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Bumper Bubbling How to Paint??

This is a discussion on Bumper Bubbling How to Paint?? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I posted up on LS1tech but not to many reply's and they just said replace it. SO... guys a little ...

  1. #1
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    Bumper Bubbling How to Paint??

    I posted up on LS1tech but not to many reply's and they just said replace it. SO... guys a little background first. I bought this car in the spring of 08 and it had a raised bubble on the back bumper, where the paint was coming off. Not a big deal, it wasn't huge and there were no cracks. While a year and a half later it has turned to some pretty good bubbling.

    I got a quote to do it and they said 500 for the whole bumper which is a bit out of my range. I was wondering how i can fix this. I'm not look for show quality but damn anything is better then this, I won't be doing the whole bumper just doing a patch job cause down the road (2 years) everything is getting painted

    So i'm wondering what steps i need to take to fix this problem. I know i need to peel/pick away the bubble. I was thinking of going to NAPA to get the primer and paint. But i'm not sure what exactly to get?? I'm a decent painter and very patient, but i am a newb. Just not sure how to go about this.

    Please help





    Sun makes it worse then it is...

    Last edited by GOR1LA; 09-20-2009 at 06:27 AM.

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    Black & Blue
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    Are you planning on painting the entire bumper, or simply attempting a spot repair? Start by washing it down with some liquid dish detergent to cut through any wax buildup, or simply utilize a commercial wax and grease remover.

    I would start with something like 320 wet paper and begin sanding the area down. If it is a spot repair you will need to feather the sanded area into the surrounding paint. If not, mask off your quarters, taillights and such and sand down the entire bumper.

    Why did the paint crack there -- impact? Bad adhesion? If it is simply the top coat that has peeled, you just need to sand down until it is smooth. However, if it is all lifting up from the bumper surface, you will need to take it down further.

    We did our front bumper, headlight doors and hood a few months ago and achieved good results. Applied base coat / clear coat over top of the sanded original finish as stripping was simply not required.

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    I was going to just spot repair it with good ole rattle can since i don't know if i want to tackle the whole bumper. Its raised from the bumper not just the clear which would have been a bit easier. What kinda products did you use and steps? (unless of course you used a spray gun lol)

    Since this is my first time i'm a little nervous.

    I'm not sure why it bubbled. Everyplace else on the bumper is great.

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    My brother-in-law has a body shop so it was technically a professional re-paint: Back in Black

    Looks like your car is black and that makes life a whole lot easier for matching color. Most important thing is to have a clean surface. Once you have it sanded down, you'll want to wipe it down again with a wax and grease remover as you will have oils from your fingers on the surface. You can also use a tack cloth to pick up any lint, dust or other debris. The plastic parts on our cars make great dust magnets.

    Mask everything off good and use light coats. If you end up going through to the bumper surface you will need a primer coat first. Keep this small and just enough to cover the damaged area. This will allow your color coat to be larger and make for better feathering. Whether you color sand and clearcoat, or if the color is your top coat depends upon what products you use. Whatever the top coat is, you can lightly wet sand it with 1500 or finer and then buff it back to a gloss to help blend it into your existing finish.

    There are "how to" vids on YouTube that may offer some pointers. Also, if you want to practice first - go grab a piece from a shattered black bumper cover off any car at a bone yard and try your hand on that first.

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    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Where in MI are you? I got a quote from a dealership and they only wanted 300 to remove/repaint/reattach. The only way I found a cheaper price was if I pull it off and take it to joe schmo (only 25-50 buck cheaper). But I'm not sure if your bumper only needs a good repainting.

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    Judging from your pics, if you plan on doing it yourself I would take the entire bumper off and paint the whole thing. If you try to paint only a square on the bumper what you'll end up with is a non matching black square on the edge of your bumper which may/may not look better than what it is now. So take it off and hose it down as was said. I would use 220 and a DA sander to smooth it all out, you'll have to chip off all the bad paint and blend those areas in. Once it's looking good use some 320 and go over the whole thing again. Get your rattle can and spray the whole bumper (if you can it from the rafters in your garage to paint thats the easiest). Then hit the bumper cover with some rattle can clear. Just be careful and take your time applying multiple thin coats or else your paint will run. Let dry and reinstall. Sounds like a pain, and its not easy, but it would be the best alternative to taking it to a dealership. BTW im in Flint and know a lot of people around here who do good paint work. Prolly would quote you $250 to do a job like that if interested.

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    I have been doing a repaint of most of my front end after a deer hit. You will find that to do the whole bumper it is much cheaper and quicker to just find a bodyshop to do it. Saving money comes in the preparation. I would recommend taking the car to a couple places and getting some estimates. Talk to them about different options such as you doing the sanding and prep work, about whether it is cheaper on or off the car. The money is in the prep. Masking and taping the car, sanding and such are where the cost really is. If you do as much as you are comfortable with then the price won't be too bad. If you remove the bumper (it is actually a bumper cover and not such a big deal to remove) and give it to them then they can just take it in the booth and primer, color, and clearcoat after whatever prep is done that they needed to do. Then you pick it up and put it on. There is a ton to know to do this without it looking seriously lame.

    Something to remember is that the bubbling and peeling aren't goin to stop now. So just spot repairing really isn't an option. The reason it is like it is now is because of very bad prep work. The biggest reason is that either it wasn't properly sanded, no adhesion promoter, or not properly cleaned and degreased. So someone screwed up in the past. They didn't screw up just the areas you see now. The rest will keep coming out.

    Ok... having said all that.. you can rattle can it but as above prep, prep, prep... sand it down to the plastic, CLEAN (NEEDS to be an automotive acetone after each and every step, primer and seal, paint, clear, then wetsand with wet 1500 and 2000 grit to bring out the shine.

    Personally I think you will spend less, look better, and last longer by taking the cover off and having a pro paint it. Then at least you will have some gaurantee and piece of mind. Plus they have the proper tools and equipment, etc.. to do it right.

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    ^^^ thanks the thing is i'm going to have the whole car redone in about 2 years, after college and a year of working under me. I can't spend a crap load of money right now because of school. Thats why i'd like to do just a spot repair to make it look decent, atleast it wouldn't bubble for awhile, even if it is a bit two tone, i can deal with it for now lol...

    I know doing the whole bumper is the way to go but i really would rather do this first. If it works and looks ok i'll be happy, if not no big thing.

    So should my steps be:

    adhesion prompter
    filler primer
    paint
    clear

    sanding between each coat with 1500 and tack cloth. Any ideas on what products to use? ? and number of coats for each?

    thanks guys keep them coming

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    Pewter Metallic
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    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...0202417AAFYy0X

    Here's a start...
    Start doing net searches... there are tons of examples and instructions. YouTube has lots as well as other sites..

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