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  1. #1
    Active Member One Ring
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    Painting Front Bumper

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    I am thinking about repainting my front bumper, it has the gray lower half so I was wondering if that needs to be painted differently than the upper or if I can paint it as one whole piece.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Mar 13 2009
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    MK3 VR6
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    Houston, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleverrya View Post
    I am thinking about repainting my front bumper, it has the gray lower half so I was wondering if that needs to be painted differently than the upper or if I can paint it as one whole piece.
    Usually better to take apart and remove. I also had my license plate holes and h/l washer jets shaved when I repainted mine.




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  3. #3
    Active Member One Ring
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    By take apart and remove did you mean remove the whole bumper from the car or take apart the upper and lower of the bumper? My bumper has the painted upper already and the unpainted plastic lower so I was seeing if the lower needed something special like plastic adhesion which the upper wont.

  4. #4
    Established Member Two Rings Euston's Avatar
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    Oct 10 2016
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    2002 BMW X5 4.4i V8
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    I did this a while back. Atlas Grey. Uppers were painted and lowers and sides were plastic.

    I masked off then sprayed 4 coats and then 3-4 clear coat. Looks amazing! No prep work other than cleaning...



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  5. #5
    Senior Member Three Rings
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    Jun 12 2014
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    2002 Audi A4Q (B6) 3.0 6MT; 1999 Mustang Cobra; 2003 G35 Coupe 5AT
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    Tampa FL

    Taking the bumper apart and reassembling is a nightmare.
    there are two plastic bolt spacers/nuts at each end that can be easily lost.
    Ask me how i know...

    I'd tape it off and paint upper and then lower separately.
    Last edited by shurur9; 07-12-2018 at 11:52 AM.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Four Rings old guy's Avatar
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    You can paint it as a complete assembly. You can even mold the two sections together for a smoother look: Clicky clickģ

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    A5 Mods to come: Little stuff so far. 20/25mm spacers / H&R OE Sport springs / 35% tint / Neuspeed Power Module / black window trim / RS grille.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    Paint as one unit. Remove from the car for sure however, it will allow for piece of mind when painting.
    If your using a HVLP spray gun and a Stage 1 paint scuffing the plastic surfaces with 400 grit will work when it comes to adhesion and results
    02 B6 1.8T quattro 01A Brilliant Black, Gutted Stock Cat, 2.5" stainless custom exhaust to 4 inch tips no res no muffler,
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Four Rings eljay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euston View Post
    I did this a while back. Atlas Grey. Uppers were painted and lowers and sides were plastic.

    I masked off then sprayed 4 coats and then 3-4 clear coat. Looks amazing! No prep work other than cleaning...
    That looks pretty good. Was that with just the cans from AutomotiveTouchup? How many cans of base and clear did you need per bumper for those number of coats?
    2005 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro Avant / 6-speed / Ultrasport - Unicorn rescue operation in progress.
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  9. #9
    Established Member Two Rings Euston's Avatar
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    2002 BMW X5 4.4i V8
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    Yea only the rattle cans. I had 2 cans paint and 2 clear. Took me about 2 hours. Left the bumpers and sides on the car.


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  10. #10
    Veteran Member Four Rings fR3ZNO's Avatar
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    Feb 09 2013
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    CNY

    Just an FYI for anyone interested in doing this with rattle cans, most NAPA stores can mix paint according to the paint code and put it in aerosol cans for the same price as AutomotiveTouchup (or thereabouts) but you don't have to pay shipping.

    Any NAPA that can mix paint also sells it various sizes for HVLP guns, in pints, quarts, etc.

    Although, I go to a local auto paint supply place that sells to the public and they do color matched aerosol cans as well.
    "If one does not fail at times, then one has not challenged himself." - Ferdinand Porsche

  11. #11
    Established Member Two Rings Euston's Avatar
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    2002 BMW X5 4.4i V8
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    Oh I forgot to mention, I also sprayed my door blades. Got them off a red S4. Can tell they were sprayed.


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  12. #12
    Veteran Member Four Rings Nollywood's Avatar
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    Nov 03 2011
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    B6 Avant 420-R, Toyota Runx 1.4 16V
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    Manitoba, Canada.

    Rattle cans will paint the bumpers to match your car, in terms of color.

    But not finish. Regardless of how good you are, or how good the paint quality is, thereís no substitute for paint mixed, and applied with a gun. So, it all depends on how fussy you are.

    Personally, unless my car was a dog-rough beater, I wouldnít paint a part as large as a bumper with cans. Mirror shells, maybe.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nollywood View Post
    Rattle cans will paint the bumpers to match your car, in terms of color.

    But not finish. Regardless of how good you are, or how good the paint quality is, thereís no substitute for paint mixed, and applied with a gun. So, it all depends on how fussy you are.

    Personally, unless my car was a dog-rough beater, I wouldnít paint a part as large as a bumper with cans. Mirror shells, maybe.
    agreed!

    After using a gun over a can, and mixing my own paint i will never touch another can for my car.

    Davenports in Ontario Canada mixes colours to
    02 B6 1.8T quattro 01A Brilliant Black, Gutted Stock Cat, 2.5" stainless custom exhaust to 4 inch tips no res no muffler,
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  14. #14
    Established Member Two Rings Euston's Avatar
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    2002 BMW X5 4.4i V8
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    Yes agreed but weíre talking about the lowers of your bumper. Itís not that much of a focal point.


