How Long Does It Take to Paint A Bumper? Tips and Guide

Despite its seemingly small size, bumpers have been a lifesaver in numerous road accidents and mishaps. Hence, taking care of its function and cover is necessary for your maintenance sessions!

Once you spot any signals of damage or failure on your bumper, it’s time to get it fixed or painted immediately.

The major issue here is, how long does it take to paint a bumper? And what are the methods to ensure your paint job can stick well and does not hamper the bumper’s performance?

Bryan’s Garage once again enters the scene to lend a helping hand. Scroll down to learn more about relevant tips and guidance! 

An Overview Of Car Bumper

How Long Does It Take to Paint A Bumper?

What Is It? Is It Compulsory?

Novices can understand it as a device connected or integrated into the vehicle’s rear and front ends.

Such a design aims to reduce height mismatches among cars, helping your automobile absorb impact (mostly in minor collisions) to cut off repair costs and minimize injuries.

Looking back at automobile history, you can see that stiff plastic bumpers had first been introduced quite early – around 1904 or even sooner.

The device was mainly considered a decorative, ornamental object back then.

But over the years, improvements in technologies and materials – as well as people’s increasing demands to improve road safety and protect automobile components – have changed these bumpers drastically.

Another important question: are these devices legally compulsory? The answer is Yes.

In many regions, the authorities require bumper installation on every vehicle type for the same reasons we just discussed.

It’s to sustain low-speed impacts without damaging the car’s safety systems and keep pedestrians from serious injuries.

Still, some people have pointed out some conflicts between these regulation goals.

Bumpers that can withstand impact and cut repair costs seem to injure pedestrians more seriously. Meanwhile, pedestrian-friendly ones often require much higher repair charges.

Worse, despite the laws’ clear stand about the importance of bumpers, many brands only design their products to meet the barest minimum of standards, meaning finding the true high-quality ones is challenging.

Governments and authoritative figures are still finding ways to solve these dilemmas.

When Should You Paint It? 

Now that you have realized the importance of bumpers, we suggest you bring them for repainting services (or do it yourself) whenever there are clear signals of imperfections, scratches, or dents on the covers.

Whenever your car crashes into another vehicle or an object like hitting the curb in the front, get off your seat to check the bumper immediately!

And always remember to inspect its condition once more at the end of the day or after long hours of driving.

On another note, checking the bumper as soon as possible will save you from the embarrassment of driving in a cracked, distorted car. No one wants such a disaster to happen to them, we swear! 

And here’s another common inquiry Bryan’s Garage often receives from our readers: should they paint the cover after or before installing it on the car? 

Well, it depends on your preferences. There’s no immediate or noticeable harm, regardless of what choice you go with.

Still, for those who prioritize uniform color themes for their precious car, we strongly suggest you set the bumper on the vehicle first before painting.

How so? It’s easier to observe and compare its color with the car’s hood latch and fenders that way.

Remember that faded old paints and new paints rarely match each other perfectly, which is why you need to try your best to reduce the two’s visible hue difference.

Only then can inconsistency issues be reduced, giving your car a more stunning look! 

How Long Does It Take To Paint A Bumper?

How long does it take to paint a car bumper? Under most circumstances, a typical bumper repair should not take more than three days.

Still, note that the exact number might either increase or decrease depending on numerous factors (which we will list below).

Hence, ask the shop to perform quick checks and give you estimated time frames before you pay for their services!

Also, confirm which part requires footed bills from insurance companies and whether the shop still has the item in stock.

Now let’s get back onto the track and find out which factors affect the overall bumper painting/reparation speed: 

The Repair Shop That You Pick

Okay, some of you might think this factor is way too unspecific. But hey, remember that what shop you turn to has the most say in how the bumper treatment carries on!

Before leaving the fate of your bumpers in their hands, ask yourself these two critical questions:

  • Is their schedule fully packed?
  • Are their mechanics already ASE-certified?

Aside from that, do your research carefully and read reviews from other customers to pick the best and most trustworthy shop.

