Bumper Scratches and Their Universality:
Bumper scratches are a frequent and everyday occurrence. There’s probably a car screeching off a post as you’re reading this sentence. Maybe even in your own neighborhood.
Don’t you hate it when someone’s appreciating your ride and stops midway through the sentence after seeing a scratch on the bumper that won’t budge? We do too.
While bumper scratches are repugnant to look at, they’re just as easy to come across unless your vehicle is rotting away in a garage. If you’re on the road frequently, doesn’t matter how good of a driver you are, bumper scratches are right across the corner!
This is a step by step guide for getting rid of the bumper scratches and getting that shiny slickness back on your ride’s exterior.
Removing the Bumper Scratches:
We’ll move into the stepwise breakdown of the cure after we’ve diagnosed the disease. You need to assess the damage on your bumper before you can repair it.
There are mainly three categories into which the scratches on a bumper can be divided.
- Faint Scratches
- Minor Scratches
- Major Scratches
We’ll discuss the method of removing all these scratches separately.
Removing Faint Scratches:
These are scratches that have hardly grazed your bumper and are not sticking out. A good test to determine this is (we’ll be using this for major and minor scratches too) if you drag your fingernail across the scratch, it should not get stuck.
Follow these steps to remove these scratches.
Using wet sanding paper, sand the area of impact. A recommended grit of sanding paper is around 2 to 3 thousand grit. Rub it in one direction to remove the layer of external color. Don’t rub it too hard; you’ll damage the paint underneath if you do.
Even out the surface, now covered with the extracted sand and external damage, by using a clean cloth, preferably microfiber.
Wash the surface with clean water and without any sort of chemical or detergent to prevent the now fragile paint exterior. Don’t pressure wash the area of impact.
Dry the wet surface and apply the polish after the damage has faded away. Wait for a few days before waxing your vehicle in the damaged area.
You’re welcome to buy and use an orbital polishing drill for a fresher finish!
Removing Minor Scratches:
Minor scratches are a little bit of a nuisance to deal with. They’ll look significantly terrible than the faint scratches because they usually damage the first base of the paint, but they can still be deal with in your own hands.
This time, instead of the sandpaper, you’ll use a rubbing compound to buff out the scratch. Similarly, apply it in one direction. Rubbing compounds have variable grits up to 5000 so you can choose yours in accordance with your scratch depth.
Just as before, even out the surface by using a microfiber cloth. Removing the residual buffed scratch before moving on to step 3 is necessary, so it doesn’t settle in once again.
Wash the area you’ve applied the rubbing compound on and let it dry. Most minor degree scratches should be non-existent by now.
If you still see scratches, repeat the above three steps in order, and if the scratch actually is a minor scratch, applying the rubbing compound twice should be enough for it to fade.
Apply the polishing compound to the area you’ve just repaired to give it a nice-looking finish. You should see your bumper looking good as new by now. If not, the damage is probably greater than you’ve anticipated, and if that’s the case, you’ll have to follow through with the repair for a major scratch.
Removing a Major Scratch:
This damage is detrimental to your car’s outlook, and it is hard to get rid of. If your fingernail gets stuck upon dragging through the damaged area, rest assured, this is going to be a long day for you in the repair room!
Since this step will require you to remove your bumper, you should identify the plastic your bumper is made of. Some plastics smear when they are sanded with sanding paper, and some of the powder when you do so. Verify and proceed accordingly.
Now for the hard part, remove the bumper! It’s official. Your car is now open for business.
If you’re confused about how to remove your bumper, refer to your vehicle’s instruction manual.
Rinse the damaged area with 100-grit sandpaper to rid it off any extra particles before applying the cleaner. Apply the cleaner and let it dry.
Apply the sanding paper in “V” shaped grooves if your bumper plastic powders and apply it in rotatory discs using an orbital disc drill or just the sanding paper if your bumper smears.
Now is the time to fill those holes or deep cuts up. Apply filler putty for the bumper and let it settle and dry. You can also apply adhesives or glass-fiber tapes to fix the rear ends.
Apply two coats of paint in the kit that you’ve probably bought with the filler putty and sand it with an 80-grit sanding paper. Let it dry for around 30 minutes.
Polish over the re-painted area after you’ve evened it out with a 400-grit sanding paper. After that, put the bumper back where it looks best! In the car! Make sure you let the polish and wax dry before moving on.
Don’t wash your car or at least the damaged area for 3 to 6 weeks after the new paint job. Once this time period passes, make sure you properly maintain and wax the car and the formerly scratched area, so the new paint doesn’t differ from the older one!
Why You’ll Need to Remove the Scratch:
You may have seen astounding vehicles more than once being dragged down in their attractiveness by the sheer hideousness that is a bumper scratch.
Sliding past a mailbox or driving into a sidewalk, the damage dealt by a bumper scratch cuts deep both in the bumper and in the heart of the vehicle owner as he contemplates the toll this little venture is going to take on his wallet.
Scratch paint jobs cost a hefty sum of money and will mostly only be a tad shorter than your insurance claim. How then to go about this pickle you find yourself in?
There’s absolutely no need to worry. Unlike most vehicle repairs, this one is recommended to be done all by yourself! This is because of the monetary difference between the auto shop and the at-home repair.
Auto shop or at home, leaving the bumper scratch unchecked, is out of the question! So, what are you waiting for?