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05/2015 ROTM
2011 Kia Optima
Joined
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So here in Arkansas we do not have to have front plates, and I hated having a license plate ruin the look of the front of the car. The catch is, under that plate and bracket there are 5 holes in the bumper which look even worse than the plate itself. I looked around and didn't really see anything on here that had a solution I liked, so I decided to try this and I think it came out great. :cool:

What you'll need (or what I used):

Xacto knife
Cardboard
GM Push fasteners (Lowes)
Primer paint
Paint to match you car (I used an OEM paint pen)
High gloss clear coat
2200 grit wet/dry sandpaper
Microfiber cloth
Meguiars Ultimate compound


First, I went to Lowes and bought some GM push fasteners, They have a few different sizes. I chose to get the smallest ones they had.


Then you'll want to punch some holes into a piece of cardboard and push the fasteners into it, just to make it easier to paint.


I then used the sand paper to scuff the fasteners a bit, and sprayed them with some primer to make sure the paint would make sure to hold on the plastic fasteners.


Then I used the OEM paint pen to put 2 good coats on the fasteners, making sure they thoroughly dried between each coat. I actually just dabbed the pen on the cardboard and actually used a brush to apply the paint, it came out a lot more even this way. Once I got 2 good coats of paint, I hit the fasteners with 3 good coats of high gloss clear coat. This picture is after the 2 coats of paint and 3 coats of clear.


I then used the 2200 sandpaper to wet sand the fasteners to smooth out any imperfections. I applied Meguiars Ultimate Compound with a microfiber cloth and polished for about a minute on each fastener to bring out the shine of the clear coat.

Now onto actually putting the fasteners in the holes!

You will more than likely have holes that have basically a small "volcano" of plastic from the screws, as I did. You'll have to trim the plastic from the hole to make sure the fastener sits flush with the bumper. I used my Xacto knife and very carefully trimmed the excess plastic off until it was nice a smooth.

I then had to trim the tips of the fasteners, as they were a bit too big to fit into the holes without breaking. Once, I trimmed them up enough to where they would fit, but will still be nice and snug I pushed them all in and voila! You're done!




Before:

After:
 

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Registered
2012 KIA Optima HYBRID
Joined
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3,606 Posts
That's a good idea right there :thumbsup:
we also don't have front plates here but i had holes before because the dealership had their name..
 

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05/2015 ROTM
2011 Kia Optima
Joined
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535 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That's a good idea right there :thumbsup:
we also don't have front plates here but i had holes before because the dealership had their name..
Not a completely original idea, but I agree a good idea.

I don't understand how a dealership can justify drilling into a car they have yet to sell. I know a majority of the potential buyers will not care, but as a car guy it just makes me cringe.
 
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