How do you paint plastic car trim effectively?

I want to paint the plastic trim on my car, as it's starting to peel. What's the best way to do it?

Eric Schad · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
If you want to make your plastic trim look like new, a paint job is certainly an effective way. And the good news is that you can definitely do it on your own!
Before you start,
remove any wax from the plastic trim
. Then, follow these steps:
  • Remove the plastic trim from your car, if possible.
  • If this isn’t possible, tape around the trim so you don’t get paint on the body of the car.
  • Clean the trim with hot, soapy water.
  • Let it dry.
  • Use a spray can of adhesion promoter so the paint sticks.
  • Spray paint the trim the color you choose.
  • Let it dry for 10 minutes and reapply.
  • Let it dry for an hour and apply a clear coat (if desired).
  • Let it dry for 24 hours and reattach the trim to your vehicle.
If your trim was damaged in an accident, you may be able to bypass all of this if you have collision insurance. However, the deductible must be less than the cost of a professionally done job to make it worth filing a claim.
If you don’t have comprehensive, now is a great time to add it. Use the
app to compare quotes for comprehensive insurance and set your worries to the wind.
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