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Old 02-11-2020, 12:10 PM
Johnny L.A. is offline
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Automotive: Restoring faded black plastic trim


My 1999 Jeep Cherokee is still in excellent condition, but the plastic trim has faded from black to grey. I'd like to restore the trim to black. I looked at TriNova Plastic & Trim Restorer, which has good reviews. It also has poor reviews. The complaints are that it washes away in rain. Since I live in Rainland, that's not good. Paint? I suspect it would peel and flake, and look worse than the grey trim. I recall many years ago that someone said you could use liquid shoe polish (the kind in the bottle with the sponge tip). I haven't researched that.

Has anyone restored their black plastic trim? What were the results?
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:19 PM
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I have not restored my black plastic trim, but I have restored the grey trim that wraps around the entirety of my 2004 Volvo S60R that I bought from BAT. I bought some grey trim and bumper paint and sprayed it on earlier this year, taping the painted areas of the car off. I cleaned them up well with rubbing alcohol and agitation to remove the chalking it was producing (I swear someone left this car out in the sun under a magnifying glass...) and then sprayed on the paint, about 3 or 4 coats. It has held up very nicely, even in the spot where I accidentally brushed someone else's bumper. Here's a link to the stuff I used: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=trim+and+...f=nb_sb_noss_1
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:23 PM
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Also, I would say don't use brush-on liquids unless you are very confident in your ability to apply them evenly. I was able to spray this stuff on evenly and it looks nice, but part of that is because my plastic is textured and not smooth. If you have smooth plastic, I might recommend scuffing it up with some steel wool first to help with adhesion.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:46 AM
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This may not be helpful, but I've used a buffing wheel and jeweler's rouge to restore color (i.e., remove the oxidized/bleached outer layer) to outdoor grill parts. They were black and turning dull gray. Worked fine. Of course, I had to remove the pieces to work on them. Another danger is that you have to take your time and not overheat the plastic or it will form a little mosaic of cracks. I have no idea if this would work on car trim.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:48 AM
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Haven't used it myself but the local car nerds seem quite keen on Concept Vista f for re-blacking trim on cars from the last century. https://www.conceptchemicals.com/products/vista
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:50 PM
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There isn't really a permanent fix, as far as I know, but the best product that I have found is Meguiars' Ultimate Black.

https://www.meguiars.com/automotive/...r-g15812-12-oz
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyjoe View Post
It has held up very nicely, even in the spot where I accidentally brushed someone else's bumper. Here's a link to the stuff I used: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=trim+and+...f=nb_sb_noss_1
I like the idea of masking and spraying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphead View Post
Haven't used it myself but the local car nerds seem quite keen on Concept Vista f for re-blacking trim on cars from the last century. https://www.conceptchemicals.com/products/vista
I couldn't find anyplace that sells it (using a google search and clicking on Shopping).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas Jones View Post
There isn't really a permanent fix, as far as I know, but the best product that I have found is Meguiars' Ultimate Black.

https://www.meguiars.com/automotive/...r-g15812-12-oz
'Lasts for weeks' isn't long enough.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:17 PM
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Yeah, honestly I am no artist, but this was pretty easy to make the textured surface look 100% better. And it was like $11 for the can at the local auto place. Only other stuff I saw that looked promising was an actual dye that you rubbed on with a cloth.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:29 PM
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Propane torch.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:37 PM
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I've used RustOleum black vinyl paint for interiors (trim & dash) as well as exterior plastics. Lasted (in Colorado sun) until I got rid of the car a couple years later.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:27 AM
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I've used Forever Black on the top trim piece of my '97 Grand Cherokee's rear bumper. I see there are a few reviews about the product washing off, but in my experience it truly did dye the plastic. At the time, the formula was a bit runny though; one of the only reasons I had such good results was that I was able to remove the piece of plastic I wanted to restore.

It didn't work at all on the plastic housings of the side mirrors, which seem to have more of a porous texture than the body trim panels. They haven't faded horribly though; they just have a very matte finish.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:43 AM
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Johnny L.A., have you tried one of Sprayway's products? I've been using a particular can from them for some 15 years, as have many of my friends once they found out about it. I've restored some black plastic trim back to original color, don't recall it being completely grey, but it was bad. I have restored other colors back to original such as blue and grey that had went white on me.

Some years ago I had a 1984 Honda CRX that I was restoring, so went to a car interior specialist and told him I wanted to get this plastic panel replaced since it had went from blue to white over the years due to the sun bleaching it. He asked me why I wanted to purchase a new one as he reached for a can, and about the time I replied, "well, look at it," he started spraying it with this clear liquid, and I think I just sat there staring at it, kind of stunned, because it went back to the original blue, it was like he had painted it with blue paint.

He couldn't explain it, but showed me the can, and gave it to me to take home to use on the other panels. And probably a handful of cases (12 in these) later, I'm a true believer in this product. Ideally, you clean it first. Then use the purple can. I spray it on my tires, my windshield wipers, under the hood, mats, my leather interior, dash, any black moldings, lots of plastic stuff. I've used this on campers, atv's, and people at the small airport across the street started using it on various parts of their planes. With few exceptions, most bleached plastic interior or exterior parts go back to the original color. Although the transformation is instant, I generally soak it overnight, let it absorb, then wipe what little is left with a rag. It's silicone based, so a few materials you're not supposed to use it on, for me, I use it on just about everything to preserve and keep things like new.

This is the exact purple and black can I use that is shown at Walmart: Finish Line Instant Shine by Sprayway #9936PDPG. It shows to be out of stock and is a bit high there. It's extremely difficult to find this exact can, other than my local place. Hopefully, you can find it elsewhere. I've been fortunate enough to buy a case of 12, it comes out to $5.00 from a professional detail shop a mile from me.

Amazon uses a different can from same company shown here. So you can get a case for the same price I'm getting it locally, but these are 10 ounce cans compared to mine that is 11 ounce. Not sure what is in this can compared to mine, might be the same ingredients or slightly different. Maybe you can write the company direct, see if there is a difference, and perhaps they can get you a better price from somebody closer to you if you take an interest in it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:47 PM
Gatopescado is online now
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Probably not what your looking for, but that hand-cleaner stuff you can get in the little tub from Harbor Freight wipes right on, turns the trim back to black with no mess and little hassle. Doesn't last forever to be sure, but it is a quick and simple job.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:37 PM
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It looks like you have some promising options here.

I was going to suggest that same option as Inigo Montoya suggests. Regular paint might peel, but there are specialty paints out there that are designed to adhere to vinyl.

I think you're right to be concerned about the longevity of some of the options and whether they'd work as well on the exterior of the Jeep (through rain, salt etc) versus the interior.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:15 PM
Johnny L.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razncain View Post
Johnny L.A., have you tried one of Sprayway's products?
I haven't tried anything yet. I live in Rainland now, so I may have to wait a month or two.

The product sounds promising, but I don't want to commit to a case. You've given me an idea, though. I should check out a detailer and see what they use.
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