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52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I couldn't bring myself to spend 30+ dollars for the BumperPlug brand. They look like very nice, easy solution, but required you to drill an even 1/4" bigger hole to install their plugs. If you ever needed to re-install a bumper plate, you'd have to come up with a solution for that.
I figured I'd make my own with some matching touch up paint since I was going to have some on hand anyway for small repairs.
Ordered some touch up paint. TouchUp XS from Amazon for $11. The match was perfect, I'd order from them again.
I found some panel clips in my spare parts bin, head is 18mm or 3/4" across.

  • punched them into a cardboard box
  • sprayed with regular primer I had on hand (plastic compatible), let dry and cure for 24 hrs
  • used a small flat craft brush. $1.20 at any craft or office supply store
  • brushed a thin first coat, covered the very thin edges as well, let dry for 24 hrs
  • brushed another thin coat, let dry for 24 hrs
  • brushed the last thin coat, let dry for 24 hrs
at this point, it looked pretty good, considering I was brushing it on, it layed pretty flat
I held it next to the car and the match was very good.
being a metallic silver, any differing angle from the car's surface will reflect different amounts of light,
since the plugs are domed, the curve will show, even if the paint is identical

ready to clearcoat, I already had some gloss spray paint on hand, UV protection
this can be bought anywhere for about $6

  • sprayed first thin coat, spraying side angles as well, let dry for 24 hrs
  • sprayed second thin coat, let dry for 24 hrs
  • sprayed last coat
Before I installed them, I trimmed the plug stem down a bit, kinda like cutting corn off a cob
I didn't want to enlarge the holes anymore but I still wanted a snug fit.
You can still see the outline of the license plat holder on the bumper.
Once the snow melts and we get a nice day, I'll polish those out.

Overall, it turned out better than I expected, plus I have a nice jar of touch up paint that I'll use over the next few years.
My cost was about $13.20 for the brush and paint. You can find panel clips/plugs on amazon for less than $5

I still may keep an eye out for a flat (non-domed) plug that I can paint as another test.
Hope this helps

· Registered
52 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks, I even considered adding two more on each side. Ha!

In Nevada, you're only required to have a front plate if the manufacturer provides a bracket for it. May save me the price of a ticket.
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