Informational Guide

How To Permanently Restore Black Plastic Trim

Learn how to permanently restore black plastic trim on both the interior & exterior with these steps.

If the black trim is starting to fade on your vehicle, it’s time to fix it. You can learn how to permanently restore black plastic trim with just a few easy steps. In this guide, we will talk about why this part fades and teach you how to restore plastic trim.

Before you can learn how to restore car plastic trim, you want to know why it is so important. Most trim is constructed from some form of plastic, such as polypropylene, polyurethane, and PVC. This is unlike classic cars that have chrome trim.

Some trim is meant just to look good, while other types are used for protection, such as around the wheels or on off-road vehicles. Either way, it’s important to restore black plastic car trim to keep it looking its best.

Why Does Car Trim Fade Over Time?

Quality of plastic trim

Your low-budget car is going to have cheaper materials than a luxury model. Because of this, you might need to restore black trim on a car that was cheap more often than you would need to know how to restore plastic trim on a truck that costs far more.

Age of vehicle

Additionally, the older your vehicle becomes, the more often you will need to know how to restore faded black plastic trim. If your car just rolled off the dealership lot, everything should still look brand new for a while.

UV radiation

If you park your car in the sunshine, you are going to need to know how to renew black trim on car more frequently than the person parking in a garage or under cover. UV rays are notorious for fading automotive trim.  

Road contaminants

If you regularly drive across gravel roads or you head off-road, you will likely have a dirtier vehicle. Not only will you need to clean the car more often, but you also need to know how to make your car trim black again.

How To Permanently Restore Black Plastic Trim

Choosing the Right Trim Restorer: What to Look For

What is the best product to restore black plastic trim? Consider these factors as you look for the best car trim restorer.

  • Formulation 
    If you want to know how to restore plastic chrome trim, you need a product that works with your car material.
  • Durability 
    Evaluate how long the product will last before needing to be reapplied.
  • Protection Level  
    The best products also offer water-resistant properties and protect from UV rays.
  • User Friendly  
    You don’t want to purchase a product that’s hard to use. Instead, choose a formula that offers a convenient application, maybe with a spray bottle.
  • Eco Friendly  
    You want a non-toxic product that won’t hurt you or the environment.
  • Versatility 
    If you also want to know how to restore car interior plastic trim, consider choosing a product that will work on the interior and exterior of your vehicle

How to Permanently Restore Black Plastic Trim on the Car Exterior

While you are investing time learning how to detail a car, consider figuring out how to blacken car trim at the same time. The steps are simple and only require a few supplies.

  • Car wash/bucket
  • Clean microfiber cloths
  • Car trim restorer product

If you truly want to know how to permanently restore black plastic trim, your only option is to repaint the affected parts. However, even after this expensive job, you will still end up with faded parts after a few more years of driving.

If you want to learn how to restore grey plastic trim or how to restore plastic chrome trim, there are other options that are long-lasting without spending a lot of money.

  1. 1
    Wash your vehicle. Do this in a shaded area that isn’t affected by the sunlight.
  2. 2
    Apply the product you’ve chosen to the affected area. We recommend following the directions on the package, as different products use varying methods.
  3. 3
    Make a note of when you restored the trim and set a time to perform touch-ups regularly.

If you are interested in a method that doesn’t involve store-bought options, consider using heat instead. Here’s a helpful video that explains the process.

How To Restore Faded Car Interior Plastic & Trims

What is trim on a car? Many people think this accent is only on the exterior, but the interior of your vehicle also features plenty of trim. Here are some steps to keep it looking its best.

  • Wipe off any debris and dust regularly. You can do this more often than the dedicated detailing times. It only takes a few minutes to wipe off the dirt.
  • Use a dedicated interior cleaning product to restore the original sheen.
  • Repeat the steps every time you detail your car.

Taking Care of Your Car’s Trim: Maintenance Tips

Ideally, you will park your vehicle in a shaded area to avoid fading of the interior and exterior trim. If you get wax on the trim during your detailing, it’s important that you learn how to remove car wax from plastic trim.

It’s harder to figure out how to get dried wax off plastic trim than to take care of it while it is fresh. You also want to know how to clean rubber trim around the car windows with a simple microfiber cloth.

How To Restore Plastic Trim

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can WD40 restore plastic car trim?

You can use WD40 to polish the plastic car trim, but make sure it stays off the automotive paint where it can cause damage. It can also be used to learn how to remove car polish from black plastic trim.

Can you use cooking oil to restore plastic trim?

We’ve heard of people using all kinds of substances when trying to figure out how to restore scratched plastic car trim. However, you only want to use products that are meant for this, or you could cause further damage.

What is the trim around a car window called?

Simply enough, this trim is referred to as the window trim. It’s important to clean the weather-stripping often to ensure that dirt and debris don’t scratch the interior.

Can you spray paint car trim?

You can use spray paint for plastic bumpers and trim pieces. Just take time to ensure it doesn’t get on your automotive paint, or you will be left trying to figure out how to get spray paint off your car.

Does Vaseline restore plastic?

Even though many people on the internet will tell you to use Vaseline, you should avoid this practice. Vaseline is petroleum jelly, which can degrade the plastic over time.


We have looked at the car trim meaning and shown you how to restore it. What you do from here is up to you. With a little work, you can restore the exterior trim of your car and have it looking like new once again.