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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The blackout C-pillar covers on the first-generation Dodge Intrepid look great to start with but any owner knows that over time, the clear coat delaminates from the black plastic substrate and looks ugly. They are no longer available from Chrysler, no surprise after this long. I ruined a set trying to paint them, the paint attacked the plastic and swelled up the sanding scratches. Has anyone tried a black vinyl wrap on them?
 

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What type of paint did you try? Generic paints or non-plastic-safe ones can cause this, as can automotive exterior paints. Try Krylon Fusion for plastic. Otherwise, a satin black vinyl can work well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Tomguy, for the suggestion about Krylon Fusion as a particular plastic-safe paint. At this date I can't recall exactly what paint I was using; I have gone through three sets of these C-pillar covers in 26 years and that was my first set. I put away the second set after it deteriorated, and haven't painted them; and now the clearcoat on the third is delaminating. I was wondering whether plastic primer sold in auto parts stores would offer a sufficient barrier to protect the plastic against whatever was in the paint, but the Krylon sounds like a better way especially since it appears to serve as its own adhesion primer. It also would be easier than a vinyl wrap.
 

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The same material must have been what was used for the B pillar trim on Dakotas. Fortunately on them, you could remove the trim and it looked fine without. or, as the dealer proposed when mine were bad on my new 2000 Dakota after just a couple months - they'd paint the pillars black rather than reapply the trim because "the replacement will go bad too".
 

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1966 Crown Coupe, 2016 200 S AWD, 1962 Lark Daytona V8.
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A lot of blackout trim begins to delaminate its top coat finish after a few years of sunlight (UV).
The 'Back to Black' trim restorer may help weathering/fading, but if the finish is already damaged it won't help. Refinishing the trim is the only real answer on gloss or satin black trim.
There are topcoats that incorporate a UV-blocker, but I don't know how well these work.
A car looks so much younger with fresh black.

82219
 

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Just throwing it out there, I used Krylon Fusion on the front grille of my 300M with no prep other than cleaning, and it hasn't faded and only has paint missing from rock and rock salt chips after about a decade of 100% on-street parking. It looks great and holds up well which is why I suggest it.
82226
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just throwing it out there, I used Krylon Fusion on the front grille of my 300M with no prep other than cleaning, and it hasn't faded and only has paint missing from rock and rock salt chips after about a decade of 100% on-street parking. It looks great and holds up well which is why I suggest it. View attachment 82226

Now, THAT is a good, real-life recommendation. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Now, THAT is a good, real-life recommendation. Thanks again!
Krylon Fusion for Plastics being discontinued, I tried Krylon Fusion (no "for Plastics") on the advice of the paint manufacturer, who said it would not attack plastics. They are correct on the C-pillar covers. The finish is not glassy-smooth like the original factory finish, more a slightly satiny gloss. I was surprised that sanding scratches from 400 grit show through slightly once the volatile carrier evaporates, but not badly...I might give it another coat after 48 hours to cure; not sure yet. Even without another coat, this C-pillar cover now looks better than the one with delaminating clear coat. I may not have to do this again for a while; the one on the other side of the car is still perfect, no delamination yet, though I installed both at the same time a few years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here's what I finally did, following the suggestions I received in response:

I applied Krylon Fusion spray paint, which is plastic-safe and self priming, after sanding the panels with 320 grit. Did multiple passes with the rattle-can, about a minute apart. Recoated with 72 hours in between to allow paint to totally cure with no perceptible solvent aroma remaining. After another 72 hours, color sanded with 1000 grit, wet to smooth out orange peel. Compound with orange, then white compound. Polish with 3M swirl remover which brought out the gloss, then a coat of carnauba wax. Result is almost as glassy-smooth as the original. Good enough.
 
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