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Restore Faded Trim w/ Heatgun

fazool » The bumpers and some of the side trim pieces are made of this durable plastic. Over time the plastic breaks down on the surface. I think its a combination of UV light, temperature, age and contaminants.

So, the bumpers get this hazy white filmy look to them, on the surface.

There are tons of ideas on how to fix this – mostly polishes or dyes. They work like shoe polish and claim to soak in to truly color the plastic. They really don’t work all that well, however and some of them wash off or wear off looking worse than when you started.

Plastic bumper paint is the best way to go but it would require total removal of parts.

Someone came up with the heat gun idea and there have been several threads about it. Basically you use a heat gun to heat the plastic bumper and, essentially, slightly re-melting just the most outer surface of the plastic.

You have to be really careful to not damage your car’s paint (rig up some type of shield) and you don’t really want to MELT anything you just want to heat it up slightly.

Restore Faded Trim with this awesome fix!

Got a new heat gun for a project around the house and had some time to try it on the bumpers on my 850 wagon.





Not bad. took about 20 minutes total. some suggestion would be to wait for warmer less windy weather. It was high 50’s here in Ohio. I did the front as well. Took out some spots and evened out some worn areas. I will hit it again when it warms up. Well worth the 31 dollars for the heat gun. Also used it to take some left over sealer after pulling the side moulding off of my Audi 5000 Turbo Quattro. Get ready to send the old girl to the paint shop.


The third photo shows the change close up. It’s not a perfect effect but its a huge improvement over very weather-beaten and faded 12 year old plastic trim. The fourth photo shows what it looks like from a normal viewing distance.

I did the side panels and the front and rear bumper trim. I didn’t do the lower trim and I stayed away from the side marker lenses.

That whole job took me about 45 minutes.

Restore Faded Trim with Heatgun

Restore faded trim with heat gun

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