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DIY: Front License Plate Hole Filling
Published by rylak
10-06-2012
DIY: Front License Plate Hole Filling

I really hate my front plate and didn't want to use bumper plugs (UGLY)... Also, I did not want to just simply fill them and touch it up because there will be an obvious color difference. Therefore, I took a more aggressive approach toward filling them:

I was really expecting 2 holes, but I guess my dealership and the previous owner's dealership both decided to put holes at different locations... (4 total).. Also the mount has been on SOOO long... there is a rectangular surrounding the area.

Materials you need:
40 or 80 grit sandpaper
600 grit sandpaper
1500 grit sandpaper
Primer
Base Coat
Clear Coat
Any type of filler (I used Bondo Body filler and Bondo Spot Putty)


The four holes...



Close up:





Using 80 grit sandpaper, sanded the ones that obnoxiously sticks out. And then used 600 grit. I also sanded everything around the holes with 1500 grit sandpaper so it blends the clear coat better.



Filled with Bondo Body Filler initially, then finished off with Spot Putty for minor imperfections.. sanded with 600 grit



Primed, 1st Coat, allow 5 minutes between each coat.


Primed, 3 coats, wait 30 minutes before sanding and applying base coat. Sanded down with 600 grit sandpaper (Think I could've done this better, but O Well)


First Coat of Base Color


After 3-4 Coats of Base Color (5 minutes in between each coat), Wait 30 minutes before applying clear coat


After 3 Coats of Gloss Clear Coat, 5 minutes between each coat.


DONE! (not really, really should polish it so it blends more, but I'll do that later on)



Some of you might ask why I didnt post close up of final product... I did take a pic of it.. but its just a white picture...

Hope this helps everyone that wants to get rid of bumper holes but refuse to use ugly bumper plugs!
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  #1  
By Bimmer116 on 10-07-2012, 02:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rylak
I really hate my front plate and didn't want to use bumper plugs (UGLY)... Also, I did not want to just simply fill them and touch it up because there will be an obvious color difference. Therefore, I took a more aggressive approach toward filling them:

I was really expecting 2 holes, but I guess my dealership and the previous owner's dealership both decided to put holes at different locations... (4 total).. Also the mount has been on SOOO long... there is a rectangular surrounding the area.

Materials you need:
40 or 80 grit sandpaper
600 grit sandpaper
1500 grit sandpaper
Primer
Base Coat
Clear Coat
Any type of filler (I used Bondo Body filler and Bondo Spot Putty)


The four holes...



Close up:





Using 80 grit sandpaper, sanded the ones that obnoxiously sticks out. And then used 600 grit. I also sanded everything around the holes with 1500 grit sandpaper so it blends the clear coat better.



Filled with Bondo Body Filler initially, then finished off with Spot Putty for minor imperfections.. sanded with 600 grit



Primed, 1st Coat


Primed, 3 coats and sanded down with 600 grit sandpaper (Think I could've done this better, but O Well)


First Coat of Base Color


After 3-4 Coats of Base Color


After 3 Coats of Gloss Clear Coat


DONE! (not really, really should polish it so it blends more, but I'll do that later on)



Some of you might ask why I didnt post close up of final product... I did take a pic of it.. but its just a white picture...

Hope this helps everyone that wants to get rid of bumper holes but refuse to use ugly bumper plugs!
WOW, man that looks great



awesome DYI man I'm deffintly going to do this cause I don't want though bumper plugs either.

Thanks!
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  #2  
By Snyperx on 10-08-2012, 09:30 AM
Where did you order your paint from? I am assuming you used automotive spray paint?
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  #3  
By rylak on 10-08-2012, 10:30 AM
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I ordered mine from automotivetouchup.com
GREAT color match!
and their videos were great as well.

Also, looking back at it... I should've taped around the holes and then sand them, so the sanded areas would not appear so big... however, i didn't want to deal with cleaning up the glue and stuff afterward prior to spraypainting
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  #4  
By rylak on 10-08-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer116 View Post
WOW, man that looks great



awesome DYI man I'm deffintly going to do this cause I don't want though bumper plugs either.

Thanks!
Thanks. Glad you think its good. Feel free to ask questions.
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  #5  
By patrickguu on 10-08-2012, 11:06 AM
hey did u have any painting experience? this is the first time? from the picture it looks PERFECT. if someone looks at your bumper can they tell you painted over it?
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  #6  
By rylak on 10-08-2012, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickguu View Post
hey did u have any painting experience? this is the first time? from the picture it looks PERFECT. if someone looks at your bumper can they tell you painted over it?
I didn't have any automotive painting experience at all prior to this. Honestly, i was like, "O Crap... what have i done?" after i put the 1st coat of primer on... Like i mentioned above, i could've done a better job priming. I would suggest you prime until you don't see anything that looked like the hole before applying the base coat.

I drove it to work, alot of my friends and coworkers can't even tell I painted it. It looks great. I do think you should probably polish it afterward to make it shinier.

I would say just make sure u sanded it down perfectly smooth after filling, or else texture will appear after you put your colors on.

