Automotive Cosmetic Plastic Repair

Some “Fender Benders” are just a light bump, where two cars gently touch one another but only require light repair work. There may be small indentation marks from license plate bolts or minor imperfections to be filled. For a cosmetic plastic repair, follow the steps below for a high quality finish in the shortest time possible.

 

1

Prepare the Surface to be Worked On

If beginning a new cosmetic repair (if the damage did not penetrate the bumper cover), first clean the repair area with auto wash and rinse, followed by a non-solvent based cleaner and dry thoroughly. For best results, use when the temperature of the product and the surface is between 70°F and 75°F (21°C and 24°C).

Best Practices - Cosmetic Plastic Repair - Step 1

 

2

Feather Edge the Repair Area

Sand the surrounding areas at a low speed with 80 grit sandpaper, by hand or Dual Action (DA) sander. Be sure to round off the edges of the rip or tear, and then blow off with clean dry air.

Best Practices - Cosmetic Plastic Repair - Step 2

3

Purge Cartridge and Mix with Tip

Purge the epoxy adhesive to ensure both cartridges are flowing. Do this with the manual applicator gun without the mixing tip attached.

  • If Mixing by Hand…..
    After purging the cartridges, disperse the quantity of epoxy adhesive needed on a clean mixing board, and mix to achieve a uniform color using a clean spreader.

  • If Mixing by Manual Applicator Gun…..
    Attach the mixing tip and equalize the adhesive until a consistent color is achieved, which indicates the proper mix.

Best Practices - Cosmetic Plastic Repair - Step 3

4

Apply Repair Material

Apply epoxy adhesive to the prepared area, building up until higher than the undamaged area to allow for sanding. Allow the epoxy adhesive to dry completely for approximately 20 minutes at 70°F/21°C.  

App-BestPractices-PlasticRepair-Cosmestic-Step4.jpg

5

Sand the Cured Repair Area

Sand the cured epoxy adhesive with a DA or by hand with 180 grit (depending on the thickness of the material to be removed, 80 grit might be needed initially), then finish with 320 grit for a feather edge. After sanding, if there are any pinholes, re-apply a very thin skim over the top and resand with 320 grit after the product has fully cured and finish by blowing with clean, dry air. Allow the product to final cure 60 minutes at 70°F/21°C.  

Best Practices - Cosmetic Plastic Repair - Step 5
You are now ready to prime and paint per manufacturer’s recommendations.

 

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