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How to Fix Scratches on a Plastic Bumper: Low Cost DIY Techniques At Home!

  • Auto Insurance
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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¬†Driving around in your favorite car can be fun until you go and scratch the bumper. But don’t worry! If you were wondering how to fix scratches on a plastic bumper, here’s a complete lowdown.

There’s nothing that spoils the aesthetics of your car more than pesky bumper scratches! Not only do they make your car look worn and used, but they can also reduce the vehicle’s value when you want to sell it for a better model. While scratches are not as big a problem as dents in a plastic bumper, they still need adequate attention if you want the vehicle to look sprightly.

Can plastic bumper scratches be repaired?

Yes, you don’t need to be worried about sporting bumper scratches all the time. There are a few DIY home hacks you can use to cover up minor scratches easily and in a cost-effective way. For larger mishaps like cracks and dents in a plastic bumper, you can also use home-repair kits and structural adhesives to help hold cracked pieces together.

How to fix scratches in a plastic bumper

Can you buff out a bumper scratch?

Buffing is the process of using a loose abrasive on a surface to remove imperfections and scratches. You can buff a bumper scratch using light abrasives like toothpaste or sandpaper. The best part is that you can do it at home with a store-bought sandpaper set and other utilities.

Also read: How to fix a dent in a plastic bumper

How much does it cost to repair a scratched plastic bumper?

If you use DIY methods to try and fix minor scratches on a plastic bumper, it will not cost you much. If you don’t already have sheets of sandpaper lying around, you can easily buy a set for $10-$15.¬†

However, for major repairs, you may have to shell out between $50-$400 at a body shop. Cracked or dented bumpers may need extensive repair work that could drive up costs.

Things you’ll need to fix scratches on a plastic bumper

  • A can of spray paint (preferably matched to the bumper color)
  • Vehicle spray primer
  • Vehicle spray clear coat
  • Fine and coarse sandpaper sheets
  • Scuff pad
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Wax and grease remover
  • Scratch-fill putty

How to fix scratches on a plastic bumper: Steps

  • First, mask off the areas on the bumper that you don’t want to spray-paint.
  • Take 3000-grit sandpaper and start lightly scraping the scratched area. You could also use non-gel toothpaste to buff the area if you don’t have any sandpaper.
  • Use a cleaning towel to wipe down the area and then clean it with wax and grease remover.
  • If you see any remaining scratches, fill them using a thin layer of scratch putty. Give it five minutes to harden, and then sand over the area once more.
  • Scuff the area about 10 inches around the buffed area. This will be the area you are going to paint over.
  • Apply two layers of vehicle spray primer in 5-minute intervals.
  • Finally, spray-paint the area with multiple layers until it completely blends into the rest of the bumper.

Can you remove scratches from a plastic bumper permanently?

Yes, by buffing, scuffing, and painting over the scratches, you can remove them from a plastic bumper almost permanently. However, this only applies to minor scratches that cannot be felt by running your fingers over them.

Deeper scratches might need work at a body shop.

How deep of a scratch can be buffed out?

The general rule of thumb to find whether a scratch can be buffed out is to run your thumb across the scratch and try to feel it. If you can, it is too deep to be buffed out. You will either need to go to a body shop or use a scratch repair kit to get it rectified.

If the scratch cannot be felt, that means it can be buffed out easily in a few minutes. You can use toothpaste or a rough paint coat to cover up the scratch and make the bumper look brand new.

Does auto insurance cover bumper scratches?

Don’t worry about bumper scratches costing you money out-of-pocket. Scratches are covered under most good auto insurance policies. However, they should have resulted from a covered peril – like vandalism or a vehicular accident.

You can use an insurance platform like Way.com to compare deals across 200+ providers and sign on to a comprehensive insurance policy that covers scratches, dents, accidents, and more!

how to fix scratches in a plastic bumper


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