How To Restore Faded Plastic On Your Car

Keeping your car in pristine condition can be challenging at times, especially in winter and summer where extreme temperatures, harsh … Continued

Keeping your car in pristine condition can be challenging at times, especially in winter and summer where extreme temperatures, harsh winds and rain can take their toll on the body of any vehicle. Constant exposure to dust and other unforgiving elements can cause car trims and bumpers to fade over time. Restoring these faded parts is possible  if you have the right tools and products at your disposal. The following guide will show you how to successfully restore faded plastic  with the help of everyday items found in your garage.

Hand with microfiber cloth cleaning car

Use a Plastic Restorer

There are a few things that need to be crossed off your list before you begin the restoration process. Your car needs to be washed using car wash soap and water in order  to get rid of dirt and other impurities that can get in the way of your upcoming restoration task. You will also need a microfiber cloth and masking tape in addition to your go-to plastic restorer product.   Cleaning the rims allows the restorer to bond onto the plastic and last as long as possible.

Use the masking tape to form a border between the discolored trim and the paint surrounding it. Plastic restorers usually have a gel or cream consistency that can end up on windows and doors if you are not careful. Make sure that you read the instructions written on the bottle before you proceed. Silicone free restorers are your best friend due to the long lasting effect they have on plastic, especially if you have severely discolored trims on your hands.

Put on a pair of protective gloves to avoid staining your hands and make sure to pair the restorer with a non-abrasive cloth. Add a small amount to the cloth and apply it directly to the trim. A little bit goes a long way but do not hesitate to add more product when needed. You can use as many coats as you like for an even finish. The goal here is to preserve your trims and make them look as good as new. You can easily wipe off any excess product using a microfiber towel. This cloth gives you a better finish and allows you to restore your bumper quickly and without leaving any residue behind.

Remove the masking tape once you finish working on the trim and double check that the paintwork is free from any stains. Failing to wipe off this product can leave you with light smudges that can look messy on a well maintained car. Be mindful when working around the edges during the restoration process.

Related Post: Best Plastic Restorers

Spray Paint the Trims

Painting the trims is another DIY solution that gives trims an instant polished look. Washing the trims is a must in order to remove loose dirt and help the paint adhere to the surface as smoothly as possible. Make sure that the trims are dry before you begin sanding and painting the area. You can use a microfiber towel to remove any excess moisture on your faded bumper or car handle.

The next step involves sanding the trim using a 220 grit sanding paper. This will give you a smooth foundation to work with. Apply firm pressure while sanding the plastic and make sure that you pay attention to the areas that are severely discolored. Use a dry bush to remove excess dust before you begin priming the trims.

Prep and protect the surface you are about to paint in one go using a good quality primer. The primer creates a smooth, even look that will help your paint job look more professional. Coat the trim more than once in order to achieve full coverage. Make sure that you give the primer enough time to dry out in between sprays. Drying time can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Make sure that you perform this task in a warm and clean garage to facilitate the drying process. You can use a hair dryer to save more time.

Spray the faded trim with your choice of black paint and let it dry. Remember to keep a distance of around 18 inches while spray painting the plastic. You may need anywhere from three to eight coats to cover the entire surface of your bumper or faded trim. Make sure that you leave enough time between each applied coat. Reading the instructions will help you figure out the recommended drying time for your preferred brand of paint.

Use a clear primer to preserve the condition of the painted trim. This primer is the first line of defense against  dirt and damage that can slowly strip away the paint and leave the trims looking old and faded. This protective layer is transparent and allows you to show off your successful DIY project.

Use a Heat Gun

Heat guns are power tools that are often used in home improvement projects. They provide hot air that is used to strip paint, get rid of  old wallpaper and remove old stickers and labels from walls. They are incredibly versatile and can come in handy in the absence of plastic restorers and spray paint. If your bumper is in desperate need of restoration and you happen to have this tool in your repertoire, then you can go ahead and give it a try.

Proceed with caution and make sure to use the heat gun on  a small section of the bumper first in order to test it out. Keep the gun at a distance of three or four inches from the plastic and start on the downside before moving upwards. The heat will draw out the oils and pigment to the surface. This can work with any weathered piece of trim but the trick here is to restore it without melting the plastic. This is achieved by using small circular motions and not focusing on one spot for too long.

Regular trim maintenance will help keep your trims and bumper in tip-top shape and this can improve the overall look of your vehicle.

Sources:

  1. How to Clean Plastic Car Parts – YourMechanic Advice
  2. 4 Auto Painting Tips For Painting Plastic Car Parts – AutoTrainingCentre