Best way to repair bumper

This is our new CRV and sure enough for the first time in my life I decided to move a pole; unsuccessfully. Now the bumper is scratched. It is 1/6th of an inch wide and 5-6 inch long. Seems like if I wanted to fix it properly the shop has to take the whole bumper off and repaint it. This is from 3 shops I went to. Doing partial spray while the bumper is on the car is not an option to them. I could still get touch up paint and apply myself, I am sure it would still be visible.
The $400 they are asking is one thing, but I am a bit worried about more damage when they take the bumper and its clips off and hate to see that happen to this brand new car. Any suggestions? Is the new paint job going to be like original or I am going to ruin the whole bumper to fix a scratch?


Ignore it.

“Decided to move a pole?” Sounds to me like you caused the damage by doing something you shouldn’t have done.

If you’re going to use your CR-V for things it was not designed to do you will have to live with the disappointment.

Did I read your post right? They want to take it off just to paint it? Thats just nuts. If it is only just a scratch and its not damage behind it. There is reason to take it off. From what your pic shows. I would tape it off a the seams and spray color on the scratched area ( after repairing and priming it) and then spray the clear over it. If done right you will never see that it been painted. $400.00 is about right these days. I would keep looking for shop that will do it like I said. It would not hurt it to take it off, if there careful and used new clips to put it back on. But If it was in my shop I would not do it.

A different way to go is to look in your area for a chip repair guy. You can ask your dealer who they use. They use air brushes and can make a very good repair on a scratch like that. When I had chip guy do a repair like this it would cost about $50.00-$100.00

I had a similar think happen with my 2011 Sienna when it was only 2 months old. A woman hit the rear bumper in a parking lot. I was able to pop the dent out, but it did leave a scratch. She did not want me to report it, nor did she want to report it to her insurance company unless the estimate was over $2500. She insisted that I take it to the Buick dealer’s body shop.

I did take it to the shop and the estimate was $278. The shop manager said that to make it look right, the whole bumper had to be stripped and repainted. When I told the manager the name of the woman who hit the car, he broke out in laughter. This woman turned out to be one of their best customers–she is always banging into things. The shop did a first rate job.
Now if you are repairing it yourself at your expense, you may want to try the chip repair. However I don’t think the body shop is trying to rip you off.

MC, I hope you would sense the sarcasm. I was making a right turn in a narrow driveway and there was a car tailgating me, so I was trying to make the turn ASAP and missed this short crooked pole by just a hair. My bad anyways.

Thanks for the comments, I have high deductible and paying out of pocket. I was not suggesting that the shop is ripping me off (even though 3 estimates vary by $170), but rather concerned over how the whole procedure is going to turn out. From broken clips to a paint that would not look right after 2 years of wear and tear. I am thinking if this only happened to the scratched area then it would be less of a pain.

Thanks Oldbodyman, rejuvenating comments. That was what I had in mind, something between touch up paint and whole bumper paint. Now back to the yellow pages. I was thinking about doing the spray color myself, any thoughts?

I would leave the bumper as-is. I also sense a risk if the bumper is removed just to paint it. To me a bumper is just a bumper. A scratch or two just adds character. Once you drive a vehicle off the lot it will never be new again.

Ok, here’s the deal. I’ve done this a couple of times myself. If you just put touchup paint on it, it’s going to show… there’s no way around that. The body shops are right, they do have to take it off the car to repaint the entire thing. If they had to repair and repaint a dent in a fender, they will repaint the entire fender, not just the spot that was damaged. And there is no risk of damage to the clips or bumper either. Within the quote for the repairs will be the cost of any of the clips that have to be replaced because of them being damaged in the removal. However most of these shops have done this in the past and are very good at these things. Also there is another consideration, if they were to just paint the bumper on the car, they have to mask off other parts, that means some areas they want/need to repaint will not be done on the bumper and they can’t do a quality job. Remember, when they finish, they want you to be happy. And they want you to tell your friends and neighbors how they did. That’s the big thing. Otherwise they go out of business.

From where I sit (in a Burger King in Pierre SD), I’d say that if you want it to look like new, and it seems like you do, you should go with what they suggest.

