The car bumper is the structure that's attached to the front and rear of your vehicle, designed to absorb any impact. However, over time, these bumpers can look worn and scratched, requiring a touch-up paint job.
With the best paint for plastic bumpers, you can make your vehicle look like new again. We review the top spray paint for plastic car bumpers.
6 Best Paints for Bumpers Reviewed
1. Rust-Oleum 251574 Black Automotive Spray Paint
- Ideal for renewing the look of metal trim,...
- Contains Stops Rust formula to prevent and...
- Dries to the touch in 20 minutes and covers...
- Creates a matte finish that resists...
Best Spray Paint for Metal Bumpers
15 sq. ft.
The best spray paint for bumpers made from metal is from Rust-Oleum. This premium 11-ounce can of paint will cover up to 15 square feet, so you might only need two cans to do both the front and rear bumper. As a high-quality trim and bumper paint, you can use this on any automotive metal. Not only does it provide a sleek matte black appearance, but it also protects the metal.
If your bumpers or moldings are discolored or weathered, you can quickly upgrade the look. Plus, applying this spray is simple with the any-angle technology. You don't even need to be a professional to make it look like your car just came from the auto body shop. As a top choice, you would expect this automotive spray paint to cost a fortune, but it's quite reasonable. That's just one more reason we placed it at the top of our list.
2. Rust-Oleum Automotive 248649
- For use on automotive plastics,...
- Specialized formula adheres to difficult to...
- Dries to the touch in 20 minutes and covers...
- Indoor/outdoor spray requires no priming...
Best Spray Paint for Plastic Bumpers
14 sq. ft.
We also have a Rust-Oleum automotive paint for plastic bumpers to consider. Not only can these be used on your bumper, but also all automotive plastics. This gloss black paint will restore and renew the plastic to make it look new. It comes with the same any-angle technology and a comfort tip, just like the last option. With this design, the application is easy and ends up looking quite professional.
Because it offers many purposes, you can use the leftover paint on a number of surfaces. It's designed for indoor and outdoor use, allowing you to apply paint to fiberglass, PVC, resin, polypropylene, and polystyrene as well as automotive plastic. As a 12-ounce product, you can expect to paint both bumpers with just a couple of cans, allowing you to keep the cost down. However, every penny spent on Rust-Oleum is well worth the expense, as seen by the rave customer reviews.
3. SEM 39103 Flexible Bumper Coater
Best Black Spray Paint for Bumpers
10 sq. ft.
If you want a black paint for chrome bumpers, you might consider this flexible coating from SEM instead. It's rated as a top black paint for plastic car bumpers, helping to restore the OEM finish that you had when you drove off the dealership lot. This can is easy to use and comes complete with simple instructions right on the can. However, the different finish will only cover ten square feet, so you might require some additional product.
The current customers have over-to-the-top things to say about this product, further proving it is one of the best spray paints for your bumper. However, you can't expect this formula to dry like a typical automotive spray paint. In fact, it might take up to 48 hours until it is completely hardened, while still providing a flexible look and feel. Use any leftover product on plastic claddings to provide even more protection.
4. SEM 39853 Texture Coating Aerosol
Best Textured Spray Paint for Bumpers
If you are looking for the best textured paint for bumpers, SEM has an option for this as well. The Texture Coating offers a proprietary blend of flexible materials, ideal for renewing the textured finish on most automotive bumpers. However, it is also useful for dashes, fiberglass tops, as well as additional plastic parts. You will notice that this unique formula does cost more than the gloss and matte finishes listed above.
It's unclear how many square feet this 16-ounce can will cover, but it's expected that about two should cover most bumpers. The customer reviews suggest that this is a top choice among textured options. It should also dry completely within about an hour, offering a quick solution if you want to get back on the road. There aren't many textured products that come with as much praise as this can does, which is why we believe it's worth paying more for.
5. Rust-Oleum Automotive 251572
- Bonds topcoats to vinyl, plastic, fiberglass...
- Works on surfaces such as automotive...
- Dries to the touch in 10 minutes and covers...
- Ideal for both interior and exterior use
Best Primer Spray Paint for Bumpers
10-12 sq. ft.
If you want to create a quality paint finish on your bumper, it helps to start with the best primer. We had to choose this primer from Rust-Oleum based solely on performance alone. The adhesion promoter works well on vinyl, fiberglass, plastic, and more. You can use this primer on your bumper, and also trim, automotive plastics, plus a variety of other surfaces.
As with some other Rust-Oleum sprays, this option has an advanced design that allows you to use the can at any angle. Plus, it has a comfort spray tip combined with a wider finger pad for optimal coverage. Expect one can to cover between 10 and 12 square feet, and it should dry within one hour. You might not be a professional auto painter, but you surely can complete your jobs like one, especially when you use the best primer before applying your chosen spray paint color.
6. Dupli-Color ECS101007 Chrome Instant Enamel Spray
- Package Dimensions: 6.35 H x 19.812 L x 6.35...
