Painting 1975-1979 Corvette Rear Bumperettes

I originally started this article about a year ago, and somehow was buried under my growing library of C3 Corvette articles. But even though I wrote it a while ago, the information is still significant. Better late than never.

Call me picky if you want, but for my taste, rubber bumper Corvette bumperettes—as they're referred to—look better with a satin black finish, instead of painted to match the body color.

I don't dislike bumperettes, but I certainly prefer the cleaner look of the 1974 rear bumper which did not have them.

Well, except for the fact that it is a two-piece that does not look as clean as the one-piece bumper covers introduced in '75.

It's always something.

As a side note, I read somewhere that Chevy had to go with the two-piece rear bumper for 1974 because, allegedly, they did not have the equipment necessary to make it a one-piece. Not sure if that's fact or fiction as a lot of other Corvette-related things you hear.

Since I had the rear bumper repaired and repainted, I had to paint the bumperettes black again. The first time I did this was when I bought the car and I wrote an article about the process. That article also included the front bumperettes.

I started the paint prep process by covering the whole area with a piece of clear plastic sheeting, to prevent overspray, and used masking tape to define the area that was to be painted black.

After the masking was complete, I lightly and carefully sanded each bumperette, or I should say the portion of the bumperette that was to be painted. I chose not to use primer since the rear bumper had just been repainted so I felt primer was not necessary.

As far as paint is concerned, there are many brands available that will give you the right sheen and look, but for my taste, SEM and Eastwood are the best. SEM's Trim Black Aerosol Paint or Eastwood's Plastic Resurfacer Matte Black.

I find that spraying a "tack" coat initially, followed by several heavier coats of paint, yields the best results. After all, we are after a "rubberized" finish, so don't be afraid to use a generous amount of paint, while avoiding runs of course.

Once the paint was dry to the touch, I removed all the masking materials being especially careful around the bumperettes. The paint may take several hours to cure completely and I did not want to risk peeling any fresh paint.

If you do a good masking job, the results will speak for themselves, and I even went to the extent of making sure the quality of the masking extended to areas that are rarely seen. Might as well do the best you can while you're at it. Right?

Yes, painting the bumperettes satin or matte black is the right choice, especially if you're after a "factory-look." And while that choice may not be everyone's cup of tea, they do look perfect painted satin black to me.

Thank you for following my 76 Vette Blog!

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SEM Trim Black Aerosol Paint

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1968-1982 Corvette Restoration Guide, 2nd Edition
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