I would first like to say that I am NOT
a professional auto body painter. However, this is not my first time painting a small part of a vehicle. Do this modification at your own risk, and be very careful. The more time you spend doing the prep-work, the better the results.
- Short (stubby) phillips head screwdriver
- Needle nose pliers
- Sand paper (I suggest 600 grit, and 2000 grit)
- Automotive masking tape (green)
- Flat black paint (Highly recommend dupli-color bumper paint)
- Plenty of old newspaper
- Rubbing alcohol
First you will need to remove all the accessory stuff off of the front bumper. This includes the lincese plate, bolt sleeves, bumper pop-out, radiator cover, and upper grille. To remove the bumper pop-out, just insert a screw driver and pry-out. I'm not really sure what the purpose of this fake tow-hook cover is for. I decided to sand this down, and paint it while it was off the vehicle.
Remove the license plate, and the bolt sleeves. They will slide out fairly easily. You can choose to fill in these-holes, or leave them there. I decided to leave them there, because Maryland law requires a front plate.
The radiator cover is held down with 6 plastic push-pins. You will need needle nose pliers to remove the pins, and a screwdriver for the two plastic screws near the air intake duct. I have the locations of the plastic fasteners circled in the picture.
Once the radiator cover is off and out of the way, you will than have access to the screws for the upper grille. There are 5 screws in total, and 4 clips. There is one screw at each corner, and one screw in the upper middle. You will need a very short phillips head screwdriver for this. Make sure you remove the correct screws! After all of the screws have been removed, there are still four clips holding the grille in place. You can use a pair of needle nose pliers to squeeze the clips, or your fingers. Make sure you pull on the grille (carefully!) while working with the clips.
Now is time for the fun stuff. I know rubbing sand paper on fresh paint will make your stomach drop, but the results are well-worth the effort! You will need a garden hose, or spray bottle, to keep the front bumper wet during the wet-sanding process. Start off with a very low grit sand-paper (I used 600 grit) to remove the clear coat from the paint, and work your way up to a very smooth grit (I went with 2000). Take plenty of time, and do not rush with this step! Also, pay attention not to accidently sand any parts that are not being painted!
When you are finished with the wet-sanding, make sure you dry the front bumper off and remove all moisture! You will use rubbing alcohol later on to finish cleaning up the surface for paint.
This is very lengthy and time consuming. Masking the bumper off and creating the paint lines. They must be perfect, or the results will not be good! Spend plenty of time laying down the masking tape. This ensures a professional-looking result. I spent a good 40 minutes on this part alone. Keep in mind, the surface can not be wet or dirty, or the masking tape will not stick.
Now everything that is not being painted needs to be covered up. I have always used news paper. Use atleast 3 or 4 layers of news paper.
Now it is time to paint! First, use rubbing alcohol on the painting surface to remove any dust or dirt. I used Dupli-color flat black bumper paint. This paint works very well with urethane, and drys really quickly. Practice spraying the paint on some newspaper before you start on the lancer! Make sure the rattle can's tip is spraying correctly, and that the pattern is good. Once you feel comfortable, you can now begin on the lancer. Always start off of the painting surface, and finish off of the painting surface. This way the paint-pattern is smooth and even. Make sure you shake the can many times during the painting process. I went with about 7 thin coats, and waited about 15 minutes between each coat of paint. When you are finished painting, I would recommend giving the paint a good hour or so to completely dry, before removing the masking tape and newspaper.
There is no need for a clear coat with this paint. The dupli-color bumper paint is very easy to clean, and take care of.