How to Remove Deep Scratches from Car Bumper

How to Remove Deep Scratches from Car Bumper

Scratches on car bumper can easily occur when road debris such as loose tire treads or a stick in the road makes contact with your car. In some cases, it could be an issue of poor parking.

Most times some of the minor scratches can be avoided by careful driving, but sometimes they are unpreventable (like when someone vandalizes your car) and can be rather costly.

In this article, we’re going to look at how to remove deep scratches from car bumper at home.

How to Remove Deep Scratches from Car Bumper

Deep scratches on car bumper can be hideous and often require a lot of work to fix as compared to minor car bumper scratches.

You need to fill the scratches first before you paint and apply your desired finish. For this task, you will need:

  • Wax remover
  • Scuff pad
  • Sandpaper in varying grits
  • Car clear coat and spray primer
  • Bumper repair kit
  • Body filler putty
  • Prep solvent
  • Color-matched car paint
  • Surface cleaner
  • Towel

Step 1

Find out what type of car bumper you are dealing with. Plastic car bumpers can be made of:

  1. polyurethane plastic rigid (PUR),
  2. thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (TPUR),
  3. polypropylene (PP),
  4. thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), or
  5. polyphenylene oxide (PPO)

The first two tend to powder when sanded, while the last three can smear. It is important to have this information when sanding or grinding.

Step 2

Unfasten the bumper to get a good look of all the surfaces. The bumper is usually held in place by a number of fasteners.

After removing the bumper cover, find a dry and conducive location to work from.

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Step 3

Prepare the bumper. Scrub the scraped area gently if it has been punctured or torn, and then wash the bumper.

Step 4

Allow the bumper to dry completely and then apply prep solvent in one direction so that you don’t contaminate the surface area. Wait for the solvent to dry as you mix equal parts of repair adhesive and hardener in a container.

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Step 5

Next, sand the car bumper surface vigorously using 80-grit sandpaper.

Step 6

For plastic bumpers that powder when sanded, use a 24-grit sanding disc to cut the grooves. If it is the kind that smears, use a rotary file and a cordless drill.

Create a “V” groove by running the tool along the front and back of the fascia. This way, it will be easier to align the edges and also provide more room to hold the filler material. 

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Step 7

Cover the damaged area with body filler putty.

Step 8

Use adhesive fiberglass-repair tape to fix the tears on the rear side of the fascia. Masking tape can also help to keep the ends of the tear in place when repairing, if the scraped area is too big.

Step 9

Apply adhesive over your tape using a body filler squeegee. Add a layer of tape over the adhesive, and then apply more adhesive over the top. Give the combination some time to dry until it hardens.

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Step 10

Remove any visible tape on the front fascia by sanding the area with your 80-grit sandpaper.

Get the materials from your repair kit and use them to fill up any damage that is visible in front of the bumper. Use the squeegee to put everything into place.

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Step 11

Use the coating from your repair kit to skim-coat the surface of the damaged area. Allow to dry and then apply another coat.

Bring everything together by smoothing out the surface with wet fine grit (400-grit) sandpaper.

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Step 12

Now it’s time to paint your newly-fixed car bumper.

  • Apply sealer coat first and wait for thirty minutes to dry.
  • Use a 400-grit sandpaper to sand the restored bumper once the surface has hardened.
  • Next, buff the area with a wet cloth to keep it clear and smooth, and then apply the base coat.
  • Spray the area with paint of the same color as the rest of your bumper.
  • Apply a mixture of hardener and car clear coat, let it dry completely, and then finish with another layer.

How to Remove Minor Scratches from Car Bumper

In some cases, the scratch may not be too deep to warrant an intense removal process, but the scrapes can still be unsightly on your car. If so, here is what you can do to remove small scratches from your car bumper.

Step 1

Wash the scratched car bumper to remove small grit particulars, which may scratch your paint work when you start waxing.

Use proper car washing detergent, not your household detergent. Household detergents are too aggressive and tend to strip off the outer layers of wax.

Step 2

Use a compound rubbing paste to clean off some of the layers of scraped paint. Compound is a coarse cutting paste that you can use to clear the damaged area and see the extent of the damage.

In the event of a collision, it is common to find mixed rubber and car bumper paint from the other vehicle on the scratch.

The work of the compound rubbing paste is to clean off these foreign substances and leave you with a plain dent.

Use a wet cloth to apply your cutting paste on the scraped car bumper, in an up and down motion. Apply more water if you notice the paste drying. Most, if not all, of the rub marks should be gone after some time.

Use a soft cloth to clean off the surface and then buff the area to get rid of all the paste. You can use your hand for this task or get an orbital buffing machine.

A buffing machine is not necessary, but it is relatively cheap and will leave a better finish in way less time.

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FAQs on Car Scratch Removal

Does auto insurance cover bumper scratches?

Auto insurance can cover car bumper scratches, if the scratches were caused by a peril that is covered in your policy such as vandalism or car accident. However, the deductibles can be rather high, so it’s usually not worth it.

How much does it cost to fix a scratch in a body shop?

You can spend anywhere from $400 to $1000 in an auto body shop to fix a scratch on your car bumper. Additionally, the shop has to repaint the entire part as long as the damage affected the paint layer.

Can I use toothpaste to remove scratches from my car?

Yes, you can actually use toothpaste to remove minor scratches on your car. The standard toothpaste has a certain grit that can be effective at buffing out small scratches. Minor scratches are basically the ones that touch the clear coat without affecting your actual paint.

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We understand that a scraped car bumper is not a good look for your car, which is why we have created this guide on how to remove deep scratches from car bumper.

If there are too many scratches on your bumper, you may want to replace it as repairing the damage could be very tedious. If your bumper is cracked, you will have to get another one.

This is because the bumper loses its structural integrity when it cracks, so it won’t be very helpful in terms of protection in the event of a car crash.

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