Best Trim Restorer: Revive Your Car’s Faded Black Trim
Bring out the black color in your plastic and rubber trim with these trim restorers
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
Your vehicle's trim is prone to premature discoloration due to UV rays, harsh cleaning detergents, grime, and oxidation. Black trim may turn gray after frequent exposure to such conditions. Fortunately, it’s possible to restore the faded trim on your car with a plastic restorer. Read our guide for a detailed rundown of some of the best plastic restorer products on the market that will restore the original color of your trim.
A high-end trim restorer and protectant that shines and darkens faded trims on cars and motorcycles.
- It prevents future discoloration and premature aging.
- Leaves a long-lasting shine.
- Can last for 12 months.
- Offers advanced protection against rain, salt, and dirt.
- Doesn’t leave a streak residue.
- Easy and quick application.
- Doesn’t include fast dry action.
- Can be messy.
- Can be washed away by a heavy downpour.
- Accumulates dirt and dust.
A sprayable, fast-dry, and non-greasy formula that restores the original color on trims, tires, and dashboard surfaces.
- Great plastic reconditioner.
- Protects against fading.
- Includes a convenient spray applicator.
- Includes sun blockers for UV protection.
- Lasts for weeks.
- Will not attract dirt or dust.
- Has a strong smell.
- Washes off in heavy rain.
- Forms streaks after rain and white discoloration on a dark trim.
An original formula that cleans, protects, and restores the original black color on trim and plastic.
- Removes dirt on the surface film.
- Can be used in the car’s interior and exterior.
- Includes anti-UV ingredients.
- Superior dark shiny finish.
- Can be used on almost all surfaces.
- Forms streaks under rainwater.
- Feels greasy to touch.
- Needs constant reapplication.
- Applicator pads sold separately.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of a Trim Restorer
- Improve the look of your vehicle. Trim and plastic restorers deepen the dark color on the bumper and other plastic surfaces. It makes your car look as good as new and offers long-lasting results. The products also add a lustrous finish to the black parts that absorb UV rays to prevent further aging of your vehicle.
- Multifunctional. You can use plastic restoration products on all the plastic parts of your vehicle's interior and exterior, including rubber parts like the tires and window seals. The restoration formula is best for restoring the original color of leather seats, plastic bumpers, and plastic door handles.
- Safe and environmentally-friendly. Most plastic restorers won’t damage your trim even if you use too much of the product. Also, manufacturers are becoming more sensitive to the effects their products have on the environment, and that’s why most of the plastic renewal products on the market are eco-friendly and safe for human contact.
Chemical Guys is an American-based company that was founded in 1968. It manufactures a wide range of automotive detailing products that are sold in over 50 countries worldwide. This car detailer sells a wide range of products, including car shampoos, pre-wax cleaners, wax, sealants, leather protectors, polish pads, polish machines, air fresheners, and trim restorers. One of its cheapest car exterior plastic restorers is the Chemical Guys Sprayable Dressing.
TriNova specializes in automotive care products designed to treat aluminum, wood, granite, leather, and vinyl. Its products are eco-friendly, and some of them include waxes, tire shine sprays, car wash concentrates, plastic restorers, and a variety of interior detailing products. One of its best-selling plastic rejuvenators and vinyl restorers for cars is theTriNova Plastic & Trim Restorer.
Mothers is an American car care detailer headquartered in California. The company produces over 70 marine and automotive care products, including high-quality sealants, paints, car waxes, shampoos, brushes, and automotive tools. It has been in the car care industry since 1995, and one of its best black trim restorers is the Mothers Trim & Plastic Restorer.
Forever Black is a new entrant in the car care industry and has taken the industry by storm with its specialized dyes that are more durable than most standard dyes. The company is Northern California-based, and its products are used in showrooms all across America. One of its best black bumper restorers is the Forever Black Bumper & Trim Formula.
Trim Restorer Pricing
- Under $15: Most trim restorers are affordable. Selecting a cheap product doesn't mean that you are sacrificing quality. However, cheaper products are packed in smaller tubes and bottles. You may have to buy them as a set to get the job done.
