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Painting exterior trim

Dr. Lovitz

Member
Jun 6, 2018
5
2
Orange County
I've seen a couple Model X's that have the black plastic exterior trim painted to the body color of the car. I've reached out to @Tsportline about this and their quote to paint this was not only timely, but outrageously high.

My brother in law owns a body shop, but has never worked on any Tesla's. Could this be done?

Does the plastic trim need to be taken off in order to sand/primer/paint or can it be done while its still on the car?
Will the paint interfere with any fwd sensors?

We both understand that we run the risk of it chipping, but I figured it would be a good idea to put ppf on the trim parts after they are painted. Perhaps that would protect the paint and have it last for a long time

Please let me know if you know any reliable body shops who have done this before in the southern california area.
Thank you!
 

jtdiddy

Member
Mar 31, 2016
298
208
Irvine CA
maybe it's me but i sort of like the black plastic trim.

anyway, yea i would think to do it right, the trim would need to be removed, sanded down, primed and then painted.
 

P85_DA

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 25, 2015
4,217
2,949
CA
There is are several pics on a wheels thread which shows painted plastic trims on Xs ...it looks good on certain colors only ..but I would not do on my white ..Jacks autobody in palm desert is an approved Tesla reiair shop that has great prices and does excellent work ...in the OC area shops are to busy and overcharge ..
 

Xminus6

Member
Sep 3, 2015
698
473
Bay Area, CA
I don’t think there’s anything special about the plastic used for the lower body trim. So if your BIL is familiar with painting any sort of plastic on other cars (ie bumper covers), I imagine it’s just the same. You’d probably want to sand it and put some sort of plastic-specific primer on it.

You should be able to prep it on the car with some good masking of the painted metal parts I would think. I mean, if your BIL owns a body shop, seems like he would know how to prep panels that are still on the car.
 

P85_DA

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 25, 2015
4,217
2,949
CA
maybe it's me but i sort of like the black plastic trim.

anyway, yea i would think to do it right, the trim would need to be removed, sanded down, primed and then painted.

+1 i like the black trim with my pearl white ;) ...
 

Bigriver

Member
Mar 2, 2018
499
441
Pittsburgh, PA
Has anyone had a problem with the black plastic trim prematurely drying out? We got our Model X in November 2017 and immediately got Opticoat Pro put on the paint. Within a month I noticed the first spot on the plastic trim. It almost looked like someone took sandpaper to it. More worn/dried out patches continue to develop on the body molding. I have only used Opticoat products to wash it. I hate to have to start using trim reconditioner on a car that is less than a year old. I’d really like to know whether others are having this problem or if there are any suggestions on what I should do. Attaching some pictures.
D5F33487-388D-407C-A8CD-65E395D8E59E.jpeg
641B2ACB-396D-4695-9FAA-11B72A1D1BCB.jpeg FD2ED465-D942-4CB1-B083-59E2956B4A7E.jpeg 8CF30571-657D-4B22-A28F-BF86D9A87B8E.jpeg
 

Seattle Tom

Member
Mar 31, 2016
511
536
Seattle, WA
I’ve had nothing like the drying out in the pic above, but plastic never looks good for long IMO. It always fades with the combo of sun, rain, and abuse.

Buy a can of Wipe New. Your trim will look new and it should last a solid year - it’s serious stuff for making plastic trim look new. One bottle (which is pretty small) will be enough for all the trim on the X. I bought my X last June and just did the Wipe New refresh this past weekend!
 

P85_DA

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 25, 2015
4,217
2,949
CA
Hmm ..haven’t seen that ..maybe your opticoat had bad chem reaction with your plastic ???:(
 

bbcoach51

Member
Aug 29, 2017
15
23
SoCal
A8F6DA9F-A10B-474D-A5E4-7B8D88768E22.jpeg
FFA181F9-0A52-49E7-8F48-9E6CEECA7FB1.jpeg
I had my trim painted at Chris Amato’s Body Werks in Oceanside Ca. It is a Tesla authorized body shop. They did remove all the trim including the front and rear trim, rocker panels, and wheel trim. It was sanded, primed, and then painted to match. On mine it was a three stage paint for the Pearl White. Chris was great to work with and really knows Tesla’s. No problems with the sensors in the doors.
 

outie

Active Member
May 22, 2016
2,741
2,344
SoCal
Has anyone had a problem with the black plastic trim prematurely drying out? We got our Model X in November 2017 and immediately got Opticoat Pro put on the paint. Within a month I noticed the first spot on the plastic trim. It almost looked like someone took sandpaper to it. More worn/dried out patches continue to develop on the body molding. I have only used Opticoat products to wash it. I hate to have to start using trim reconditioner on a car that is less than a year old. I’d really like to know whether others are having this problem or if there are any suggestions on what I should do. Attaching some pictures.
View attachment 315107 View attachment 315108 View attachment 315109 View attachment 315110
No, I've had my 2016 for 1.5yr before it's gone and it never had that kind of issue. If opticoat is the only product you used then well, that's probably it.
 

P100DHG.

Member
Jan 11, 2017
538
598
Burbank, CA
View attachment 315464 View attachment 315465 I had my trim painted at Chris Amato’s Body Werks in Oceanside Ca. It is a Tesla authorized body shop. They did remove all the trim including the front and rear trim, rocker panels, and wheel trim. It was sanded, primed, and then painted to match. On mine it was a three stage paint for the Pearl White. Chris was great to work with and really knows Tesla’s. No problems with the sensors in the doors.
How much did this set you back?
 
