Fixing the paint on car bumpers

Is there any way to repair the paint on car bumpers fairly inexpensively? I’ve got a couple places on my car where the paint is scraped off and shows the black plastic underneath. I’ve tried researching this topic with Google and I’m just not getting what I’m looking for.

There is a product sold in conjunction with “color wax” that works “ok”. It is a “paint stick” that was sold, via infomercial, with “color wax”. This paint stick and color wax combo fixes most small scratches and nicks fairly well for the amateur.

You can find these products by searching on the names, or buy visiting a large auto parts store. In this area, “Pep Boys” has these products.

You other option is touch up paint, only if it matches your paint code and you can do it right. It WON’T look unnoticable. It will look decent from a distance.

Always remove all the wax from the area before painting it. Auto stores sell products that remove the wax. I think straight Ammonia works well. Paint will cure and adhere better when wax is removed. You can wax the area after about a month. With touch up paint, use toothpicks or a good fine hair brush made for touch ups…and remember “less is more”…work with tiny amount and build the paint up. Don’t be afraid to wipe excess away…but use a tiny, tiny amount when filling in scratches.

so-so reviews on the paint stick


Use touch-up paint whenever necessary. No matter what you do to protect your car’s finish some nicks and scratches are unavoidable. For the sake of your car’s appearance and to avoid rust problems, use touch-up paint whenever needed. It’s easy to apply and only takes a minute. While the paint never looks as good as when the car was new, the touched up spot will look better than a nick and the metal is protected from exposure.

Touch-up paint identical to your car’s original color may appear somewhat “brighter” when applied to older cars whose original finish has “weathered”. Follow the directions on the labels to minimize any such differences. Also check before using. If your car has been completely refinished, it may be a different shade from the original.

The “touch-up stick” method is best for small nicks and scratches while aerosol is suited for larger areas or metallic colors. Because the results with metallic colors can vary depending upon spraying techniques, test spray first to determine proper method before applying to car.

Check paint color code# on your car to determine exact color required. Color code numbers are located on the ID tag on the driver’s side door post or on an ID tag on the firewall under the hood.


from “How to fix paint chips on your car”


Thanks for the info. I’m afraid these scrapes are rather large, though - like a half dollar or maybe even a little larger in size, and they are on the bumper, which is made of vinyl or somesuch, rather than metal, so I know touch-up paint would just make the thing look worse than if I’d not done anything.

I suspect I’m probably screwed - it would cost much more than it is worth to replace the bumper, and that’s the only thing I can think of that would return the car to really looking right again.

As the person said, you need the paint code first. Then visit a store that sells auto paint, get yourself a pint or a quart ( not much more than a pint). Get a little aeresol sprayer they have to put it in so you can spray it on. Mask the area well & spray it on, a few coats. Then use rubbing compound ( also fromt hat store) on your whole bumper to even it out.

The options I listed, as handy pointed out, include using an aerosol can to spray it on.
Obviously, the best option is full paint job by a pro on the whole car…or just the bumper. Working down from that, is having a pro spray the area only…working down from that is having you spray the area only.

It will not look great becuase bumpers are fussy to match and blend.

If spraying, cover all the overspray areas, and when you start to hit the spray button, the can should not be pointed at the bumper, but at a covered area and then you sweep past the damaged area with a clean mist of spray, following directions, and passing the area, releasing the button after sweeping past the area (eliminates blotches and runs).

An auto paint supply store is the place to visit to get the paint matched and the supplies needed.

When there, ask them for specific tips related to your car and color.

Look in the yellow pages under Auto Paint Supply, or Auto Body Supply. There are stores that deal with body shops, and they are a great resource. I know of two in my area, and they helped me match white paint and blend it. White is a toughie.

It won’t look great, but it will be okay from standing distances.

A new bumper is prob 200-400 bucks w/out paint.
New paint on current bumper = 200-250 bucks.
New paint on new bumper = 150-200 bucks

Thanks for your suggestions. I understand better now what I need to do. I’ve found a place online that will sell me the correct color paint in a spray can with an additive that will keep the paint from cracking if the bumper flexes. This is great because I live in semi-rural area and the only place here that could sell it to me is an hour away, and they’d have to order it first.

Before I commit myself though I think I’ll take it by the local auto painting/repair shop and see what the guy there says. I’m a commercial artist who has done lots of spray painting and airbrushing over the years, but not ever on a car. The car is 8 years old and has metallic paint too, so I don’t have a lot of confidence in myself not to eff it up, though I guess the worst that can happen is I get the pro to fix it eventually anyway. Maybe I’ll even get the whole damn car painted.

the paint used on bumpers (and cars like saturns, corvettes) have a special agent in them so they remain flexable. otherwise, the paint cracks and comes off when the bumper (or body panel) flexs. a good body shop should be able to get you the correct stuff.

Did you say metallic? whoa…alright you can easily take the bumper off & do the whole thing if you want a nice match. You’re right metallics usually don’t match up too close.

Handy, that’s what the body shop guy said too. He’d want to take the bumper off and then paint the whole thing (best cheapest fix), and if I want to try it myself that would be the best way to come out with a decent looking result. So I went ahead and got the paint - the worst thing that can happen is I eff it up and he redoes it. Either way, he’ll charge me the same price.

I really liked the website I got the paint from, very helpful, even had info on where to find the color code (I looked in the places Philster suggested, turns out my color code is behind the grill. Weird.):