solvent, or adhering. You should follow this step carefully. Otherwise, a wet rag full of enamel remover could wipe off the water-based primer on the bumper. 

Plus, if amazing feels off about primer on the part, it will be best if you wipe it off, re-sand the plastic, and primer it all over. It is the best than having to prevent the primer and then paint again. It develops into a lengthy process.  

Step: 8 – Apply elastomeric coating.

This process is also known as flax additives. It helps keep the paint in the right place and prevents cracking or flaking of the bumper because of a crash with something.  

Step: 9 – Painting

Now your plastic car bumper is ready for painting, and you can go ahead. You can use a spray gun or spray bottle for painting. Hold the spray paint can at least 12-inches far away from the bumper and spray the paint steadily. Keep in mind that you have to apply the paint in slow motion to coat the bumper properly.

Also, you should remember to put on old clothing, a facemask, and hand gloves before you start spraying. When you start painting, clean the nozzle now and then so that the paint can’t get stuck into the nozzle and block the way for the paint to go through. Once you have done make layered the base coat, you can allow it dry.

Step: 10 – Drying Paint

The last and final step is to dry the painting. Never force to dry the paint. It is also caused disaster waiting to occur. Suppose your force for drying increases the heat to speed up the drying way. It can’t help the paint adhere at all; instead the melts. 

So, allow the paint of the bumper to dry normally. So what it is a slow process, but well for the bumper. It is not only well but also safe to handle.

After drying the base layer, sand it with 1500grit sandpaper using your hands. It is important to get rid of paint drips and uneven surfaces. And it is best to use wet sanding without dry one.


Because dry sanding could make scrape off the paint and wet sanding with water on the bumper so it can stay the sandpaper moist. It won’t scratch the plastic bumper paint task.

After you are completed sanding and then flows out, include another coat of paint. Repeat the sanding plus painting as much as coats need for the bumper. But always check you have covered the full areas all the time. 

After all, coats are done, you have to let it dry for at least 5/6 hours. Finally, while the bumper dries completely, it will be ready to attach again. 

Yes, your job has been done successfully. 

Final words!

A few people prefer their faded plastic bumpers restored, and it has some different methods. However, we hope those steps will be useful and give you a better idea of how to paint a plastic bumper with spray cans. 

We also think that this complete guide will help you paint your car’s plastic bumper just in a professional way. And finally, you can give a nice-looking bumper with a long life span.

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