How to restore old plastic and rubber trim, DIY detailing

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How to bring back a nice clean look to sun faded or dry rotted trim.

Stuff to buy:
100% cotton terry cloth detailing towels.
1500 grit wet or dry sand paper
Meguire's Tech Protect
Meguire's PlastX or similar plastic polisher

Sun faded /dry rotted door trim:

1500 grit sand paper and a bucket of warm soapy water. Clean the trim with the soapy water, then sand it out, being careful not to hit the paint. Sand with a heavy hand at first to remove a good layer of the old plastic / rubber. Keep the paper clean with lots of soapy water, you want to use it as a lubricant and cleaner while sanding. When it looks good and clean and the rotten layer is gone (will have a very dull finish when dry, this is OK) switch to a very light pressure to buff it out. Almost no pressure at all, more or less getting a little bit of a polish going.



After it is all sanded out and you've "polished" it lightly with the sand paper, wash it in warm soapy water, rinse and wipe it completely dry. You should be looking at a nice clean flat black surface. This is where you bring out the plastic polish on a 100% cotton terry cloth towel. Never use synthetic towels while detailing a car. Use plenty of polish, follow the directions, and polish the trim out. It works like a rubbing compound and polishes it right up to a low /high gloss. Now you need to clean it one more time and apply meguire's tech protect. I recommend this stuff over any other trim cleaner/conditioner. Wipe it on pretty heavy, work it into the trim with your bare hand and let it soak in for a couple of minutes, then with another dry cloth, wipe off all the excess and buff it out. You are now looking at a brand spanking new looking piece of trim that will look good for years to come. This works on all plastic and rubber trim, mirrors, etc. You can even remove light scrapes and scratches with this method.


You can also use it on the body skirts, but they are textured, so you want to use incredibly light pressure and sand as sparingly and evenly as possible.

Final step: Enjoy your new trim!


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ehh... yeah like you said with the textured parts... all the stuff i need to do is textured.. .i was thinking i could just sand it flat and paint but idk. i'll try this and if it doesn't give me the right results i'll try paint.. btw i took my pieces off to make it a bit easier
Don't do either. If nothing else, go buy a bottle of the NXT tech protect, rub it in really well, and wipe if off / buff it out. It works miracles on old trim. Without removing the damaged layer, you'll have to re-apply it about once a month, but it will look 100x better than paint. And it can't chip off like paint would.
I painted the OEM side skirts, if you want to calll them that, with plastic spray paint. Its been about 4 months and it still looks the same as when I painted it.
well i went ahead and sanded one part just a little, to help the paint stick, and cleaned up and painted it with Duplicolor Auto Spray, and it turned out super. I reinstalled it within minutes of it being dry and it didnt chip or smudge at all...

good write up tho man! sorry i couldnt use your advice dude

if i put epoxy resin (just a thin layer over the part would that fuck up the paint? i'm thinking of a good way to keep it protected, and i'm pretty sure that would work. idk man maybe i could be stumbling upon something good here...