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Technical Painting bumpers

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by birdman1, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 994


    The bumpers on my 1955 tbird are really pitted in a couple areas. I was never a big fan of the painting of bumper, but lack of finances may make it nesassary. What preparation do I need to do to get the paint to work? Thanks
    dana barlow likes this.
  2. Shitty chrome is better than painted chrome....
  3. Stonebird
    Joined: Dec 19, 2008
    Posts: 108


    I painted the chrome bumpers on an OT 70's car 35 years ago. Scuffed the chrome up real good, applied a good self etching primer/surfacer, prepped and painted. No adherence problems. Except for a few rock chips, still good today.
  4. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,152

    from ohio

    Soak some aluminum foil in Coke or Pepsi and rub hell out of the pitted and rusty spots. I agree, shitty chrome is better than painted chrome:(

  5. Dave1946
    Joined: Dec 10, 2012
    Posts: 51


    Found myself in the same position as you a few years ago. I just scuffed up the bumpers primed and painted them body color. That was in 2015 and they still look great.
    RICH B likes this.
  6. If you're thinking of painting the bumpers to match the body color, but are worried about it having too much of an 80's street machine vibe, consider painting them in a contrasting color. Maybe to somewhat match the interior color, or the wheel color if it's different than the body color. Upload a couple pics of the car and maybe somebody on the Photoshop thread could rustle up a couple of different color samples for you.
  7. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,044

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Today we do have paint that looks like chrome{old stuff would fade to gray},but ya still got to smooth bumper out first,clean prime an fill.
    Also today we have a number of types of chrome tape that look good too,if done well.
    Rechrome is big $
  8. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,541


    Polish them up as best you can, buffing compound works good on stubborn rust stains, even SOS pads if they're super rusty (not recommended because of scratching, but if they're terrible already, do what you've got to do) then get a silver paint pen and just touch all of the little pit/black spots that won't come off any other way. It might look worn and not perfect up close but it'll look better than painting them.

    Painted bumpers on a 50's car is a bad look. Just like guys who say "my seats were ripped up and I couldn't afford new upholstery so I stuck some bucket seats from a late model car in there".

    Painted bumpers and late model buckets look even more cheap than old chrome and torn upholstery.
    OLSKOOL57, clem, J_J2 and 5 others like this.
  9. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,253


    Painted bumpers look worse then no bumpers.
  10. Jay71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2007
    Posts: 856


    Don’t you dare paint your bumpers!!
    OLSKOOL57, RICH B and hotrodjack33 like this.
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,672


    If you can’t polish them half decent.

    I’ve scuffed them, prime with etching primer and then spray them with the aluminum paint.
    It’s not shiny chrome
    But, and this is only my opinion better then bumpers painted body colour.
    hotrodjack33 likes this.
  12. eaglebeak
    Joined: Sep 17, 2007
    Posts: 1,137


    Sell the car if you can't maintain it.
    texasred likes this.
  13. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,032


    My 2cents
    You could remove all the chrome and polish the plain steel bumper then clear coat it.
    Not costly to do. Mostly just time .
    Perhaps an alternative to painting for the time being.
    One other thing. When I was building my last custom I was using 49 Plymouth rippled bumpers. I had a pair but they need to be rechromed $$$$$
    I found a set on the web for sale at less then a 3rd of the cost ( including shipping) that had been redone and never used.
    Look around you never know what you wil find.
    VANDENPLAS and Nailhead Jason like this.
  14. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 994


    Hell, I would have to sell everything ! Believe me, the bumpers will be rechromef at a later time.
    leon bee and Torchie like this.
  15. scan E-bay regularly, you may be surprised what you find on there. I built a large protion of my 39 sedan with parts scored off of e-bay for pennies on the dollar what it would have cost me if I bought them from a repro house or used parts dealer. just know what you are looking at when looking. There are tons of things out there that are listed completely wrong, by people that have no clue.
    sidevalve8ba and Just Gary like this.
  16. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,654

    from PNW

    Funny, I didn't see where the OP asked for opinions on painting HIS bumper. What I saw was a question about prepping HIS bumper for paint. This typical HAMB bullshit of giving unwanted opinions is getting really old. It's HIS fucking car, so HE'S permitted to do whatever he wants to it. How about this? All those that give opinions send the guy some cash to pay for the chroming on the bumper you clearly think is yours.

    And to answer your question..... sandblasting the bumper is always a good starting point.
  17. If you just have to paint the bumpers go to a paint store and get a quart of XIM bonding primer, it comes in white & clear, it will bond to any ferrous & non ferrous surfaces.

    I primed a set of wire wheels many years ago with XIM and then painted them red, I saw the car a couple of years ago and the wheels still look good. HRP
    ffr1222k and dana barlow like this.
  18. Lost in the Fifties
    Joined: Feb 25, 2010
    Posts: 414

    Lost in the Fifties

    Sandblast, prime, block sand, and paint. It will stick and last as long as a body painted with the same paint. An OT bumper done 22 years ago still looks the same today as the day I painted it.
    seb fontana likes this.
  19. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,869

    Bandit Billy

    $10 bucks, give it a go. Show us the pics if you do.
    ClayMart, charleyw and Gangrene like this.
  20. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 994


    Problem is, the 55 t-bird has the exhaust exiting through the bumper gaurds, so that is a feature I want to retain.think I will just try the chrome tape and run it until I get the money for some better ones
    ffr1222k and upspirate like this.
  21. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,262

    from Idaho

    In the mid '60s, my friend bought a '56 Bird that was beat up real good ... still had the tire hanging off the back. We threw all that stuff down in the gully behind the house & bought a bumper with the back bars from a '55 Customline. It fit, & looked better than it sounds ...
  22. Desmodromic
    Joined: Sep 25, 2010
    Posts: 571


    Here's a couple of pictures of a (sorry, OT) car I took recently. I actually thought it was chrome plated, till I asked the owner!

    Attached Files:

    33Doll, ffr1222k and lake_harley like this.
  23. Try T-bird forums. The restoration crowd wants everything perfect, sometimes their take offs can be had cheap.
    rbrewer, Chief 64, alchemy and 2 others like this.
  24. The chrome shop didn't come thru in time last week, so it got painted this past Monday so it could make Detroit 20200227_144554.jpeg

    Sent from my SM-F900U1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  25. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,574


    Now that looks authentic!:cool:
  26. Tri-power37
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 510


    I bought this car for not much money 25 years ago . Had 2 little kids just bought a house and absolutely no money. I traded , begged ,borrowed and scraped this ride together over a 2 year period.
    25 years ago I was quoted 1500.00 for the front end chrome and 1500.00 for the rear end chrome - might as well been a million dollars.
    They had rusty scabs and road rash so I sandblasted them - applied zinc chromate primer and high build primer. I prepped them an applied Alsa Corp mirachrome paint. It was supposed to look exactly like chrome but it actually looks just like polished aluminum.

    The point is I have other cars now with lots of expensive chrome - but my wife and now adult kids have had more fun driving this old bomb around to car stuff for 25 years .

    Sometimes it’s about getting it on the road with what you can afford.
  27. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,121

    jimmy six

    I’ve used the vinyl on pitted parts on my windwings and side window trim. After wiping too much and 6 years I need to replace it. Now looks like stainless which matches a lot of what’s around it.

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