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  15. #15
    Veteran Member Four Rings ApexIt's Avatar
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    May 28 2008
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    2005 A4
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    Maryland

    Iíve used the AutomotiveTouchUp vendor myself and would recommend them as well if you canít find someone to mix the paint for you locally.

    Iíd also get 4 cans of clear instead of two. I originally got 2 myself and that wasnít enough. I wanted to have a nice deep clear coat to prevent cracking and chipping of the paint so I did several thin coats of clear.

    Iíd also suggest taking the bumper off before painting because it will give you the most freedom and access to get an even coat of paint and clear on the bumper. It will also help minimize any mistakes when painting. Taking the bumper off isnít very hard or time consuming so I donít see why anyone would risk doing the painting with it still on the car. Taping up the rest of the car to avoid overspray ok good paint would probably take more time than just taking off the bumper itself....


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  16. #16
    Veteran Member Four Rings Nollywood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euston View Post
    Yes agreed but weíre talking about the lowers of your bumper. Itís not that much of a focal point.
    Agreed. It depends on the individual.

    Personally, every part of my car is a focal point, Iím that fussy. But thatís just me, others will be different.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Three Rings 2004a4b630QT's Avatar
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    '04 A4 3.0 QTip
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    Painting with a gun is a valuable skill, especially when spraying clearcoat. If those mobile spot repair guys can do it, so can we.
    However, if you're intent on spraying with cans, there was an interesting trick someone posted on youtube using 2 cans of clear sprayed together to simulate a higher volume nozzle which theoretically comes closer to the quality of a gun and leaves minimal orange peel.
    Last edited by 2004a4b630QT; 07-13-2018 at 03:17 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    If you use a Single stage paint like i have on my car.
    The "clear coat" is in the base coat. it's best on darker colours from what i hear.

    mix paint, spray , wet sand to a flat looking finish and then polish to a shine.
    skips the clear coat process as it can be the hardest.
    02 B6 1.8T quattro 01A Brilliant Black, Gutted Stock Cat, 2.5" stainless custom exhaust to 4 inch tips no res no muffler,
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Three Rings 2004a4b630QT's Avatar
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    Single stage will be tougher to match, but since the lowers don't really match even when painted with body color, it should work. It will definitely be cheaper to use single stage.

    To clarify, spraying clear and leaving a lot of orange peel isn't the end of the world. It just means significantly more cut and buff time to get it to look good, but as long as you sprayed a few good coats it is possible to get a good finish from spray cans. One of the Ratchet and Wrenches youtube channel vids shows him do a whole hood/bonnet this way with impressive results.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Two Rings
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2004a4b630QT View Post
    Single stage will be tougher to match, but since the lowers don't really match even when painted with body color, it should work. It will definitely be cheaper to use single stage.

    To clarify, spraying clear and leaving a lot of orange peel isn't the end of the world. It just means significantly more cut and buff time to get it to look good, but as long as you sprayed a few good coats it is possible to get a good finish from spray cans. One of the Ratchet and Wrenches youtube channel vids shows him do a whole hood/bonnet this way with impressive results.
    It depends what colour the single stage is, if it is brilliant black like mine it matches perfectly after a good polish
    02 B6 1.8T quattro 01A Brilliant Black, Gutted Stock Cat, 2.5" stainless custom exhaust to 4 inch tips no res no muffler,
    USP Front lower Valance, Front Head Light Clear Corner Mod, REVO Stage 1, Solo Werks S1 Coilovers
    B6 S4 Front Brakes, Forge Hybrid Diverter Valve, 3M Wrapped Carbon fiber interior trim, PCV & AC Delete
    2018 MK7.5 GTI AutoBahn

  21. #21
    Veteran Member Three Rings teg2audi's Avatar
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    Portland, OR

    You can buy 2k clear in a rattle can if you want better results. Iím hesitant to touch the stuff because it fairly toxic from what Iíve read

  22. #22
    Senior Member Four Rings eljay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndoReef View Post
    It depends what colour the single stage is, if it is brilliant black like mine it matches perfectly after a good polish
    From some reading on the subject, it does seem that flat colours are best with single stage as anything metallic is hard to buff out without introducing spots due to variance in the flake depth if you don't buff it absolutely evenly everywhere.
    2005 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro Avant / 6-speed / Ultrasport - Unicorn rescue operation in progress.
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  23. #23
    Veteran Member Four Rings Charles.waite's Avatar
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    Seattle, WA

    Painting Front Bumper

    Quote Originally Posted by IndoReef View Post
    It depends what colour the single stage is, if it is brilliant black like mine it matches perfectly after a good polish
    This is true. My b7ís bumper had been repainted in the past with a 1-stage paint and it matched well. The finish was garbage, tons of tiny bubbles got exposed after I polished it, it made the polishing pads all black since it was polishing off the pigment in the paint, and it was way less durable (and noticeably soft to the touch) than a proper 2-stage paint job. After I recently replaced the bumper the proper 2-stage paint job the repair place did looks much much better. The color matches just as well but the finish is much much nicer and on par with the rest of the body panels.
    -CP
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