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How to Prepare a Chrome Bumper for Paint?

How to Prepare a Chrome Bumper for Paint?

The painting of the chrome bumper makes the pickup truck stunning and attractive. However, it should be stylish, and the paint color should match or contrast with the pickup truck color.

How to prepare a chrome bumper for paint? You can prepare a chrome bumper for paint by removing the bumpers from the truck and cleaning it with a suitable cleaner. Remove the rust present on its inner or outer surface and sand it with sandpaper. Apply the multiple coats of primer one after another and leave it to dry. Sand it again to balance the uneven surface of the chrome bumper and apply two to three coats of spray paint. 

The front and rear bumper should have the same theme. Many people prefer the same color for both ends, but you can also choose different colors.

Sometimes the paint on the surface of the bumper can damage and peel off for some reasons, for example, use of low-quality enamel, improper finishing, and running the pickup truck for a longer time without repairing.

You should maintain the vehicle annually and repair the damaged part immediately when you encounter an accident. 

Gather required tools and park your pickup truck

You should collect the necessary tools and instruments such as screwdriver, wrench, pliers, primer, sandpaper, and spray paint in one place.

In addition, it will reduce the time if you gather all the necessary things such as cleaner, anti-rust spray, gloves, and soft microfiber cloth.

The first step of starting the procedure is parking the vehicle at a suitable place. For example, you can park it in your home garage and outside the home but in a large space.

Turn off its engine and keep it off until you complete your task. It will avoid any damage and disturbance during work.

Remove the chrome bumper

It is better to remove the bumper; otherwise, there will be difficulty painting its edges and corners properly.

If you remove the front bumper, open the hood and unscrew the nuts and bolts with a screwdriver. 

The manufacturer attaches the rear bumper with nuts and bolts. There are also plastic clips on both sides in case of new and updated models.

Washing of plastic chrome bumper

Take the plastic bumper to an open space or in the lawn where you are accessible to freshwater supply. You can attach a long water pipe and take it to the lawn.

Open the tap and sprinkle the water all over the surface. Next, take a small, clean, soft microfiber fabric and rub it on the plastic body with water.

Take a medium-size bucket, fill it with clean water, and add washing powder or detergent. Dip the other cloth in the solution and apply it thoroughly on its surface and rub with your hands.

It will remove the stubborn stains and mud from its surface. Many people use the dishwasher and liquid soap because they cannot damage the plastic.

Cleaning of metal chrome bumper

The professionals do not recommend washing the metal bumper in open water. The iron and steel body will get rust if the moisture remains.

Use the mineral spirit with a solution of vinegar and baking soda to remove the dark stains and splashes of muddy water from it.

Apply the mineral spirit with a piece of a soft cloth and rub it all over its surface.

It is better to wear a mask and safety gloves to protect yourself from allergies and rash. You can make the solution by taking the vinegar and baking from your home kitchen if the mineral spirit is not available at home.

Clean it with the above solution and again take the dry and soft piece of cloth or sponge to remove the moisture.

Leave it for a few minutes in the sun or under the fan for drying. You can also blow-dry these to reduce the time of the whole task.

Remove rust, grease, and wax from the chrome bumper

Vinegar and baking soda are adequate for the removal of rust and corrosion. Take a cup of vinegar in a bowl and add one teaspoon of baking soda.

Apply it with cotton and rub until the stain disappears. Sometimes its surface has wax and grease around the nuts and clips.

Use an effective wax and grease remover from the market and remove these stains. You can also apply it to the whole for cleaning purposes.

First Sanding

It is optional to sand the chrome bumper before applying the primer. However, the experts recommend sanding after cleaning and washing.

Take 320 Grit sandpaper and rub it to remove the extra dust and paint. Sometimes the previous color starts peeling and cracking at some points.

The sandpaper will remove it and clean the bumper with a dry cloth. You can also sand the new product for smooth painting and make the surface for adhesion.

Apply primer

Mostly the primer comes to market in a spray bottle. So you have to apply 3 to 4 coats of the primer one after another on the chrome bumper. Apply the first coat of self-etching primer and leave it.

Apply the next coat and leave it to dry for a few minutes. Try to apply the thinner coat to minimize the time of dryness.

The etching primer has acid and zinc in its formula, and it is the best option to apply it in bare metal. Zinc will make adhesion with the metal, and acid will get into the metal. 

The 3rd coat should be the automotive primer. It has its benefit over the etching primer, such as it balances the uneven surfaces and fills the small holes and dents.

It will make the surface smooth for paint and level the rough areas and feathered surfaces. Wait until all the coats dry; check by touching the finger at the corner or inner side.

Second Sanding

It is necessary for every type of bumper, either metal or plastic. The sanding after primer makes the platform ready for final painting.

There are two types of sanding: dry sanding and wet sanding. 

The dry sanding is suitable for both plastic and metal bumpers but more effective for metals because the other increases the chances of corrosion.

Sand the surface with 320-Grit and 500 grit sandpaper. Do not touch the surface directly with bare fingers because the skin becomes soft during the washing procedure.

This procedure will make the surface equal and remove the heaps of different primers. Before proceeding to the next step, you must repair the cracks and gouges.

Fill the primer in the empty and small holes. You can also fill it with some adhesion material to make the surface smooth and unique.

Apply the primer a second time

It is optional and depends on applying the primer layer after sanding if you see any rough area. Apply the two or more coats of the primer and sand it again.

You can directly go to the next step if you get the desired area for paint. The best finishing of the color depends on the primer application.

Adhesion promoter

It is necessary to apply the adhesion promoters at the corners and edges of the chrome bumpers, especially plastic material. This is because the cracks and nicks will not adhere to the paint until you use the adhesion promoter.

It is an additional step in preparing the plastic bumper for painting, but it will take 15 to 10 minutes for application and approximately 15 minutes for drying.

Use the Painter tape

You can make the designs and different styles using painter’s tape. Take its rolls and stick them to that area where you do not want the paint color.


The final step is painting the chrome with matching or contrasting colors. It is better to use spray paint because it has more adhesion power than the other such as powder paint.

You can match the color by mixing the different shades in the electrical color matching machine. Finally, apply multiple coats of the enamel for excellent and smooth finishing.

Apply sealer

The best companies always apply sealer at the end to make the surface shiny and glamorous. Buy the sealer from the market and use it for both front and back sides.

It will increase protect the paint from cracks and scratches when it dries completely. You can also use mineral oil to make the surface glossy.

Attach the chrome bumper after the paint

Leave it overnight for four hours after final finishing. Furthermore, assemble the nuts, bolts, and plastic clips at their position and attach the bumper with the main body.

Enjoy your journey with a new and good-looking vehicle. It will increase the worth when there is no scratch on the vehicle’s surface.

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