Tips for successful car bumper repair

It’s quite surprising the things that can be done with a little filler, good prep and paint. Bumpers that appear unsalvageable can be brought back from the brink and look as good as new if the repair is right.

However, repairing a car bumper does have its limits. You can’t repair a bumper that’s smashed to pieces, nor can you repair a bumper that’s cracked in half. There are four good reasons why we might say no to a bumper repair:

  1. Because the repair won’t look right
  2. Because it is impossible to piece back together
  3. Because the cost of repair is more than the cost of replacement
  4. Because car bumpers are actually safety features and a badly damaged bumper won’t meet the safety standards set by the manufacturer.

What we are left with then with car bumper repair is this:

  • Repairs to scuffed bumpers, minorly damaged bumpers (cracks and splits that don’t run the full length of the bumper are fine) and scratched bumpers are possible.
  • But repairs to bent, smashed, and crash damaged bumpers will not be possible for one of the reasons above. In this instance, replacement is always necessary.

We recommend you pop down to see us for a quote and advice. We can repair bumpers with a surprising amount of damage but we won’t be able to tell without seeing it up close in person. Our workshop is in Pudsey, Leeds.

If your car bumper falls into the category of being repairable, here’s tips from our experts for successful car bumper repair:


Sanding needs to be performed carefully in stages to remove the paint without removing too much of the plastic beneath. The grit required for each stage depends on the material and extent of the damage. Just like with wood, we work our way down from coarse to fine to smooth the bumper out. However, if you sand down too much, the bumper won’t look right when painted. It is therefore necessary to continuously check the depth of the bumper when sanding to ensure it’s symmetrical.


Whether it’s plastic bumper filler or metal bumper filler, it must be applied in one go as a good dollop so it sits above the surface. With filler, just like with plaster, you spread it across the surface to cover scratches, pits and gauges. Once it is cured, you can sand it down so it sits flush with the bumper. The result of which should be a repair that is perfectly contoured to the original shape of the bumper.


This is the simplest stage. After filling and sanding, the bumper should be cleaned with mineral spirits to remove dust and particles. The bumper can then be transferred to a spray booth where the final stages of repair can begin.


Paintwork should be performed in a paint booth with environmental control so the humidity, temperature and ventilation are right. The application of the paint should only ever be performed by someone who is experienced. Bumpers are never straight so a small imperfection in paintwork looks like a massive one in natural light. Primer should always be applied first with at least two coats. The paint itself will require 3-4 coats. It’s always better to have too much paint as opposed to too little.

Get a guarantee

Lastly, make sure the work you have done comes with a guarantee. The last thing you want is your repair to flake after a month and the garage to say it isn’t their problem. We provide a 5-year guarantee on all paintwork which is higher than the industry norm. Most companies only offer a one-year guarantee. Five-years is much better because it means you can have complete confidence in your repair long-term.

Need a car bumper repaired?

We specialise in all aspects of car bumper repair. If you are local to Leeds, contact us today on 0113 440 1327 to discuss your needs.

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