Buyers Guide & Information

Best Paints For Plastic Bumpers

With our guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to apply spray paint to bumpers correctly.

Give your car a facelift and increase its value by repainting your car bumper. Of course, you could bring it to an auto repair shop, but you'll end up paying a lot more for something that could be a simple fix. Spray paints are a fantastic option, and they’re a lot more of an affordable option.

We’ve also listed 4 of the best paints for bumpers so you know which are the best to buy, and with our guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to apply it correctly.

Automotive bumpers are designed to absorb impact and keep your car safe. However, over time, bumpers can look worn, scratched, and suffer from high UV rays. Touch-ups are required to keep your car looking fresh, and some paints can even protect your vehicle from further damage.

If your bumper is badly damaged from an accident, then there are a couple of steps you’ll have to do before spraying fresh paint on it. Also, the material of your bumper will require spray paint suitable for that surface.

Otherwise, the paint won’t stick. This will leave your paint job peeling and wrinkling in no time. As you can guess, there’s a lot to consider before you begin spraying your bumper with paint, so continue reading to find out more.



Metal Bumpers Vs Plastic Bumpers

Having a plastic bumper might sound flimsy and dangerous, but it’s actually a lot safer for you as a driver. Plastic does a better job of absorbing impact when you’re in an accident.

It may cause more damage to your plastic bumper, but it also costs less to get it repaired compared to metal bumpers. Metal bumpers don't absorb as much energy, so this means it gets transferred into the car and then to you.

Another positive of plastic bumpers is that it’s much lighter than metal, so it improves your car’s fuel efficiency and in return, saves you money. It’s also easier to shape and repaint, especially during the bumper repair process. That’s why there are more car manufacturers using polypropylene plastic nowadays rather than metal.


Paints For Plastic Bumpers Compared

Preview

Product

Size

Dry Time

Coverage

Check Price

Rust-Oleum Black Automotive 248649 12-Ounce...

Rust-Oleum, Black Automotive 248649

12 oz.

24 Hr.

14 Sp. Ft.

Rust-Oleum Black BlackRust-Oleum Automotive...

Rust-Oleum 251574 Black Automotive

11 oz.

1 Hr.

15 Sp. Ft.

Rust-Oleum, Black 248914 Truck Bed Coating...

Rust-Oleum, Black 248914

15 oz.

1 Hr.

20 Sp. Ft.

Dupli-Color EBUN02007 Universal Chrome...

Dupli-Color EBUN02007 Universal Chrome

8 Oz.

30 min - 1 Hr.

25 Sp. Ft.

Considerations When Buying Spray Paints For Bumpers

Color compatibility

Unless multi-colored cars are your thing, you’ll want to pay close attention to match the spray paints to your car’s color code. This may seem like a challenge, but many manufacturers list their color codes within their user manuals.

These color codes tell you if your vehicle has a single tone, two- tones, or tri-tones to create your cars' color, so finding it is important. Alternatively, you can purchase a spray paint with color match properties. These sprays have a unique formula that blends effortlessly with the existing color, matching it almost perfectly.

Quality and durability of the finish

Not all automotive spray paints will leave your bumper gleaming and looking like new. Some will need primers, and others might need a top coat to finish the job and give you longer-lasting protection. The finish of your car is also something to consider.

Do you have matte, metallic, high-gloss, or satin paint on your car? Knowing and choosing the right type of paint will leave you covering your bumper less, so unnecessary peeling and wrinkling won’t occur. The spray paints we’ve listed are incredibly durable and long-lasting, so be sure to check if any are color compatible with your vehicle.

Dry time

One of the biggest benefits of spray painting your bumper yourself is that it takes a lot less time than bringing it to a shop. Auto-repair shops prioritize bigger jobs and get to small scratches later, but don’t let that saved time go to waste by buying a slow drying paint.

Look for a product with a fast drying time so you can move on with your life. Many of these paints will dry within 24 hours, and some are fully cured within a couple of days, so it’s wise to keep this in mind.

Convenience of Use

Spray painting is a lot faster than regular old paint, and they’re more convenient to use as well. Eliminate unnecessary mess and drips by purchasing an aerosol can with a good nozzle.

Some cans can be sprayed at all angles without dripping a bit, so you don't waste product either. We recommend reading through customers' reviews so you can get real users' thoughts on their application process.

Paint Quantity Vs. Area of Coverage

Getting the best outcome on your plastic bumper might require a couple of coats. So, in return, many DIY spray painters buy no-name brands thinking that more paint is better. This is very rarely the case, and it might leave you with a poor quality, overly saturated paint job.

