Introduction: How to Repair Damaged Rubber Coated Trim

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Video tutorial on how to refinish rubber coated pealing or cracking trim on your vehicle cheap without actually replacing the trim. Over time the sun will dry out this trim and can make it look very unsightly. New trim can be somewhat expensive to buy depending on your manufacture and even just the replacement can be a tedious job as well. This type of trim is normally found around the windows or along the roof, but might be used in other areas depending on the vehicle's design. Normally there isn't an issue with the base of the trim rusting as it's made from either a chrome coated metal or stainless steel. This particular tutorial was done on a 2003 Dodge Dakota.

Tools/Supplies Needed:

  • painter's tape
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • 400 grit sandpaper
  • degreaser
  • paper
  • spray rubber coating

Step 1: Clean and Prep

First start by washing the vehicle, this will ensure any contaminants are removed from the surface. Ensure the surface is dry and free of any water and tape the adjacent areas off which will reduce the risk of scratching the glass, trim, paint, etc on the areas we are not painting. Remove any pealing rubber with a razor knife. Start by sanding the area down with 220 grit sandpaper, removing any high spots and feathering the transition lines between materials and be sure not to damage the gasket edge if equipped. Once satisfied, move onto 400 grit sandpaper removing of the course scratch from the 220 grit sandpaper and feathering the transition between materials further more.

Step 2: Preparing for New Coating

Remove the existing tape, clean off any loose debris from sanding which could contaminate the painted surface, then give the area a good wipe down with a degreaser, in this video I used isopropyl/rubbing alcohol. Tape the area off where we don't want paint, then add the paper. In this video I am using Plasti Dip, but any rubber style spray on coating would be sufficient for the repair as Plasti Dip isn't available on all markets. Give the area another wipe down just to ensure there wasn't any oil left by our skin when masking off the area. Apply new tape and paper to the adjacent areas.

Step 3: Applying New Coating

Apply the rubber coating, first with a lighter coat. Allow it to setup and then apply another coat which is being a heavier coat, but not too heavy where it could cause any runs or drips. Apply another coat if needed, I did however apply three coats. Depending on the product, you are looking for about 10 minutes of setup time between coats.

Step 4: All Finished

Remove the tape immediately while the coating in still wet. This will allow for a clean crisp edge and reduce the risk of the coating pealing up afterwards. Allow it to harden for a day, but this will depend on your climate and how think of a coating you did apply.