(Don’t forget, touch-up paint won’t exactly match the paint around it due to weather fading).

Beninsd You can do a quality job by painting it on the car. I have done this kind of repair hundred’s of times. There is no need to pull this bumper. A good painter will blend the base coat paint over the repair and then spray the clear to tape off fenders. It take me about 3 hrs from start to finish do dry time. Then about 1hr to buff it out to match the factory finish if needed. There is no way I would let a shop take it off just to paint it.

glant Don’t try this yourself. The color you have is hard to match. It will take some skill to match it.

I appreciate the comments, I like to see the disagreement/discussion. I know taking it off and doing it all over is going to have the best result.

At least today I bought the two broken clips from Honda and the bottom plastic part is not sagging. I always buy touch up with the color code and since the car is only 6 months old and always garaged, $I am sure the color match would not be bad, only the texture.

I have gotten references for a “dent” guy that only works M-F, so maybe in 2 weeks I will be able to have it checked there. Otherwise I am thinking to apply to touch-up and see how horrendous it looks and if I can sleep with it then cough up the $400 and hope that everything would go fine. I am a bit anal, do all my work. Ideally would want to watch them do the work, but the best price is from a shop that has to take the bumper to their paint bay 15 miles away-the guy is a family friend, hence the cheaper quote, but I see so much “potential” with this piece of clumsy plastic being driven 15 miles back and forth that the scratch starts looking good!

Everyone seems to forget. It’s called a BUMPER! So it should see some damage over the life of the vehicle.


Is the scratch into the material of the bumper or just the paint? If it’s just in the paint and doesn’t go through the entire paint surface there’s a chance it could be made to look very close to original with a light weight rubbing compound. I know I got a scratch in the fender on my '97 Escort shortly after it was bought new and I bought a product made by Blue Corral called scratch remover, I used it on the scratch and it blended in extremely good afterward. I’m nearly certain it was a very light weight rubbing compound. I done the rubbing of the compound by hand taking extreme care not to damage the paint and to this day the only time I ever notice it is when I’m washing/waxing the car and am looking at the surface closely. My scratch wasn’t all the way through the paint surface, but was 3-4 inches long, deep enough it was very noticeable and could be felt easily with a finger nail. If the paint is still in like new condition there’s a chance you can find an individually owned shop that will do a spot repair. I had a new Buick in '77 that got a pretty bad scrape (down to the bare metal) on the passenger side door when it was only a few months old, I took it to a body shop that my dad had used previously, they sanded down only that area (not the complete door) and blended it in with the existing paint. When I got it back you could never tell it had been damaged. The whole thing is blending it in with the existing paint and getting a good color match.

Well if it were me, I would simply get out the bottle of touch up paint and carefully fill the scatch in. The first scratch is always the hardest but its not even a bumper. Its a bumper cover. Its a plastic covering on the real bumper. Anytime it comes in contact with anything its going to scratch or chip. Save the repainting job for later when there are a number of scratches. I think you get a cleaner job by removing the bumper and should be no reason to damage anything, but just painting the bumper will not guarantee a paint match. Most places want to blend it in to the adjacent panels to insure a good match. I sure wouldn’t go through all that for that tiny scratch.

Since you guys love follow-ups, here it is.

I couldn’t find anybody who is willing to do air brush touch up or anything close to it. Talking to quite a few places the two options were take the whole bumper off vs paint almost a quarter of the bumper while on the car. After I was over the fact that my new car’s bumper has a scratch, I decided to try the touch up paint myself. I can always have the whole bumper painted, probably better to do it when/if I want to sell the car and even then the buyer might be happier with a discount.

So this is the result of one application of touch up with a fine brush. I am thinking about putting another layer on just to make it level with the rest. The picture is a close up and shows the paint at its worse. For most “normal” people looking at the car, you won’t notice it as it is.

After some more paint and then going over it with 2000 grit sandpaper, rubbing compound and waxing, it is barely visible from regular distance, nothing felt with touch. The picture bellow is a close-up and taken at the worst angle to exaggerate the difference in color.

you do good work. that looks great.

You did very close to what a air brush would. Great job.


Oh for the days of chrome bumpers. Sigh…

There’s an election coming up. A campaign sticker would have done a fine job!