The best black trim restorer to freshen up your car 2023

Faded black trim will age a car and make it look neglected, some trim restorer will make your car look like new.

The faded black grille of a Land Rover Defender

by Ryan Gilmore |

Taking the time to protect a car's paintwork is futile if you don't invest in some black trim restorer. Black plastic trim is incredibly popular on everything from vans to premium SUVs and is particularly susceptible to sun damage. Over time, the sun breaks down the pigments in the trim, turning that black into a sad flat-grey colour that cheapens the look of an otherwise immaculate car.

Black trim restorer works like a car wax, providing a barrier against the sun and enhancing the finish. Often made of a blend of silicones, black pigment (often carbon) and UV protectors, black trim restorer may not be a permanent fix, but will noticeably improve the look of your car for up to a year, or even longer if you introduce ceramic into the mix.

As the sun breaks down the pigments in a car's trim, there is no way of properly restoring this without either properly (and expensively) restoring the trim or buying a whole new trim piece. As such, these coatings are your best bet for improving the overall look of your car, and we've found the best.

The best black trim restorer

The best black trim restorer

Editor's choice
Gtechniq C4 Permanent Trim Restorer
Price: £23.01


Gtechniq C4 is an exceptionally clever way of restoring faded exterior trim and gets our top pick.


  • Long-lasting results
  • Effective restoration


  • Don't spill any, the bottle is tiny

The best black trim restorer on a budget

Autoglym Bumper & Trim Gel

Rrp: £15.40

Price: £12.06


If it's your first time restoring exterior plastics and you're worried you'll do it incorrectly,


  • Excellent value for money
  • Easy to apply


  • Not the longest lasting

The best graphene black trim restorer


Graphene is supposedly the next big thing, taking the crown from ceramic. While the jury is still


  • Long-lasting
  • Really affordable


  • Can be sticky to the touch

The best ceramic black trim restorer


Just as ceramic technology is now making its way into paint protection, it can now be found in


  • Two years of protection
  • Easy to apply


  • Only one pair of gloves provided

The best black trim restorer gel

ValetPRO Black to the Future 250ml

Rrp: £11.50

Price: £11.50


Gel-based protection does have a notable benefit, it's easier to ensure you reach every little


  • Multi-purpose application
  • Excellent water beading


  • You'll need an applicator to apply this

The best black trim restorer: what you need to know

How does black trim restorer work?

Each example works slightly differently but they all follow the same basic concept. Apply some of the product to an applicator, rub it into the desired area and wait for it to dry. Once it has, buff it and remove any excess product with a microfibre towel.

Most examples will use some form of silicone and UV filters to provide a layer of protection, often relying on carbon to darken the plastics through a process of repigmentation.

Can I use black trim restorer on coloured trims?

The majority of these products are specifically formulated for black trim pieces which may give you a poor finish if you apply it to painted trim pieces. If the coloured trim is looking tired then it's probably time to look at polishing it.

What about chrome and other bare metal surfaces?

Again, using a black trim restorer on chrome or other metal trim will more than likely result in a dreadful finish. Look at getting some proper metal polish if you want shiny metalwork.

Can I use peanut butter as a black trim restorer?

An old wife's tale sadly, peanut butter (or oil) will provide a short-term darkening of a car's trim, but it won't restore the trim and it certainly won't provide any UV protection. We say, save the peanut butter for your stomach.

Ryan Gilmore is the Deputy Autos and Tool Editor for CAR and Parkers, specialising in car cleaning and hand tools. He also contributes to What's The Best.

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