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best exterior trim dressing

The Best Exterior Trim Restorer

The best exterior trim dressing.

Does the best exterior trim dressing exist? Regarding exterior trim dressings, the choice on the market is vast. How to pick the best one? Please read this article; it should explain a lot.

exterior trim

Nowadays, you can buy various products for refreshing and protecting trims. All the products will have some different features. Let’s divide them into a few sections: exterior trim dressings, restorers, coatings and dye types of products. All these products will offer slightly different looks, durability, and protection, and their price will vary. Overall, most products for exterior trims bring back the best possible look. However, in the case of damaged trims, they will not fix it.

How to clean exterior trims?

Before you apply any coating, dressing or restorer, prep the surface.
Standard wash is OK for newer plastics, but if your trims are old and very faded, they need more. Use an all-purpose cleaner and brush or magic sponge solution. Clean the surface thoroughly. After cleaning, dry it with a dry microfibre cloth. You can also use IPA diluted 1:1 with water or a panel wipe to get the perfect prep after the previous step.

How do you apply an exterior trim dressing, restorer or coating?

Once you prep the surface correctly and dry it, you can start the application. Use a microfibre cloth or sponge applicator, depending on the product type. For coatings, you can use a cotton pad. Apply enough product that will cover the surface thoroughly. Then, wipe off the excess of the product with a clean and dry microfibre cloth. Always allow the product to cure before the vehicle is exposed to weather conditions. All products have different curing times, so always read the label.

The best exterior trim dressing

Exterior trim dressing. These types of products are usually silicone or water-based. Most of them are easy to apply and cheaper if you compare them to coatings and restorers. We use trim dressings for our entry-level services, for the top-up of trim restorers, and mainly for plastic trims in excellent condition. Of course, a sound product should also bring back the plastic colour. Among many products I have tested, my favourite exterior trim dressing is ADBL Blackouter. Most similar products usually last 2-3 weeks. However, the product from ADBL lasts nearly twice as long, which is excellent for this type of product. Another benefit of this product is that it enhances the look of dull plastics. Also, it provides excellent protection and hydrophobic properties. It is the ideal solution for someone who has plastics in relatively good condition and looks after their car at least every few weeks.

best exterior trim dressing

Exterior Trim restorer

Trim restorers are usually much more durable products than dressings. My favourite one is Brayt R1. This product is resin-based. From my tests, it lasts even up to 1 year. In most cases, we can expect a lasting 6-12 months. However, you must ensure you prep the surface well before application. This product restores faded plastics and leaves excellent protection. Hydrophobic properties aren’t its most vital point, but its price and durability make R1 probably the most price-efficient. Brayt R1 bonds exceptionally well with the surface. So, while applying, avoid leaving it on the paint or other surfaces than trims, as it will be tough to clean when the product dries. Always make sure you wipe off the excess. Overall, it is our number one product for exterior trims.

best exterior trim dressing

Exterior Trim coatings

Exterior trim coatings are probably the best and most durable solution. However, they are the most expensive. They provide long-term protection, great enhancing results, and hydrophobic properties. We use trim exterior coatings for our premium services and new car protection. Our favourite coating so far is Gtechniq C4.

gtechniq c4

Exterior trim restorer dye type

The last type of product is a dye type of restorer. These types of products contain a pigment, for example, black. So they may hide such imperfections much better than any other products. However, even this product will not solve the problem when the trim is badly damaged. When it comes to this type of product, my favourite one is Solution Finish.

Can I restore trims with a heat gun?

Of course, you can! However, be aware that this is not a permanent solution. Initially, it may look good and fresh, but the dullness will return after a few months. Also, it’s not a method that you can repeat many times. When you do the job with this method, you burn the plastic slightly. It will work once or twice, but after, the plastic will get damaged to the point where nothing else will fix it. I recommend the use of restorers every couple of months. This way, you can always return your trims to very good condition.
Here is an excellent example of plastic restored previously by its owner with the heat gun.


Thanks for reading the article. I hope it helps answer all questions regarding exterior trim restorations, dressings, or coatings. If you have any other detailing-related queries, contact me at 0872619541 or via email at hello@ocddetailing.ie