How To: Strip & Herculine a rear bumper
Tools / materials needed:
Paint/rust stripping pads (atleast 2) Safety glasses
Grinder or electric drill
Hot glue gun with glue sticks
VHT roll bar/chassis paint (1 can)
Herculiner (at least 1 quart)
Small paint roller (textured roller)
Liquid nails (optional)
Drop cloths or large pieces of cardboard
Metal paint stirrer for a drill
800 grit sand paper
Place your bumper front side up on saw horses on an even surface
Stripping paint & rust from the bumper:
Make sure your bumper is placed where it can not slide while you strip the paint and rust. Also wear your protective gear.
Using your grinder or electric drill with paint/rust stripping pad strip all paint and rust off the bumper. I prefer using the grinder, it is more powerful and stripping is faster.
If your bumper has large rust/rot bubbles use a grinding wheel attached to the grinder to grind it to a flush surface.
Cleaning the bumper after stripping
First using an air compressor, blow debris off the bumper. If you do not have an air compressor wiping it down with a rag will suffice.
Second, wearing rubber gloves, pour Xylene onto a rag and wipe the entire bumper down.
Third, allow bumper to air dry completely
Using rustoleum rust prohibitor, spray the entire bumper, and ensure you cover rust spots that were ground down completely
Priming the bumper
Using spray on filler primer, coat the bumper lightly, make sure when you are spraying you are spraying in a sweeping motion so the primer does not run. Approximately 3 light coats will do to cover the entire bumper. Allow 10 minutes drying time between each coat. Once you are done priming the front of the bumper and it is dry. Put newspaper underneath ( this allows the bumper to roll without being scratched by the saw horses) roll the bumper over and prime the backside in the same manner as the front.
Painting the backside of the bumper
Once the primer has dried, Apply 3 coats (or more if desired) of VHT rollbar/chassis black satin paint. Apply each coat lightly in a sweeping motion to ensure the paint does not run. Allow 10 minutes drying time between each coat.
Covering bumper pad holes and license plate light assembly holes
Take a sheet of plastic or an old front license plate holder, using a dremel, cut several rectangular shape pieces, 2 large circular, and 3 small circular pieces of plastic out to cover all bumper pad holes and license plate light assembly holes. Make sure they are larger than the holes in the bumper so they can be glued on.
You will be attaching the plastic pieces to the backside of the bumper now. Using 800 grit sand paper, sand the areas around each hole for the glue/liquid nail to adhere to.
Cover one side of each plastic piece with hot glue or liquid nails and attach them to the bumper from the backside to cover all holes. Once the plastic pieces are attached and dried, run a bead of hot glue or liquid nails around each piece.
Repaint the back side (optional)
This part is optional, I repainted the backside with 2 light coats of VHT rollbar/chassis paint to blend the backside so the plastic and glue wouldnt be so visible.
Once the holes are patched, rear painted this is what it should look like
Herculine the bumper
First mix the Herculiner with the metal paint stirrer and an electric drill to an even consistence. Make sure you have drop cloths or large pieces of cardboard on the floor underneath the bumper to catch any run off and drips. Pour 1/4 of the can into a small paint pan. Roll on a light primer coat onto the bumper, also use a paint brush to add extra Herculiner to cover the patched holes. The Herculiner will require at least 4 hours of drying time, maybe more for the extra applied to cover patched holes.
Once your first coat has dried completely, apply your second coat heavily and ensure you cover all patched holes completely to give you an even, flush surface. Allow atleast 4 hours to dry
Cutting holes for your license plate light assemblies
Using your assemblies, trace the bottoms onto a piece of paper and cut them out creating a template for the assembly. Roll the bumper over, rear side facing up and attach your templates to the backside of the plastic covering the original holes. Using a dremel, cut out the template, through the plastic and Herculiner. Remember, cut it short to ensure the light asemblies will have a tight fit. Once the assemblies are installed, run a bead of hot glue around the outer edges of the plug hole so it adheres to the plastic surface.
Step 11. Drilling out license plate anchor holes
Using a dremel and a bit for steel cutting, drill out the holes for the license plate anchors. Again, drill them a little short to be sure the anchors will not come loose. Once the holes are drilled, tap in the screw anchors with a rubber mallet and make sure the screws thread through them.
Once you are done with the light assemblies and the license plate anchors and screws they will look like this:
Note: If you have a painted bumper that does not have rust or rot, you can skip steps 2,4, & 5, and scuff the paint prior to cleaning it with Xylene