How to repair front bumper panel
Someone left me a "gift" at a parking lot-- the front lower panel was scraped. I bought flexible bondo and wet and dry sandpaper + touch up paint and my only question is how far do I sand down the scratches (which went below the paint, to expose the black rubber underneath) before I apply the bondo?
PS-- the rubber molding in front of the tire was also scraped-- not badly and I can take care of that with aftermarket products.
You just want a smooth transition from painted surface to substrate. If the scratch is in the paint only, you can just use a sandable fill primer, no need for bondo. Primer the area, use a high grit (1500+) wet sandpaper, after each application of primer, sand area, letting scratch fill. Don't sand through the clear coat in the area surrounding the scratch. After you have the scratch filled, paint it with a matching color paint, then clear coat, then give it a final wet sand with highest grade sandpaper. After all that you can go over it with rubbing compound, polish compound, and glaze/wax. IF the scratch goes deep into the rubber substrate, you want to use SEM or 3M 2 part bumper filler or Bondo bumper repair.
Many thanks -- yes the black rubber is showing in some places -- I might just have that 3M filler --
If the black plastic is not gouged, you can still use the sandable primer, just build it up to fill scratched areas, wet sanding between coats.
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