- Fit type: Universal
- Package Weight: 0.249 kilograms
- Country of Origin : United States
Best Chrome Spray Paint for Bumpers
12-14 sq. ft.
If you want your car to stand out, you should look for the best chrome paint for bumpers. Of course, Dupli-Color offers a durable and sleek option. This automotive spray provides that brilliant metallic finish you are searching for. You can use it on the bumper, and also your grille or trim. The instant enamel dries to the touch in just a few minutes, plus it can be handled in an hour. However, some customers found it took a little longer.
The 11-ounce spray is durable and dries with a high-gloss finish. There is also a Gold-colored option if you are looking for something even flashier. Expect to cover between 12 and 14 square feet with one can, so it's probably best to purchase at least two. While that might lead to a higher bill than some other options, you can't really get this chrome finish for less. Of course, paying for a professional paint job will cost far more.
Bumper Paint Comparison
Rust-Oleum Automotive 248649
SEM 39103 Flexible Bumper Coater
SEM 39853 Texture Coating Aerosol
Rust-Oleum Automotive 251572
Why Paint Your Bumpers?
The automotive bumper takes a lot of abuse, even if you are careful. Over the years, it will start to look worn-out with scratches, dings, and UV damage that causes oxidation of the paint.
To keep the car looking its best, you want the bumper to be in like-new condition, especially if you plan to sell it soon. With the best paint for plastic car bumpers, you can increase the value and reduce the eyesores.
How to Choose the Best Paint for Your Car Bumper
Finish and Durability
You will require a different option if you want the best paint for metal bumpers versus plastic bumpers. That's why it's important to look at the overall finish the product offers. Additionally, you want a spray that's going to be durable and long-lasting. Otherwise, you will have wasted your time.
You can't merely choose any touch-up paint for plastic car bumpers. It must match the color of your automotive paint job. Otherwise, your car is going to look a little strange with two different hues on it. Most manufacturers make it easy to find the appropriate car paint code for a perfect match.
The last thing you want to do is paint your bumper and then wait several days before you can drive again. Instead, look for a product with a fast drying time so that you can move on with your life. Most have a drying time of less than 24 hours, although some work even faster than that.
Ease of Use
Are you a professional automotive painter? Probably not. However, you can still want to paint your car like a pro without advanced expertise. Just look for a product that applies evenly and is easy to use. Read through the customer reviews to get a feel for what other people thought about the application.
Size and Coverage
Don't let the size of the can fool you. Some of the smallest cans cover more ground than the larger options. Instead of simply buying the largest can on the market, do a little research to see how many square feet it will cover instead. You will probably need to add a few coats for a bumper, so keep that in mind.
You might be tempted to save some money on a cheap, no-name brand, but that's not wise. Instead, spend a little extra and go with trusted brands, such as Rust-Oleum, Dupli-Color, and SEM. With these companies, you know exactly what you are going to get and have someone to contact if something's not right.
How to Paint Your Bumpers
Painting a bumper requires the best automotive paint and the right steps. Here are the basic instructions for painting your car bumper.
- 1Prep the bumper. Mark off any areas you don't want to be painted. You can also use a pressure washer to clean off all the debris first.
- 2Wet sand your bumper with 600 grit sandpaper using alternating directions.
- 3Wipe the bumper down, ensuring that it is completely dry.
- 4Use a spray can or automotive paint gun to apply the covering to your bumper.
- 5Wet sand imperfections with a 1500-grit sandpaper. Wipe it down again.
- 6Repeat the painting and drying process another one or two times, until you get the coverage desired.
- 7Add a clear coat to protect the paint.
- 8Allow it to dry completely before driving.
Here's a helpful YouTube video if you need more instruction.
Bumper Painting FAQs
Do plastic bumpers need a primer?
Many plastic bumpers already feature a primer underneath the paint, but you might need to reapply before painting again.
How many cans does it take to paint a bumper?
It depends on the size of the bumper. Most cans tell you how many square feet can be covered. If you are doing two to three coats, you will likely need at least a couple of cans of spray paint.
What’s better, wrap or paint?
Sometimes, there is so much damage done to the bumper that it makes more sense to apply a vinyl wrap instead. If you only have minor scratches or dents to cover, the paint might be the answer. Otherwise, consider the benefits of a vinyl wrap.
Can I wrap an unpainted bumper?
Vinyl works great on unpainted plastics, non-metals, and ABS. As long as the surface is smooth and clean, it should stick just fine.
Can you wrap black plastic bumpers?
Because it is a plastic bumper, you shouldn't have any trouble adhering a wrap to it. Just make sure you clean the surface and remove any imperfections with sanding first.
What is the best paint for bumpers? If you have a metal bumper, you will need a special formula like that found with the Rust-Oleum 251574 Black Automotive Spray Paint. Add this matte black paint for a sleek look.