Rear Bumper Removal & Respray

Accord 03-08

  1. ArcticFire
    Difficulty Level:
    Hey guys

    Well, I wasn't happy with my rear bumper as it had obviously had some damage in the past and the paint job was definitely not professional as there was crazing and patchiness, perhaps even some burning from excessive machine polishing.

    So, I decided to have a go at respraying it myself as I've done and seen a few spray jobs in the past and took on board some advice from an ex-pro body guy with regard to the prep. and sequence. Unfortunately, things didn't turn out great and perhaps this would be a better DIY to help people avoid some of the problems I encountered rather than a 'how to do it right' DIY! lol I won't say too much as I've typed up notes in the photos but hope you enjoy it and if it helps, well that's great! :Messed:mile

    I made two mistakes, both which I consider quite major:

    1. I underestimated how much paint I would need. Unlike spraying on metal, it would appear that plastic absorbs paint like it's going out of style. I ended up using 9 cans and to be honest I could have done with an extra 2 or 3!
    2. My preparation wasn't good enough even though I took my time and was thorough. I think there was some contaminants remaining from the previous paint job as my primer cracked slightly and after using body filler I didn't sand it down flat enough nor subsequently cover it properly with primer. I also missed some very minor spots with body filler.

    In retrospect, perhaps a plastic filler primer spray would have been a good idea.

    The bumper is huge and this job took two whole days. I had a heater running in between coats to keep the garage warm so as to act like an oven to speed up drying time. One thing I learnt from a previous job is not to rush the primer - let it dry properly otherwise it can crack underneath the paint and although it all seems fine at first, in a few days you'll start to see problems coming through.

    Whilst spraying the colour coat you could see how it was being absorbed, it was almost as if the paint was animated as it hit the surface and it took many, many coats until you got that nice gloss finish. It was difficult to resist the temptation to saturated it but you would only end up with runs (which I got later with the clearcoat due to running out of time).

    I now have the bumper back on but it still needs work to tidy up some sanding where the clearcoat ran. There are also some small marks from previous cracking where I think there was a reaction with the primer and something on the bumper and I'd missed these parts with body filler as I hoped the colour coat would fill them.

    I've decided not to continue with this job as I've already spent about £80-90 on paint etc and I know it will be impossible to get a perfect finish now without sanding back certain paints and spending even more where it could go wrong again from a reaction. I also can't be bothered taking the bumper off again or masking up the car. It's going into the body shop, but I'll take some photos of the good bits that are done (about 90% of the bumper) so you can see the results that can be had if you have the time to do the job properly (I had to get the bumper on by tonight unfortunately). It's definitely a doable job but to be honest the plastic makes it such a consuming task that I'd recommend putting a bumper into the body shop and only attempt metal spray jobs yourself, unless you have a decent amount of time for proper prep and drying etc.

    Well, here's the photos and story they tell....

    1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 14.

    Here's a quick shot from this morning. You can see how the central part of the bumper has a nice deep coat and matches the original parts above, however, if you look carefully at the side of the bumper you can see how the paint is thinner. The reflection from the road doesn't help but in person you can see a slight transparency and is made even more obvious by the fact that it's right next to the an original panel so it's immediately comparable. It could have used another few coats but not to worry the pros are getting it now lol. Learnt a good few lessons from this though :Smile: