Repainted bumper cover vs OEM

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Jun 18, 2019
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Lancaster, PA
So not two weeks after buying a 2020 Toyota Corolla, I stopped in to the dealership to have them check the headlight alignment since one of them seemed a tad bit off. After a few minutes I was on my way, and after I got to where I was going, I happened to glance down at my front bumper and was horrified to see a deep knick in the bumper cover about the size of a pea! The knick was through the paint and well into the plastic, revealing a very obvious black spot. Anyone who has had something like this happen knows the gut wrenching feeling that completely deflates that new car excitement. The gouge was so deep that touch up paint did little other than cover the black plastic, but is still very noticeable. Assuming this happened in the shop, I called the service manager first thing Monday morning, and much to my surprise he was extremely amicable and offered to have have the front bumper cover repainted for me at no charge by a guy who comes into the dealership one day a week and does these types of repairs (read, not by a body shop). I was elated at his offer to have this blemish erased and my car restored to mint condition, but he explained to me that the downside of this was that I would have a brand new car with a repainted bumper, and a repainted bumper is never the same as OEM. Years ago I had an '87 Camaro whose front bumper I had repainted numerous times, and it always chipped so easily after each repainting. What I am wanting to know is, are the modern aftermarket paints as durable as the OEM paint job, or will I end up with a bumper that looks much worse over time if I get it repainted now? Am I better off just living with this single blemish and keeping with the OEM paint on the rest of the bumper? I will be putting upwards of 30,000 highway miles a year on this car, so the likelihood of future high speed encounters with cinders and stones is very high. I'd really like to hear from anyone who has experience with how well bumper covers hold up that were painted within the last couple years.

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Joined
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AR
I would try some type of body filler and touch up paint. Gently smoothing after if cures with a rubbing compound. And then seeing what it looked like after waxing.
 
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I would really try to touch it up first. It's hard to duplicate that factory paint.
 
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I'm sorry that happened to your new car, what a bummer. Does this once a week guy plan on painting your whole bumper to fix a tiny chip? I would imagine he comes in once a week to touch up paint the trade ins and used cars and is not mobile spraying whole bumpers.(EPA anyone) I would definitely have a pro do some touch up paint on this chip but would avoid painting the whole bumper either by some guy in a dealer parking lot, or even a reputable body shop. Stick with your factory paint.
 

Nick1994

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Let the body shop repair just that TINY spot and be clear with them to NOT paint the whole bumper. The odds of the non-original paint being as resistant to rock chips are very slim. The cars I know who have had front bumpers refinished, (including 2 of my current cars and 1 previous) is that they chip really easily.
 
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I used to do this for a living (paint bumpers mobile) and if that car came to me, I'd fill it and paint the R side bumper and blend it near the center if they were insistent on the repair. I used PPG paints and they were excellent quailty with no issues in wear/weathering. My only concern on your car is that it is silver and the variances of the shading (mixing to the paint code) is challenging even on a new car that has not experienced any fading. If the color is off slightly, that will drive you nuts for the life of this car (as it would me). If the car were black or white, the color would be spot on. Silvers and golds are a real PIA to match (even in a controlled body shop environment). Since you plan to drive many highway miles per year, I'd leave it and consider it the first "rock chip: and let it go. I know its painful and not what you want to hear but more are coming.
 
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Originally Posted by JamesBond
I would imagine he comes in once a week to touch up paint the trade ins and used cars and is not mobile spraying whole bumpers.(EPA anyone)
This. These people make the rounds at the dealerships repairing small chips and dings. They do an awesome job! Go this route. Don't re-paint the whole thing.
 
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Flyoverland, KY
+1 on having the body shop paint just the spot if you must do something. At least that will kill the dramatic color contrast. The problem I've had with having metallic paint repaired is that even if the color is spot on, there will be an angle and a lighting condition where the reflectivity of the metal flakes in the repaired area is different, and it just shows darker. Period. My son worked with a group that did the mobile used car touchup thing and although they mixed paint to vehicle color codes, the primer and clear coat they used were spray cans from Wal Mart. Not sure what any other people do, but that was their practice and they were considered one of the better local operations. Personally, I would just decide to wait 6 months and see if it still bothered me then, and if so have it fixed at that point.
 