The Damage Extent

There’s nothing complicated about this: the bigger the issue, the longer mechanics will need to diagnose and treat it.

Severe ones might even take you at least a week! What to do in that case – especially those who cannot proceed with their days without a vehicle? 

Simply pose the problem to your shop. Do not worry; they are always willing to assist you as much as they can. Some brands even allow you to borrow their cars at zero cost!  

The Car Model

Lastly, what type your car falls into determines how long you should wait for the repair of your car paint bumper.

For instance, if it’s an old model whose replacement parts are no longer available on the market, you should expect much longer periods than usual.

The same can be said about imported, seldomly seen, or exotic cars; suffering from delays is an expected scenario.

How To Repaint Car Bumper The Right Way?

The following guide will instruct you on how to paint a car bumper off the vehicle.

Of course, you can also apply these same steps for bumper repaint on the car, but remember to bring papers or towels to keep other vehicle parts unaffected.

Step 1. Extract The Bumper Cover and Wash It.

Remove the cover from the bumpers. This step is helpful if you need to repair cracks or scratches on the bumpers before repainting.

Once done, wash the cover carefully using water and a degreaser, and scrub its surface thoroughly with soapy liquid and tack cloths.

Degreasers like kitchen soaps are highly recommended, removing oil and dirt in a blink and leaving your cover 100% clean, ready for its upcoming painting! 

Do not go half-hearted with your washing. If there is any waxy buildup or dirt left, the paint will not adhere properly later.

Step 2. Wet Sand Your Cover

Step 2

Now pick sandpaper (about 600 grit) to wet sand it. Let your fingers run over its shell to discover rough spots, then use both sandpaper and spray bottles to tackle them.

One tip is to maintain a consistent water layer between the bumpers and the sandpaper when spraying these spots.

And again, remember to do so in different directions (up, down, back, forth, et cetera). Only then can you achieve a flawless and smooth finish! 

After that, use a clean cloth to wipe the bumpers down, removing all sanding dust and dirt.

Step 3. Make A Base Coat of Paint

Step 3

Use spray guns to make a base layer. Hold your gun about 13 inches from the surfaces, then apply the coats in sweeping and steady motions.

Always double-check to see whether its color matches the car’s remaining parts.

Also, to safeguard yourself from toxic fumes, do not forget protective gear (ex: gloves and face mask) during this painting process.

Overlap every pass by about 50% to attain even and smooth coverage. After that, please leave it to dry for half an hour.

Spray cans are another great alternative if you do not like spray guns. In these cases, remember to spray away from your bumpers a few times before you start, which helps clear off the nozzles.

Step 4. Wet Sand Again 

After the coat has dried, inspect it carefully for imperfections or drips. Next, wet sand all those spots using sandpaper of 1500 grit and spray bottles. Wipe lingering dust off with clean tack cloths.

Step 5. Repeat Step 3 and Step 4

Step 5

Repeat the paint-dry-sand process twice or thrice. (Our ideal is three times, but you can always do more than that until the coverage for your car bumper paint is even and full).

Every time you finish sanding new layers, wipe them down with clean towels.

Step 6. Add Two Clear Coat Layers Above The Base.

This step is no different from Step 1: use the gun to spray sweeping and light layers.

There should be a 20-minute gap between the first and second one, giving your first layer enough time to dry. You can also use some Goof Off to polish them and seal the deal!


How long does it take to paint a bumper? What are the steps to paint it successfully?

Our article has dived deep into this matter, delivering easy-to-understand guides that even novices have trouble following.

Further inquiries sent by our readers are also properly addressed in the FAQ section.

Store these guidelines in mind to ensure your bumpers are both well-functioning and aesthetically attractive.

And as always, do not forget your monthly maintenance session, keeping both these bumpers and other parts of the cars in peak quality.

Do you still have more questions, confusion, or uncertainty about bumper car paint? Our inbox is open 24/7, so feel free to write to us.

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