- Over $15: Trim restorers within this price range come in bigger bottles that could be up to a gallon in size. You will also find sets of two or more restorers. Most of these products come with a spray applicator for easy application.
Be sure to check that the trim restorer is compatible with the components of your car. Some formulations are too harsh for certain plastics and may corrode the material. The best plastic restorer products are silicone-free and form a long-lasting glossy finish. Silicon-based restorers have a glossier finish, but aren’t long lasting. The manufacturer often indicates the parts of your vehicle that the restorer is compatible with.
In this case, durability refers to how long the restorer stays on the plastic before discoloration reoccurs. Choose a product that works for a month before you have to reapply a fresh coat. Durable restorers are more economical and convenient, since you don't have to think of auto detailing your car every couple of weeks.
On top of restoring the color of plastics, the restorer should offer additional protection that prevents future discoloration. Get a product that's waterproof, dirt-resistant, and above all, offers UV protection, since UV rays are the main cause of discoloration.
- User-Friendly: Get a trim restorer that's mild on the skin. The best products also have a low viscosity for fast and easy application. Choose an exterior trim restorer that comes with a spray applicator for easy application.
- Eco-Friendly: Choose a non-toxic product that doesn't contain any harmful chemicals that can cause a significant effect on the environment. Generally, eco-friendly detailing products don't have an unpleasant smell.
- Versatile: Not all plastic restorers are designed to be used on all plastic surfaces. You should check the manufacturer’s description to determine where you can use the product. The best trim and plastic restorer can be used on tires, bumpers, leather seats, rubber seals, engine components, and other plastic parts of your vehicle.
Best Trim Restorer Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- After using a trim restorer, make the trim sparkle and hide scratches with some of the best polishes, sealants, and waxes. They will help bounce off UV rays and prevent scratches to keep your trim looking new for longer periods of time.
- If the trim restoration product fails, try using a UV-protected dye to prevent future fading from occurring. Select a black permanent dye for longer lasting color, and use masking tape to seal other parts of your car from the dye.
- Besides car detailing, you can restore the faded black plastic by using a heat gun to bring out the oils that enhance the color. You can also use oily peanut butter to restore black plastic or paint over the defective plastic.
Q. Will the trim restorer remove the wax coating off my car?
A: It depends on how you apply the restorer. Trim restorers work by stripping off whatever is coating the exterior trim surface and replacing it with a protective layer that prevents fading, water, and dust. If you use an applicator pad to apply the chemical on the trim, it will remove the wax. However, it won’t remove the wax coat if it accidentally spills on parts of your car that are wax-coated as long as you don’t rub it in.
Q. How long do trim restorers last once they’re applied?
A: Exterior trim restorers are typically reapplied after a few weeks or months depending on the quality of the restorer. It also depends on the level of damage of your exterior trim, how much of the product you use, and your driving conditions. For example, if your car is old and you drive on rugged terrain under harsh weather conditions, then the trim restorer may only last for a week. It will last longer if you don’t frequently expose your car to heavy rain and harsh sunlight.
Q. How do I keep my trim from fading?
A: Assuming that you have a new car or have just restored your exterior trim’s color, you can prevent the trim from fading by keeping your vehicle parked away from direct sunlight. Hose down your vehicle to remove dust, and if you have to, give it a hard wash to remove tough stains using a mild detergent and a soft scrubber.
Q. What parts of my vehicle make up the trim?
A: The car trim is any black material on your car that may fade when exposed to harsh environmental conditions. This includes the door handles, roof rack, window rubber gaskets, mud flaps, fender flares, bumper, tires, side mirror cover, and lower rocker panel trim pieces. It also includes the plastic and rubber parts in your vehicle’s interior.
Our top pick is the TriNova Plastic & Trim Restorer. It's currently one of the most popular trims and plastic restorers that shields against UV rays, darkens the surface, and can offer up to one year of protection.
Our value pick is theChemical Guys Sprayable Dressing. It’s one of the cheapest trim restorers that will return your black trim to its original state.