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I wouldn't repaint the entire bumper. As others stated they chip much easier then a factory paint job. Touch it up with a brush and no-one will ever notice. I call it patina. New cars always start with a little nick...then a scratch...then another one....and the cycle continues and unless you garage queen your car these things will happen. It seems like these little nicks just come out of nowhere.
 
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If you paint half the bumper, the new paint will fade at a different rate than the factory paint and in a year or two will be noticable. Touch it up with a brush and call it a day.
 
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Originally Posted by Lou_Boyle
+1 on having the body shop paint just the spot if you must do something. At least that will kill the dramatic color contrast. The problem I've had with having metallic paint repaired is that even if the color is spot on, there will be an angle and a lighting condition where the reflectivity of the metal flakes in the repaired area is different, and it just shows darker. Period.
I have this problem with a small repair/paint job done years ago. I had the work done by the dealerships body shop and they swear they used the exact paint code. I have no reason not to believe them. But I can tell, most anyone can see the slight (and it is just slight) difference in the factory paint and the repair. The factory paint has that appearance where depending on the angle and lighting, two people can see a slightly different color. Oh well..
 
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Do not let anyone repaint the bumper for that, its a very easy touch up, let a body shop do it. I wont go into the details of how to do it, it is too easy to make a pigs ear of if you don't know what you are doing.
 
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you will probably have 10 more in the next 20000 miles. I would NOT repaint the whole bumper for that... They should be able to touch that up and have it look 99% as good as new. I dont know around you but I had 3 on my hood and a broken windshield in 1 year 15000 miles. the old car took a tire gator off the road to the door and mirror (broke side mirror) and I dodge so many black rubber tie downs with metal hooks its in the dozens every month.
 
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Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
I have this problem with a small repair/paint job done years ago. I had the work done by the dealerships body shop and they swear they used the exact paint code.
Using the exact paint code is just a start. The painter still has to tint the paint to match what's on the car which has faded since new, spray a test sheet and compare it to the car, and repeat a few times to get it perfect. Few production body shops will do it enough times to get it perfect though.
 
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Originally Posted by dishdude
That's a stone chip, you picked that up while driving.
Yep. Get some touch up paint and move on. You're just going to get more.
 

DTS419

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Jun 18, 2019
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Originally Posted by Dadillac
https://www.drcolorchip.com/ Trust me. This is the best option Don
You've had good experience with that? I tried Chipex before, which is essentially the same thing, and found it to be no better than the $12 touch up paint that Advanced Auto sells.
 
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Originally Posted by DTS419
Originally Posted by Dadillac
https://www.drcolorchip.com/ Trust me. This is the best option Don
You've had good experience with that? I tried Chipex before, which is essentially the same thing, and found it to be no better than the $12 touch up paint that Advanced Auto sells.
Yes. I remember one car, a 2011 Kia Optima, that lived at the Jersey shore before I bought it. The bumper and hood had so many sand chips that it looked like somebody sand blasted the front of the car. I used the Dr Colorchip and these areas from 5 feet looked like new. When you actually got close to the paint you could see the new paint in the chips as the paint was not a dead on match. It did a very good job of leveling in all but the largest of chips. The Dr Colorchip works better than regular touch up paint because after applying the paint you use a lacquer thinner to smooth and level the repair. I highly recommend it Don
 
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Fill the chip with several layers of paint over a few days time. Once the paint is even or slightly higher than the surrounding area - wet sand with 1500 sand paper using water with a few drops of dish soap. Once area is even and dull - polish it out and it will be 98% unnoticable. I've done this with success hundreds of time with great results. Cost is only a bottle of touch up paint.
 
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