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Nates4x4 Painting Advice for Bare Steel Bumpers
Basic Paint-Prep Writeup

Paint often comes into question as we provide all our parts in bare steel only. We may be expert fabricators but we don't claim to be expert painters! Keeping that in mind, this is the general advice we give regarding painting. With expectations of continued maintenance, it has proven relatively fail-safe to use these methods.

A Quality DIY Paint Job

Without a doubt the three most popular painting options are Powdercoat, Spray On Bedliner, and Rustoleum/Krylon. Spray on bedliner can be a do-it-yourself project with a visit to your auto parts store, where aerosol cans can be purchased for around $10/ea. Take into consideration the local climate and working environment in your choice of finish. You can go low or high quality in any of these three categories. Some things to consider are self-etching primer, uv-resistant powdercoats, and most important and often overlooked: Read and carefully follow the instructions on all product labels. Drying times are for real, don't rush it.

Clean Surface Contaminants with Solvent

No matter which finish you use, prep work will make all the difference.
  • Minimum: Wipe down and clean with solvent. Soap and water works but consider something stronger like mineral spirits. Follow directions on the solvent you use.
  • Better: Do above and also sand to rough the surface for better paint adhesion. Most slag/bb removal will be done already, but anything missed could be touched up with a sanding wheel.
  • Best: Skip above and have sandblasted by a blaster with enough capacity for a part this size. Immediately coat as it will be susceptible to rusting right away.

Sandblasted Bumper makes for excellent paint adhesion.
Removes mill scale and leaves sandpaper-like texture.
Rusts Quickly, coat immediately.

There are many factors to consider in making your decision for the paint, including time, money, ability to do it yourself or need to hire it out, and suitability for the intended use. The choice is yours to apply the coating that best meets your needs.