Faded Grey Trim? Not a problem, Heat Gun it! - Civinfo
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 31st July 2012, 17:55 Thread Starter
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Faded Grey Trim? Not a problem, Heat Gun it!

Hey All.

Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but I'm of the thinking it's a cleaning topic.

Like many others on here my beloved Tangerine Civic has suffered at the hands of the dreaded grey trim quickly turning from a nice charcoal colour, to one which looks tired and horrible and something you wouldn't associate with a 4 year old car!
So in my pursuit for a fix, finding such notables as GTechniq C4 and similar products, I came across a YouTube video showing the use of a heat gun to return the lustre to tired and faded trim.
Not having a heat gun of my own, when my mate turned up yesterday with one (for an entirely different job I will add) I just had to give it a go, so with a fresh pair of under pants I set about trying a small area first............ I soon did the rest!!!

Basically it seems are all you are doing is lightly melting the top surface of the plastic and allowing the oils etc to rise to the top once more.
I am sure there is a fine line between going too far with the heat, so take it easy if you decide to give it a go. You will start to see the difference almost straight away and then get to know exactly how far you can go to obtain the as new finish.
You will see for the pictures I used a piece of card board to act as a heat shield from the cars paint work, which is the worrying part, but keep the heat gun moving and not stationary in one spot for too long and you'll be fine.

I'll let the pictures do the talking, but all I can say is if you've been avoiding staining as I have been and colour coding due to liking the grey trim contrast against the orange (or other colour), then this trick may just be for you. The textured finish is still there, so it's like you've just brought the car.

Picture 004 shows a half & half shot of the wheel arch trim, to give you an idea of the change taking place.

I'll see if I can find the YouTube video and post it. Got it


Ian
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Last edited by coolice; 31st July 2012 at 18:03.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 31st July 2012, 19:40
 
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Done this on a section of my trim that no dressing would recover. It's improved it and looks half decent now after applying a dressing.

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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 31st July 2012, 19:47
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Mmm...very risky IMO
I would go the Gtechnik route rather than that
But fair play..It does look like it works
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 31st July 2012, 19:49
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I don't think I'd like to take a chance with the risk of bubbling the paint.
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 31st July 2012, 19:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanner69 View Post
I don't think I'd like to take a chance with the risk of bubbling the paint.
+1
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 1st August 2012, 07:12
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i would just it color coded when this happens
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 1st August 2012, 07:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanner69 View Post
I don't think I'd like to take a chance with the risk of bubbling the paint.
I thought that
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 1st August 2012, 08:25
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Just remember that this can only be done a certain amountof times. The heat gun draws the oils contained in the plastic to the surface, at somepoint there will be no oils left and ends up looking worse than when you started.

I would prefer to go for GTechniq C4 (Exterior Coatings // G|Techniq)
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 6th August 2012, 20:32 Thread Starter
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Hey All.

I thought about colour coding, but I'm one of the few which likes the grey trim against the orange, so steering clear of it for now.
In time if the fading isn't fixable then it's the option I will take.

Yes, heat against the paint work is a worry, hence the card board shield. You do have to monitor the surrounding paint work temperature, but in all honesty you're not keeping the gun in one place long enough to heat the paint. When we did touch the panels to feel for any heat buildup, it was only slightly warm if that, much cooler for instance than when we had the heat wave recently.

C4 is good but expensive, found this which is much cheaper;

Back For Good Gloss Faded Plastic Restorer 60ml

Available in matt or gloss finish and is on my shopping list.

Ian
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 6th August 2012, 20:49
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But is it as good?
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 7th August 2012, 06:56
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I wouldnt buy back for good again. Dries instantly and its PITA to apply.
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 7th August 2012, 17:17 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo51 View Post
But is it as good?
Hey.

Good question, not seen it in this forum for instance and not specifically seen it talked about in others. Although I've not gone looking for write ups in all honesty either.

So far am happy with heat gun trick, as mentioned I don't think it will be useable for ever, but in the interim it works great.

Ian
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 7th August 2012, 17:41
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Fair enough
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 2nd July 2015, 15:29
 
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Trim restore - like new, without plasticare or products?!

Hi All,

Apologies if this is old news but have searched and couldn't find any mention of this in the forums... it's a tip I found on the VW T5 forum.

I got myself an 05 sport diesel a couple of weeks ago for commuting. Trim looked awful so I ran a heat gun over it. Haven't posted before, hopefully this link works....





I haven't researched what process occurs at the surface of the material but it works a treat! I guess it's something like... surface layer has UV damage and so is different composition from the healthy substrate below it... heat gun melts the surface... something (maybe surface tension, or gradient in material composition) causes the damaged layer to be absorbed back into the substrate... trim looks nice again!

