Got a bumper scuff or scratch? While not as severe as a bumper crack or dent, a trip to an auto body repair shop can still cost an average of $560, and they will probably need to keep your car for a few days. Why not fix it yourself? In this article we are going to show you how to repair a scratched urethane plastic or fiberglass bumper cover on your own, in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost.

What you need:

  • Factory-matched paint in a spray can.
  • Automotive spray primer.
  • Automotive spray clear coat.
  • Some sheets of coarse and fine sandpaper.
  • Scuff pad.
  • Cleaning towel.
  • Wax and grease remover.
  • Scratch-filling putty.

Step 1. Apply Masking Tape

Apply masking tape to adjacent panels and plastic trim that could be accidentally sprayed by bumper paint.

Step 2. Sand Bumper

Wrap a sheet of coarse sandpaper around your scuff pad, and sand the bumper with firm pressure until you have smoothed the scratches out.

Step 3. Clean Panel

Once you are done sanding wipe down the panel with your cleaning towel, then clean the entire panel with wax and grease-remover.

Step 4. Fill Scratches

Now if you find any scratches that will not sand out, fill them in with a thin layer of scratch-filling putty.

Wait five minutes for it to harden, then re-sand over the putty using corse sandpaper with firm pressure.

You might need to repeat this step a second time in order to get everything smoothed out.


Step 5. Scuff Repair Area

Take your scuff pad and scuff at least ten inches all around the repair area.

This is very important because it will help ensure that your paint will permanently stick to your bumper and be more durable over time.


Step 6. Prime Bumper

Cover any areas that might be hit with unwanted overspray with newspaper or butcher paper.

Shake the primer can for about sixty seconds, and apply a thin layer of primer.

Wait two minutes, then apply a heavier layer of primer until you have covered any bare black plastic areas exposed by sanding.


Step 7. Paint Bumper

Using the fine-grit sandpaper, sand the primer with light pressure until it feels smooth.

Shake the jar of paint for about thirty seconds, then apply multiple coats of paint, about 10-12 inches away.

If you encounter any bumps, cloudiness, or "cat" scratches, just wait five minutes, sand again until smooth, and try again.

If you have a silver or gold car and you notice any stripes, follow up with some vertical passes.


Step 8. Clearcoat Layer

Once you are done painting, wait at least five minutes before applying a light layer of clearcoat.

Wait two minutes before slowly apply a heavier layer, overlapping each pass by about 50%.

Wait 10 minutes, remove the tape and paper, and you are done. You can wash or wax; it is permanent.


We'll make it easier for you.

Fix bumper scrapes yourself, in just 45 minutes, with BumperWizard.

BumperWizard bumper scratch repair kit

Everything you need, in one $74.95 kit:

  • Cleaner
  • Sand-paper
  • Scratch-filling putty
  • Color-matching paint
  • Primer
  • Clearcoat