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Questions for those with painted bumpers


Well-Known Member
June 6, 2002
Reaction score
City, State
Spartanburg, SC
Year, Model & Trim Level
'01 Sport 4x4
Hi all:

I've started checking on getting the plastic front bumper and body cladding pieces on my '01 Sport painted to match the body. My intention was to remove the pieces and do all the prep work myself. Both shops I've gone to said they wouldn't touch it. They said even with adhesion promotors and flex agents the paint would still chip off easily. They claimed this problem was specific to Ford parts. Both guys have been in business for 20+ years, and seemed to know what they are talking about.

One claimed that the mold release agent Ford uses on the bumpers keeps paint from sticking. He said he had DuPont paint experts consult with him on a similar vehicle, and they never found anything that would hold up for more than a couple of months. He showed me a new factory Sport Trac bumper, which comes with a special primer already applied to the smooth upper part that gets painted. He said if I could find the stuff Ford uses, it might work.

So, here are my questions...

1: What did you do to get yours painted? How has it held up? What is it that these supposed experts don't know about painting Ford plastic bumpers?

2: What might that Ford primer be? Is there a way to ask Ford?

3: As a second-to-last resort, let me know who did yours. Maybe I could call them and ask what was done.

4: Ford now sells Sport Tracs with painted bumpers and moldings as an option. I suppose I could find replacement ones for a Sport Trac that are already smoothed and primed, but this would be my last resort. It would be expensive, and I'd have to modify the rocker molding to fit the shorter wheelbase of my Sport.

I find it hard to believe someone out there hasn't figured this out. I know several of you (Black Magic, Draft, etc.) out there have done this, so it's definately doable. Help me out!

Thanks in advance,

I want to do the same thing. The guy I went to said to lightly sand all the plastic and then use the paint with the flex agent in it. He said it will stick fine. It's interesting that you have heard different things, and I'd like to know what people have to say on this, because I'd like to paint mine black in the spring. I may grab a bumper out of a junkyard to test before I put it on my truck and risk it chipping.

If you have the black plastic textured bumpers then yes, paint adhesion IS an issue, though not a major one.

It is rare that we have to paint the textured stuff but requests have been made.
I would leave the prep job to them as additional security.

i dont know what this all this stuff is called but when i painted my '92 i painted all the textured peices.

2 years later no chipping

i lightly wet-sanded all the plastic (800 grit), then when my buddy got it in the booth for paint he sprayed some kinda adhesive on there like yall are talking about...

again after 2 years: my mirrors, my bumper trim, and the plastic around the windows is still fine, no chipping.

i have al little chipping on the rear bumper Plastic-top thing, but thats because accidently layed it on the ground after we painted it.