Hope that helps.
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  #7  
By at24 on 10-10-2012, 05:51 PM
i have to do this soon, thanks for the info
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  #8  
By eloo on 12-02-2012, 10:42 PM
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Thumbs up Sticky!!

Awesome DIY!

I took my car to "The Bumper Doctor" and they wanted $950.00 for that plus a lower corner scrape and some shotty touch-up on the rear bumper from the previous owner. I couldn't believe it. Tried to charge an hour labor for bumper removal . Admins: please make this thread sticky!!

Anyway, long story short the automotivetouchup.com paint match is probably perfect. I'm a first timer and I got extremely close on my first try using their rattle cans with Space Gray and the 2K urethane clear coat. I say *might* be perfect because I ruined my work with the clear coat by spraying it too close and it ran everywhere. Then I tried sanding it too soon and the cc peeled The parts I didn't completely barf on look awesome. One tip though: the OP mentioned polishing... you're going to want to do that to get mirror finish. I'm surprised the videos don't show that.

I have to redo a lot of it, but I'm leveling up to a compressor and HVLP sprayer mainly to be able to judge how much material I've used. The rattle cans are very capable though. I'm just having a lot of fun on this project so why not?
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  #9  
By rylak on 12-02-2012, 10:52 PM
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thanks for the support!

Actually, I've gotten alot better with this lol. I actually do several things differently now.

For one, i would not have taped up the nose like how i did int he pics shown above.
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  #10  
By patrickguu on 12-02-2012, 11:01 PM
update it the way you would do it now i still want to do this but im too scared to do it myself lol..
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  #11  
By rylak on 12-02-2012, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickguu View Post
update it the way you would do it now i still want to do this but im too scared to do it myself lol..
jeez, i didn't think people still checked this. lol.

I havent done it in a while, but I will take pictures and edit it next time.

Also, I'm not sure how this will turn out on other colors besides white. The color difference might be more noticeable.
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  #12  
By eloo on 12-03-2012, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickguu View Post
update it the way you would do it now i still want to do this but im too scared to do it myself lol..
It's just a bumper. What's the worst that could happen?
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  #13  
By patrickguu on 12-03-2012, 10:32 AM
A new m sport bumper destroyed? Lol
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  #14  
By eloo on 12-06-2012, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickguu View Post
A new m sport bumper destroyed? Lol
Fair enough, but if you mess it up you sand and try again. I made a colossal mess of my rear bumper clear coat. No worries. I'll just take it down again and repaint it... simple.
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  #15  
By rylak on 12-06-2012, 02:03 AM
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jesus, u're really painting like crazy lol
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  #16  
By eloo on 12-07-2012, 04:33 AM
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FYI: after a day or so of curing the A52 Spacegrau metallic is an absolutely perfect match.

When I redo I'm going to leave the base coat for at least 24 hours to cure before going with the clear coat.
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  #17  
By NH335i on 03-09-2013, 06:33 PM
This all looks awesome and I really want to do it. But my car came with clear decal over all areas that would get wear on them from driving.
i.e. bumper, behind wheels, front of hood, and mirrors.

If feel like I wouldnt want to paint those. Would have to take them off and buy new ones if i even could.
Any ideas?
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  #18  
By rylak on 03-09-2013, 11:10 PM
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yea, i wouldnt recommend painting those. lol
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  #19  
By NH335i on 03-09-2013, 11:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by rylak
yea, i wouldnt recommend painting those. lol
Agreed.

I may just get the right touch up. Get screws with the wide flat washer heads. And paint them and screw them in. Would look better than the horrible holes. And should blend pretty well.
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  #20  
By BMW603 on 03-10-2013, 06:36 AM
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my DIY

I've always had to plug these holes.. ok no laughing guys..works 100%

(and I'm OCD )

Dave's NO SANDING fix !

Ok first get a tube of caulking--(small 1.69 tube, not one with a caulking gun-- (usually white- non silicone) If you have a white car- you can stop here =)

second: add touch up paint - with brush

* the caulking normally shrinks.. and leaves a dimple- which kind looks like a factory- drill here small impression if you needed to add the tag back. (you could always add more caulk if you hate the dimple-

* for the holes that have pulled out impressions from a screw- use a good exacto and trim before applying (caulk then tu paint)
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  #21  
By bmwkyle on 05-22-2013, 08:46 AM
Has anyone done this on a red, or darker car? I really need to do this as I have 5 holes in my front bumper from the last owner. I have a crimson red 328i and was just wondering how the blend will look. Will the front part of my bumper be more brighter than the rest of the car? Luckily, I think this car was garage kept and barely driven, (54,000 on a 2007) so no fading of the paint. Im just curious how it will look blending. After watching the videos on the automotive touchup site I do feel confident doing it, just want to see if anyone has done this on darker car, preferably a crimson red. Also, how much of the bumper should I leave exposed for painting/blending? OP, you say you wouldn't have taped up the bumper the way you did, how would you tape if doing it again?
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