How to fix this bumper paint problem?
March 6, 2012 12:53 PM   Subscribe

Can I repair this spot on my Honda Civic's bumper where the paint has started to peel away? More details inside.

Here's a photo: Photo

My wife had to have our car pushed to the side of the road by a Highway Patrol cruiser. Later on we discovered that the cruiser's metal bumper had cracked the paint on our bumper.

We were hoping to sell the car soon, and this paint problem seems to be getting worse, fast. Is there something we can do to make it better besides pay for the body shop to fix it? Or is it really worth taking it to the body shop? If so, how much should we expect this to cost (we're in California)?

Thanks for any advice.
posted by circular to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Photo link is borked.
posted by ssg at 2:29 PM on March 6, 2012

Photo link works for me.
It's really odd the way the paint is peeling off like that. It's almost like it never properly adhered to the plastic at the factory.

I'd suggest you take this to a body shop and get an estimate for the repair. And do it while it's still a small spot, and not the entire bumper.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:33 PM on March 6, 2012

Unfortunately for you, I think you're looking at a whole-bumper paint job to repair it. I had a similar issue with a plastic bumper with just a small spot of scraped paint, and more than one body shop told me that the only way to properly fix it was to repaint the whole bumper. I'm not entirely sure why, but I think they strip and re-paint to get a consistent and even finish. Estimates ran me $250-300
posted by erstwhile at 4:30 PM on March 6, 2012

By sell do you mean private party or trade-in? What year? What mileage and condition?
posted by just sayin at 4:54 PM on March 6, 2012

When they pushed the car, the bumper has flexed more than the paint can tolerate and it's cracked. Particularly because the paint finish is metallic, it's very hard to match the colour and the best process is to re-paint the entire bumper. The work involved in trying to blend in a patch in a specific area is likely just as much as painting the whole thing anyway, so the cost would be similar.
posted by dg at 5:49 PM on March 6, 2012

The only thing you can do is get the bumper repainted properly. There is no bodge (elegant or otherwise) that will work. It needs to be painted properly.

On the other hand, the problem can't get 'worse' really. The paint will only fall off the bumper and the whole thing needs to be repainted anyway, so it's not urgent. Worse case is you have an unpainted plastic bumper on your car until you get a chance to get it to a paint shop. Improperly adhered paint due to the bumper flex will fall off, but that's the paint that would need to be removed at the body shop anyway. It should stop at the point the paint is good. Even if it doesn't, it's no big deal.
posted by Brockles at 7:41 AM on March 7, 2012

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