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travwill

Active Member
May 1, 2015
1,711
1,173
Marble Falls, TX
Has anyone had a problem with the black plastic trim prematurely drying out? We got our Model X in November 2017 and immediately got Opticoat Pro put on the paint. Within a month I noticed the first spot on the plastic trim. It almost looked like someone took sandpaper to it. More worn/dried out patches continue to develop on the body molding. I have only used Opticoat products to wash it. I hate to have to start using trim reconditioner on a car that is less than a year old. I’d really like to know whether others are having this problem or if there are any suggestions on what I should do. Attaching some pictures.
View attachment 315107 View attachment 315108 View attachment 315109 View attachment 315110

That just looks like wax/polymer residue. Always turns the plastic white a bit. Hard to avoid getting some on it at times. You can get some plastic trim restorer and should help. I use this stuff (actually all their products) about 2 or so times a year on the black molding around car all over and makes a big difference.

https://www.amazon.com/TriNova-Plas...154&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=auto+platic+restore
 

NHK X

Member
Nov 18, 2017
836
681
PNW
No whitening on our x but noticed a fair amount of pockmarks in front of the rear wheels, from pebbles thrown from the front wheel during winter snow months.

Have thought about PPF, but after seeing results from plastidip may give that a shot since it’s minimal cost solution and can be easily removed if with poor result. Overall should protect the plastic from UV and small chip damage. Will be interesting to test durability.

Going to go with flat black and see how it looks.
 

Ethan_976

New Member
Jul 27, 2019
3
1
San Jose
View attachment 315464 View attachment 315465 I had my trim painted at Chris Amato’s Body Werks in Oceanside Ca. It is a Tesla authorized body shop. They did remove all the trim including the front and rear trim, rocker panels, and wheel trim. It was sanded, primed, and then painted to match. On mine it was a three stage paint for the Pearl White. Chris was great to work with and really knows Tesla’s. No problems with the sensors in the doors.
Nicely done. I just ordered my Tesla X P100D and planned to do the same. How did you get that low profile look? Was it a setting on the air suspension?
 

negotiator50

Member
Jul 26, 2019
9
5
Michigan
Has anyone had a problem with the black plastic trim prematurely drying out? We got our Model X in November 2017 and immediately got Opticoat Pro put on the paint. Within a month I noticed the first spot on the plastic trim. It almost looked like someone took sandpaper to it. More worn/dried out patches continue to develop on the body molding. I have only used Opticoat products to wash it. I hate to have to start using trim reconditioner on a car that is less than a year old. I’d really like to know whether others are having this problem or if there are any suggestions on what I should do. Attaching some pictures.
View attachment 315107 View attachment 315108 View attachment 315109 View attachment 315110

I have this same issue on a couple pieces of trim. Did you ever get it removed? If so, what did you do to remove it?
 

Seattle Tom

Member
Mar 31, 2016
511
536
Seattle, WA
@Bigriver @negotiator50 Before I owned my X, I had a Chevy Avalanche (still likely my favorite vehicle of all time). As you may know, it has a sh*t ton of trim - and it was known for drying out.

Chevy eventually issued a Technical Service Bulletin to address it and there were products to deal with it (Gatorback I think?). But I used a product called Wipe New. I know you’ve likely seen it on an As Seen on TV special, but the stuff does work. It will make your trim look new and it will last a solid year, if not multiple years, depending on your weather, abuse, etc.

You can buy it on Amazon and probably even at a local Target, but I highly recommend it for restoring trim if you want to use a very easy DIY solution. Of course you can get serious by removing trim and doing some serious reconditioning, but this is far easier and cheaper. IMO, it works great. Good luck!
 
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Bigriver

Member
Mar 2, 2018
499
441
Pittsburgh, PA
I have this same issue on a couple pieces of trim. Did you ever get it removed? If so, what did you do to remove it?
Yes, it is back looking much better now. This did the trick:

Mothers 06141 Back-to-Black Heavy... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZLMEDO?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

I am not 100% sure what caused the problem, but my leading suspicion is that I was using Optimum Opti-Clean in the garage during the winter. Although it says it needs no water and is safe for all surfaces, I think the plastic trim has just enough texture to it that I wasn’t getting it wiped off well enough. This winter I plan to try Optimum No Rinse instead.
 

Ethan_976

New Member
Jul 27, 2019
3
1
San Jose
I've seen a couple Model X's that have the black plastic exterior trim painted to the body color of the car. I've reached out to @Tsportline about this and their quote to paint this was not only timely, but outrageously high.

My brother in law owns a body shop, but has never worked on any Tesla's. Could this be done?

Does the plastic trim need to be taken off in order to sand/primer/paint or can it be done while its still on the car?
Will the paint interfere with any fwd sensors?

We both understand that we run the risk of it chipping, but I figured it would be a good idea to put ppf on the trim parts after they are painted. Perhaps that would protect the paint and have it last for a long time

Please let me know if you know any reliable body shops who have done this before in the southern california area.
Thank you!
So I considered T-Sportline as well but I live in the Bay Area so T-Sportline is a bit far plus their price was quite expensive. So I took it to my local body shop and got a quote for $2000 to get it done. They took off every trim, ended it down, treated the plastic to remove any excess chemical, primed and paint. I couldn’t be happier and since my car is white, it looks wider, more custom, and definitely one of a kind. I also purchase some adjustable suspension links from eBay and dropped it 1”. I had the option to go lower but didn’t want to deal with speed bumps. Good luck and do share your results.
62816DEF-38C5-4018-8A3D-6BE2FDE304E2.jpeg
 
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