How to Paint Black Rubber Door Trim on a Car

Written by abaigeal quinn
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Black rubber door trim should be cleaned regularly, along with the other parts of your vehicle, but is often overlooked when detailing your car. This can lead to the trim becoming oxidised and hard, which could soon lead to cracks and tearing. You can restore the colour and lustre to your door trim with some speciality dyes, but it is just as important to keep the trim supple and clean to avoid splits. Clean and condition the rubber trim before attempting to dye it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Rubber trim spray cleanser
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Black trim dye
  • Damp cloth
  • Small sponge (optional)

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  1. 1

    Open the car door to access the trim. Clean the area you plan to paint well with a spray cleanser and conditioner designed to remove silicone dressings and clean rubber trim and moulding. Get into all the nooks and crannies of the trim to remove embedded dirt.

  2. 2

    Purchase a bottle of black trim dye, such as Forever Black Bumper and Trim Reconditioning Dye or Leatherique Rubber Black Dye. Some dyes come with a sponge applicator tip, while others may need to be applied to a sponge or pad during the application process. Follow the manufacturer directions on the dye for best results.

  3. 3

    Turn the bottle of trim dye upside down so the liquid moves down to the sponge applicator. Lightly press the applicator against a towel until the liquid dye fully saturates the sponge.

  4. 4

    Start at one end of the trim, pressing the foam applicator against the rubber trim as you move slowly, in a thin line from one end of the trim to the other. Try to apply the dye evenly and do not allow it to pool.

  5. 5

    Keep a wet cloth towel handy to wipe off any spills or areas you get the dye on unintentionally. Dye can be removed from the car paint after it dries but it is much easier to remove when wet.

  6. 6

    Examine the trim to make sure you got the corners, sides and ends of the trim fully saturated. Allow the dye to dry for a 20 minutes.

  7. 7

    Examine the trim to see if the colour is dark enough for you, or if you would like to apply a second coat. Repeat steps three through six when applying subsequent coats.

Tips and warnings

  • Silicone gels designed to restore rubber and vinyl trim may offer results good enough so you do not need to dye your trim. It is best to clean and try a restoration product first, before dyeing your trim.
  • Soft natural brushes are recommended for smooth rubber trim, as stiff brushes can scratch and permanently damage rubber surfaces.

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