I did this on my T5 camper last year and it still looks good as new. Obviously it will degrade again over time but can be refreshed easily.

I suspect from pics on here that plasticare gives a darker finish than the original trim colour. You may want that on a black car for the colour coded look, but owners of other colours, (e.g. silver like mine) may prefer just restoring the original trim colour. Even if you still want to Plasticare it, this may be a good pre-plasticare treatment for a better overall finish?

Anyways, hopfully this is helpful for someone!

Gordy

P.S. Maybe stating the obvious but I would be wary of using this method if you have already applied any other paint on type treatment!

I'll try and stick a video up of the process.
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 2nd July 2015, 15:40
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post #16 of 48 (permalink) Old 8th July 2015, 20:22
 
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Thanks for moving that Shaun, dont know how I missed the OP!

On blistered paint... done three vehicles now - haven't had a problem so far, just keep the gun moving and angled away from the paint. Use a heat shield if still worried.

On the oil migrating to the surface comment, I'm not a polymers expert but think the trim is a thermoplastic with solid fillers to improve mechanical properties, possibly pigment for colour. I dont think there's any free oil floating around in there which would be depleted by heating so sceptical about that one. I do work with a polymers guy though, so will ask him! Even if it were true, how long do plastics take to fade? 2/3 years? So you could be looking at doing it.... how many times over your ownership of the car?!

I'd highly recommend the approach for the cheapest like-new refresh of trim possible!

Gordy
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post #17 of 48 (permalink) Old 8th July 2015, 21:53 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianto View Post
Thanks for moving that Shaun, dont know how I missed the OP!

On blistered paint... done three vehicles now - haven't had a problem so far, just keep the gun moving and angled away from the paint. Use a heat shield if still worried.

On the oil migrating to the surface comment, I'm not a polymers expert but think the trim is a thermoplastic with solid fillers to improve mechanical properties, possibly pigment for colour. I dont think there's any free oil floating around in there which would be depleted by heating so sceptical about that one. I do work with a polymers guy though, so will ask him! Even if it were true, how long do plastics take to fade? 2/3 years? So you could be looking at doing it.... how many times over your ownership of the car?!

I'd highly recommend the approach for the cheapest like-new refresh of trim possible!

Gordy
Evening Mate.

It is a good tip for the short term, but I've found it rubbish at lasting sadly
Within a few weeks my trim is back to having the white patches all over it again, with some areas worse than others.

Recently I tried a different product which has worked for longer, but I feel could now do with another coat applying.

My main problem was getting the trims clean to start with and I tried all sorts of things, scouring brush (lightly), polish, IPA, even a little thinners in places, all to no avail. But then I had an idea to try a magic sponge:

10x LARGE 9x6x3cm THICK MAGIC SPONGE ERASER BLOCK DIRT STAIN REMOVAL UK | eBay

Now these clean up the trim nicely, removing the white blotches and returning the trim to a nice grey finish. I didn't leave mine after this clean up, so cannot say how long it would have lasted just following a good scrub.
Once I'd cleaned the trim I applied Solution Finish Black Trim Restorer;

Solution Finish Black Trim Restorer 30ml 1oz | eBay

Now this seems to work quite well, working into the plastic and bringing back a good sheen.
I'd like to try C4 Trim Restorer as well, but it's pretty expensive, so I'd need reassurance it worked well to commit to buying it.

Ian
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post #18 of 48 (permalink) Old 19th July 2015, 17:57
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Just done the heat gun trick on my Alabaster Silver 06 sport - trim was nearly white. Has worked well but I reckon I'll give it a week then wash and treat with GTechnic C4 or the Car Plan Black wax that seems to be getting good reviews...
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post #19 of 48 (permalink) Old 20th July 2015, 13:08 Thread Starter
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Just done the heat gun trick on my Alabaster Silver 06 sport - trim was nearly white. Has worked well but I reckon I'll give it a week then wash and treat with GTechnic C4 or the Car Plan Black wax that seems to be getting good reviews...
Hey Buddy.

Keep us posted on the next solution you sue and it's durability, as mines starting to go white again in places following the Solution Black. May not have cleaned it quite well enough in places, but it's still annoying.

Ian
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post #20 of 48 (permalink) Old 23rd September 2015, 00:33
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Sorry to dig up an old thread however I have Car Plan Black Trim wax and some vouchers from work that would mean a heat gun for nothing. I'm not sure what to do and would appreciate any suggestions. Had thought about getting a heat gun, then using the trim wax after but maybe overkill?
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