We recommend purchasing a spray paint from a trusted manufacturer and doubling up on spray paint so you can do at least 2 coats. Each color will have a different square foot coverage as there are different levels of pigments in each shade. Check the square-foot coverage on your preferred color, and purchase enough paint according to the size of your bumper.


4 Best Paints For Plastic Bumpers Reviewed

1. Rust-Oleum 248649

Our top pick

Size

12 oz.

Dry Time

24 Hr.

Coverage

14 Sp. Ft.

Available Colors

Gloss Black

Restore and revitalize your plastic bumper on your car with the Rust-Oleum automotive paint. Not only can these be used on your bumper, but it can also be used on all of your automotive plastic parts. As a matter of fact, you can use this spray paint on numerous indoor or outdoor products. So, cover materials like fiberglass, PVC, resin, polypropylene, and polystyrene with any leftover paint.

Eash 12 oz. can will cover up to 14 square feet of material, and there’s no need for a primer with this product. The company has said the best results are with two or more light coats. And they should be applied a few minutes apart.

We picked this gloss black paint as our top pick for plastic bumpers because it has one of the best and easy to use nozzles. Whether you want to spray at a 60, 90, or even at a 180-degree angle, it’s no problem. This all-angle spray with a comfort spray tip shouldn’t drip, and clogging wasn’t a problem for us either.

In regards to drying time, it should be dry to touch in 20-30 minutes, to handle in 1 hour, and fully dry in 24 hours. You’ll receive maximum paint adhesion and durability in 5-7 days. The one downside of this spray paint for us was the lack of color options and finishes.

As we mentioned, this spray paint is gloss black, so if it’s unsuitable for the color of your car, then check out some of Rust Oleum’s other products.

Pros

  • Helps to renew and restore plastic objects
  • No primer needed
  • Any-angle spray tip for easy application

Cons

  • Only 1 color available in this range

2. Rust-Oleum 251574 Black Automotive

Best rated

Size

11 oz.

Dry Time

1 Hr.

Coverage

15 Sp. Ft.

Available Colors

Matte Black

If your metal bumper or moldings are discolored or weathered, you can quickly upgrade the look with this Automotive Trim & Bumper Paint by Rust-Oleum.

You can cover 15 square feet of metal materials with this 11 oz. aerosol can. It has a custom formula called OEM color match, so it deeply penetrates into previous paint to match it as closely as possible. Leaving you with an extremely tough, long-lasting, and rust-resistant finish.

As a high-quality trim and bumper paint, you can use this on any automotive metal. It is ideal for metal trimmings, moldings, rearview mirror covers, bumpers, and rub strips. Not only does it provide a sleek matte black appearance, but it also protects the metal, so you don't need to purchase a topcoat.

Rust-Oleum has mentioned in their product application guide that a primer can be used to improve adhesion. We recommend a primer-sealer or any of the sandable primers Rust-Oleum has to offer.

This aerosol can also features any-angle spray technology, with a comfortable tip-spray nozzle, just like the spray paint listed above. It’s great for painters who suffer from hand or finger fatigue.

The price of this spray paint might shock you in all of the right ways. It won’t break the bank, so be sure to have enough for 2-3 light coats. It's our best rated paint for metal bumpers.

Pros

  • The formula is created to stop rust
  • It has an OEM color match
  • Easy to use and budget-friendly

Cons

  • Using a primer is recommended for better adhesion

3. Rust-Oleum, Black 248914

Best textured paint for metal bumpers

Size

15 oz.

Dry Time

1 Hr.

Coverage

20 Sp. Ft.

Available Colors

Black, Clear, Tan

Not all bumpers are manufactured to be smooth without tight or curved contours. This brings us to our top pick for the best-textured paint for metal bumpers, the Rust-Oleum, Truck Bed Coating Spray.

This spray paint offers superior durability and can be used on bare or primed bumpers, metal truck beds, or any outdoor metal surfaces on your car or truck. It has a textured non-skid finish with high resistance to scratches and outdoor elements like UV rays.

You can choose either a black, tan, or a clear coat to completely re-do for automotive or touch up any damage. However, you’ll need to work fast as the brand has recommended only 1-2 minutes between coats. Rust-Oleum also recommends two coats for the best outcome.

With each 15 oz. can, you will be able to cover 20 square feet in the black color, and even more in the clear and tan shades. It's easy to use as it features the any-angle spray technology, so spray painting upside down to reach hard to paint places is achievable.

This product is a little bit more expensive than our previously mentioned sprays, but you can cover more, and it has better protective properties. So, spray away on metal bumpers, truck beds, trailer floors, and fenders.

