Restoring Faded Trim & Plastic - Adam's Polishes

by Summit Mann on July 21, 2022

Whether we like it or not, plastic is becoming more and more prominent with each turn of the year in the automotive industry. Fenders, window cowling on hoods, bumper guards, you name it— It’s there and fading fast! The plastic is a cost effective way to offer customers a finished product without the hefty price tag of color matched fenders or metal components. 

What’s a plastic fenders worst nightmare:

The Sun! Plastics get faded and oxidized over time due to the sun burning its way through the surface and draining out the pigment. Weather and the elements continue to wash out the surfaces and age your vehicle in dog years without your say so! Painted surfaces, windows, and all other surfaces have some form of protection or sealant against harmful UV rays, but plastic always seems to get the short end of the stick. 

Are all plastics the same? 

With 7 different main types of plastic compositions, those 7 separate out into thousands of variations in creating plastic components. In the automotive industry, we’re adding a mold release agent when the plastic fenders, bumpers, trim, or exterior pieces are formed. The releasing process can create a glaze on plastics, making their finish appear satin and textured, or gloss and wet in appearance. With that being said, it’s fair to say that not all plastics are created equal! 

Even though plastics can behave dramatically different over time, cleaning and prepping your surfaces have a similar regiment. Using caustic cleaners, or non-pH neutral cleaners can risk staining your surfaces and removing pigment from the finished surface. For instance, if you use Iron Remover on your painted surfaces and it runs down onto your trim and plastic— that plastic that has a metallic flake in it begins to activate with the chemical thinking it’s in iron deposit… ultimately staining your trim! 

To keep it simple, our Tire and Rubber Cleaner effectively removes oxidation, contamination, and buildup from your plastic and leaves it looking dark and refreshed just after cleaning alone. As most cleaners are designed to remove any and everything, our Tire & Rubber outperforms most in its category as it carefully targets silicones and common emulsions found in tire, trim, and rubber dressings! Once cleaned thoroughly, your trim is ready for the final wipe with some Surface Prep to restore it back to brand new. 

How can I regularly maintain my plastic for routine washes? 

During your normal wash cycle, using Adam’s Eco All Purpose Cleaner or Adam’s Tire & Rubber Cleaner with a soft bristle brush can help remove any films or contaminants your normal wash may not rinse off entirely. Given that the plastic is a porous surface, using a brush helps target those pores and remove any grime or dirt the wash pad may pick up during the vehicle care process. 

If you do not have a brush, always be sure to wash your plastics last to reduce the risk of picking up any unwanted debris in your wash pad and scratching your finish! After the wash cycle, help your unfaded, or temporarily dress your faded trim, with Adam’s VRT for a clean, factory-like appearance. Please note that for seriously faded trim, this is not your solution but rather a cost effective option for temporary satisfaction! 

How can I restore my faded black trim? 

For years, you could lather your plastics in a shiny/greasy product packed with silicone that really just sped up the fading process behind the scenes. But now you can rest assured that there is a much better, safer, and cost effective option right at your fingertips. Introducing Adam’s Black Trim Restorer, a solvent-based product that restores the pigment back into the plastic! This product not only penetrates the plastic and puts the color back where it belongs, but it also creates a UV blocker for months on end once its fully dried! With the use of our kit, you can thoroughly clean the plastic, then prep the surface with our Coating Prep to removes any films left behind from cleaning, then a silk applicator pad for easy installation. 

How long does Black Trim Restorer last on its own? 

Black Trim Restorer is an MVP in our line for effectively restoring pigment back to your black plastic surfaces. The 2% Black Dye formulation is solvent-based, meaning that your plastics think they’re being cleaned, but in reality they are being restored and re-dyed. 

In terms of longevity, Black Trim Restorer can last up to 6 months on your plastic without any boosting. It is recommended to seal in the results with our Ceramic Trim Coating, or our Ceramic Trim/Headlight Wipe to extend the life by 2 years. 

What surfaces can I use Ceramic Spray Coating on? 

Adam’s Ceramic Spray Coating provides protection to an extreme range of areas on your vehicle. Paint, Wheels, Glass, Headlights, Plastic trim, Bed liners, Tonneau covers, Canvas tops, Floor mats, Unfinished metal— All can be protected with Ceramic Spray Coating. We strongly recommend that you apply the product panel by panel to ensure thorough application and as much control of overspray as possible.

How can I prevent my restored/ new trim from fading in the future? 

With advances in modern technology, ceramics are quickly becoming the king of the block. Older waxes and dressings can leave a white, chalky build up if improperly used, but ceramics apply a 9H coating to plastic, vinyl, trims, or non-painted bumpers. With Adam’s Ceramic Trim Coating, you’re pressing pause on the beautiful state of your plastics while the rest of the car plays on. This coating will last a minimum of 2 years and makes the surface extremely hydrophobic! The good part about the above suggestions is they work extremely well together, meaning that you can restore your black trim THEN ceramic coat it! Not only are you hitting pause now, but you hit rewind to the day you drove home your prized possession. 


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