How to paint a plastic bumper with spray cans

This time I have come up with the solution to paint a plastic bumper with spray cans with this step-by-step guide you guys who were afraid to do this job by themselves will be able to achieve satisfactory results.

Amateurs are requested to follow each step explained in this guide of mine in order to get a perfect finish from their car bumper.

spray painting car bumper

If you’re looking to save a few bucks and have ordered a new bumper but need to paint it, hey-don’t fret! It’s very possible to do the job all on your own in just two days.

Check out how to coat that shiny new bumper yourself with this handy guide. All you really need is a primer, paint of your color choice, spray cans of clear coat, painter’s tape, cloth, plenty of soapy water, and a nicely lit location for optimum comfort.

You’ll obviously have many obstacles to overcome when trying to figure out how to paint the bumper cover, but in the long run, it might be worth a try as it may very well change your life by making you rich.

There are dozens of reasons why you should attempt to do so. The truth is there are all sorts of approaches that might help you in achieving this goal. However, we just want to make sure that you don’t get discouraged.

Painting your car’s bumper is one way to give it a makeover! First, remove the bumper and wash it thoroughly. Then apply some plastic primer to any scratches or cracks you’ll find in your bumper.

Next, coat the bumper with several layers of base coat, letting each layer dry before moving on to the next.

Finally, add a couple of coats of clear coat for extra durability and a shiny finish, then wait 6 hours before putting back on or driving your car around.

Tools you need to paint plastic bumper

These are some tools that you need in order to paint your plastic car bumpers with spray paint cans to achieve a perfect finish after completing your work. Below is the list:

  • Painter’s Tape or masking tape for protection of surface from paint
  • Primer is also needed
  • Paint Cans for the painting process
  • Clear-Coat for protection of paint
  • Bucket for water storage
  • Soapy Water for cleaning purposes
  • Sponge for cleaning surface
  • Compressed Air or a Towel for cleaning tight spots
  • Mask for protection of face
  • Gloves for protection of hands
  • Work Stands for a better position to paint

Steps to paint plastic bumper

Pick a warm sunny day or pick a garage that’s well-ventilated. Either way, you’re going to find yourself in a situation where you have to wait for your paint and bumper to dry.

Here are some tips on making the most out of this situation:

Remove the bumper if you want to

When repairing a bumper that is particularly rusty, you’ll want to remove it from the car body. However, many plastic bumpers can be difficult to paint because of their high gloss finish.

In some cases it may be best left attached to its metal body – this also ensures that during the painting process you don’t accidentally miss any spots or stray over onto other areas.

Warm the bumper

On a warm sunny day, if you don’t have a paint booth installed in the shop, fix your bumper outside.

Pick a day without strong winds: dust and pollen could linger on the bumper and attach to freshly-painted areas. Watch out for mosquitos, as some defend themselves by attaching to painted surfaces.

We suggest letting your bumper warm up in the sun for about ½ hour to 1 hour. The best place to let it sit is outdoors, on a stand so that the heat can truly penetrate all of its surfaces.

Sand the surface if needed

In wet sanding a bumper cover, 600 grit sandpaper is used as this allows for the smoothest even finish. Follow this step by hand in order to feel for any rough patches and smooth them out.

To continue always have a constant layer of water between the sandpaper and bumper cover you are working on by spraying the area constantly.

This will assure that the entire slithered surface is achieved without fail. Instead of sandpaper, you could use a pad, as long as its grain is not too large or too small and if needed be backed up with a sanding block.

To maintain constant contact pressure while maintaining a flat sheet angle over the work surface when lowering it onto the vehicle body.

Wash the bumper

It’s pretty safe to say that over time your car is likely to accumulate a significant amount of dirt and grime on its bumpers.

Even the most attentive car owners will have to deal with this problem sooner or later since bumper covers are one of the most exposed parts of your vehicle.

Luckily, cleaning your bumper cover doesn’t require many extensive efforts. All you really need is the right product – in this case, an all-purpose degreaser like kitchen soap.

You’ll want to use a sponge, dishcloth, or even paint brush to work the soapy mixture into every crevice while washing gently taking care not to harm or scratch any surfaces along the way.

bumper painting with spray cans

Washing the bumper cover is best done when you’re washing your car. Start by mixing a solution using water and dish soap so that the bumper cover won’t get damaged.

Then, let it soak in the soapy water while you wash and scrub down any dirt or stains. When you are done scrubbing, rinse off all of the soap thoroughly.

Dry the bumper

After using the towel to dry off the bumper, it’s ok to use compressed air (using a can of air) to help squeeze out more water/dirt/dust. do this in short bursts so that you don’t blow everything around.

Inspect the bumper

Scuff that bumper. To scuff the section of the bumper, use a scuff pad which you can usually find in a tool kit for cars, and lightly go over the surface of the bumper until there is no shine left on it.