Pros

  • 3 colors available within this range
  • Textured non-skid finish
  • Protects bumpers from impact, scratches, and weathering

Cons

  • Some user’s had issues with the paint clogging

4. Dupli-Color EBUN02007 

Best chrome paint for bumpers

Size

8 Oz.

Dry Time

30 min - 1 Hr.

Coverage

25 Sp. Ft.

Available Colors

Over 100 colors available

If you want to restore the shine on your car's bumper, then this chrome spray paint should do the trick. The Dupli-Color Universal Chrome Perfect Match Automotive Paint is an easy-to-use, high-quality acrylic lacquer aerosol paint that’s specially formulated to exactly match the color of your bumper's coating. You can choose the exact car brand you have, or you can buy the 'Universal' shade if your car brand isn’t available.

This 8 oz. universal chrome color covers up to 25 square feet per can. So, once you've finished your bumper, you can then use any leftover paint to touch up or re-do parts of your car or motorcycle.

If you’ve pre-existing damage to the metal like scratches, then we recommend using Duplicolor’s Perfect Match Scratch Filler Primer first to fill in any gaps for an even smoother result. And, if you want this chrome spray paint to last longer, then finish it with Dupli-Color Perfect Match Clear Coat.

The nozzle has an adjustable, EZ Touch 360-degree nozzle with a wide-angle sprayer to cover more, faster. It dries in 30 minutes, and it’s good to handle in just one hour. From the rattle can to the paint inside, it's hard not to like in this 8oz. automotive paint.

Pros

  • Many color options available
  • Great coverage per can
  • Easy to use nozzle and sprayer

Cons

  • Spray paint is often not enough- topcoat and primer is needed for best results

Paint Your Bumpers Like a Pro: (How to Guide)

You don’t need to be a professional to touch up or repaint the bumper of your car. However, you do need to be prepared with all of the right equipment. For this job, you will need the following:

  • Color-matched automotive body spray paint
  • Primer and a top-coat (if recommended by the manufacturer)
  • Protective clothing and gloves
  • A dust mask or respirator mask
  • A lint-free cloth
  • 1200 Grit sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape and newspaper to cover any areas that you don’t want to paint
  • Step one 
    Sand down the entire bumper as much as possible to remove any previous paint. You’ll want to remove dirt and debris from the surface with a clean, lint-free cloth
  • Step two 
    Cover any areas you don’t wish to cover and apply the primer to your bumper at this point. Make sure it’s fully dry before spraying on any paint.
  • Step Three 
    Make sure you put on all of your protective clothing and mask and begin to apply the spray paint as evenly as possible with light strokes. Keep a distance of about 1-2 feet and allow it to air dry.
  • Step Four 
    Apply a second coat in the recommended time given by the manufacturer. Usually, this is between 20 minutes, but some brands will tell you to do the second coat as quickly as 2-5 minutes.
  • Step Five 
    Once it’s dry to handle, apply the topcoat to the bumper in the same way you've applied the paint. Topcoats should be applied with 2 coats or more. Once you’re finished, clean the nozzle of all of your spray paints and allow your bumper to air dry.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much does painting a bumper cost

This all depends on the route you take. For a professional paint job in an auto repair shop, you should expect to pay $25 per square foot, and more luxury car models can be as high as $50 per square foot. By doing it yourself, you could buy a primer, spray paint, and a topcoat for as little as $30. Again, this all depends on the bumper and the route you choose.

Do you need to prime a plastic bumper before painting?

Many top-quality brands will have a primer mixed within the spray paint, so a primer won't be necessary. A primer is used as an adhesion promoter, so if you're buying a spray paint that has low adhesion properties, then it's wise to add this step into your painting process for greater longevity.

How long does it take to paint a bumper?

The amount of time needed to respray a bumper is dependent on how the bad damage is on the color you're trying to cover up. If it’s a touch-up job, then it should be completed within 20 minutes with spray paint. Otherwise, to cover a full bumper with many coats, it could be a full-day job, with a 4-5 day wait for the paint to fully cure.

Can you spray paint over existing paint?

The answer is yes, but the outcome won’t be as good as if you sanded some of the paint off first. Once the pre-existing paint color is dulled and the surface is smooth, the spray paint will look smoother and last longer.

What is the best paint to use on plastic? Does acrylic paint stay on plastic?

There are acrylic spray paints on the market that are designed for covering plastic. However, we recommend lacquer based paints to be better and more durable for this type of material.


Conclusion

Whether you have a plastic or metal bumper on your car, you now have all of the information to give it the makeover it needs.

Our top pick for plastic bumpers, the Rust-Oleum Automotive Paint worked incredibly well and left us with a glossy black finish. And, our top pick for metal will leave you with less rust and more durability.

We hope you now feel more prepared for your next DIY project!

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