Inspect and tape off parts of the bumper that shouldn’t be painted like lights or sections containing vital components.

Remove the dirt

When you’ve finished cleaning the rest of your car don’t forget to wipe down your bumper! If you have some tack cloth, this would be a great time to use it.

First, just pat the bumper down with the cloth so that if there are dirt or dust particles still on it any paintwork on the bumper won’t touch them of course, and will remain clean.

Prime the surface of the bumper

Spray Primer onto the Bumper. If a plastic bumper requires priming, we recommend putting plastic adhesive promoter primer on it.

Shake up the can, follow the directions, wear a mask, and spray primer onto the bumper. The resulting product will look clear.

Hold up to 10 inches to a foot away while spraying. In our example, we applied 3 coats of primer, spraying one coat every three minutes and letting the primer dry for 10 minutes before applying paint.

Start spraying bumper

Once your primer is dry and has set for 10 minutes, you’re ready to paint the bumper. We suggest preheating the cans of paint in a bucket of warm water so they’re already nice and warm when you go to use them.

Paint areas that are likely to get splashed frequently with your second coat – the edges of any tape and slots on the bumper, for example – first.

Don’t overload your brush with paint or it’s liable to drip, which will make a mess later on! Use long sweeping motions to apply a thin coat all over the bumper with one sweep before pulling off to wait for 10 minutes for it to dry.

Apply clear coat after painting

After you’ve put on the base coat, you can protect it further with 2 or more layers of clear coat.

Hold the aerosol about 12 inches (30 cm) from the bumper and spray the clear coat in a light, sweeping motion to apply just 1 layer of clear coat.

Let this layer dry for 20 minutes. After this first pass, apply a second layer of clear coat and let it dry as well. Each time new clear coats are applied, overlap the previous one by 50% for the best coverage

Let the paint dry and remove the tape

After the paint is dry, you should let the bumper sit for 24 hours. If the paint does not appear to be glossy, sprinkle some extra Invisible Dust over the whole surface.

Wait for another 30 minutes and then remove the painter’s tape. And then attach the bumper back to its surface if you removed it before starting the process.


You can easily paint your car bumper at home without any help. There are some tips to follow, so let us see how can you do it. First and foremost, before painting your bumper, clean it with a wet and dry cloth. Now wash your bumper with an automotive cleaner and wax remover. Now, wait for your bumper to completely dry. Apply a primer coat, following the instructions on the can. Apply two or three coats of the primer. After the primer is completely dry, apply the paint. Follow the instructions on the can. Wait for a couple of hours for the paint to dry, then apply a second coat of paint on the bumper. Do this for two or three coats. Use a wax and buff to give the bumper a nice shine. If the instructions on the paint can are not clear, then you should go to a professional. If you do it in a professional way, your bumper will look awesome!

The best spray paint to use on plastic is the Krylon Fusion for Plastic , which is the only spray paint on the market specifically made for painting plastic.

First of all, primer is your friend, especially on plastic surfaces. It doesn’t stick real paint well, but it does help glue your clear coat to the plastic. The most important part is to make sure you’re using the right kind of paint for the surface you’re working with. You’ll want to use an adhesion promoter, which is basically a primer for the primer. Without the promoter, you’ll have no hope of getting paint to stick. You’ll want to use a plastic-specific primer, as regular primer will actually make paint peel off.

You will have to use between 5 and 7 cans. The difference is due to the coverage of the paint and the paint job you want. When the job is very large, you will need to use more cans of paint. Also, if you want the paint job to be perfect, then you should definitely go for more cans of paint. Here is a list of different bumper types. -Steel bumper -This type involved the most amount of painting time. The steel bumper is the strongest bumper available on the market today. But, it requires more work to paint and it must also be primed. The primer is necessary because the steel surface is hard to paint and will tend to be blotchy if the primer is not applied first. Then, you will apply the paint over the primer. -Plastic bumper -This type needs the least amount of painting time. This is because plastic, unlike steel, is smoother and easier to paint. It also has a protective layer that is applied at the factory and doesn’t need to be stripped. This will help you save a lot of time. -Painted bumper -This type of bumper is one that you will have to paint only the plastic back piece. The front part of the bumper has been painted prior to being put on the car. This type needs the least amount of time overall and should take about 2 hours to complete.

Conclusion on How to paint a plastic bumper with spray cans

The complete step-by-step guide for painting plastic car bumpers with spray paint cans is for people who are newcomers in this painting field and were confused to do this paint job by themselves but didn’t know the complete process.

But here is a complete guide is written from my own experience which is quite long and should be considered.

Still, if you guys find anything which seems to be complicated then just let me know in the comments section and I will clear it out with a satisfactory answer.

Follow each step explained in this guide in order to achieve the best results and a perfectly shiny finish.

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