Mr Black, a silicone free, black plastic trim restorer.
17 April 2020 Dan Bowden
A silicon free and long lasting trim restorer - Mr Black. To Rejuvenate and protect sun damaged, unpainted exterior plastics to a rich dark finish.
Where we live in South East Queensland, we see a hell of a lot of cars on the road with faded, greying plastic trims, which always upsets us.
This fading occurs as the majority of plastic trim on cars is a polymer based ABS plastic, that's not capable of withstanding long term UV and environmental exposure. This is a bit of a bugger as we live in one of the worst places in Australia for this! You can spot this type of unsealed plastic on many modern cars, usually black in colour and moulded for bumpers, side skirts, windscreen cowls, side mirrors etc. The material slowly degrades over time thanks to "photo-degradation" by the suns' UV rays slowly breaking down the bonds of the plastics polymers. Plastic manufacturers have tried to prevent this by placing UV stabilisers and absorbers in their plastics, however if the plastics are not regularly maintained they will slowly degrade, fading and greying. Then at the end of its life the plastic becomes very brittle and will crack, meaning the only fix is to have them replaced.
We began the process of developing a trim restorer after testing a few leading retail silicone based products on some faded bumpers. While they looked OK intially, we found them to be a band aid fix, in that they didn't last longer than a couple of weeks, or till the first downpour of rain where they got annoying water run marks in them. For the amount of work needed to apply them, we were not enthused with that result. We then tested a few highly reputed international "professional brands", and although they lasted longer than a month, they did not last anywhere near the 6 to even 12 months promised. We guessed they were simply never intended or built to handle Australian conditions. We then initiated what was to become 3 years of development with our chemists, as we thought we could surely make something a little better than what was already out there.
We also tried some other methods we had seen online and in Facebooks posts from peanut butter (it didn't last long, but the ants loved it), shoe polish (didnt last long and it wiped off on your clothes if you brushed against it for weeks after) and the YouTube favourite of the heat gun (good initial results, but found the greying returned faster afterwards and it became less effective each time we had to do it. We also found it's not ideal to use this for long term use, as it negatively affected the plastic polymers, that lead to premature aging and finally the surface failure of the very dried out plastic trim).
Our goal was to make a long lasting, silicone free product, that would restore the plastic to a natural looking finish, that's not affected by the Aussie climate, won't wash off, is safe for long term use and importantly compatible with our washes and protective sealants as well.
Evaluating our final formula's of Mr Black on the 1st of March 2018, the right side image is the same bumper, two years later to the date. Lower right formula is what we went with as it was the nicest to use with epic longevity.
We went through 30+ formula revisions before settling on this version, using extensive real-world outdoor weather testing. One of our final test panels had been outside in the weather for over 2 years, with the final formula we chose still looking remarkably great after this time, which you can see in the image above.
We also realised early on during testing, that the plastics needed to be extremely clean prior to application; free from oil, dirt and silicones. So, alongside Mr Black, we developed and made Flash Prep, to clean these plastic surfaces prior to application. This product uses different alcohols and surfactants to clean fantastically as well as give it a longer working time, making it a lot more effective than just using alcohol by itself. We found Flash Prep not only did an amazing job of cleaning plastics prior to the Mr Black application, but will also clean paint free from silicones and polishing oils, making it perfect to use as a paint preparation spray, prior to application of more modern waxes, paint sealants and even ceramic coatings.
We were stoked to have a local race legend let us use Mr Black on this Transit van he was doing up to sell.
Mr Black was designed to be used on unpainted plastics such as: bumpers, mirrors, windscreen cowls, door handles, running boards, side and window trims, wiper arms & more.
Some of the key features of our Mr Black:
- Rejuvenates sun damaged, unpainted exterior black plastics to a rich, dark finish.
- Restores a natural mid sheen finish, that's not greasy or oily.
- Lasts for up to a year on most hard ABS plastic, textured black trims.
- Silicone free, so it won't wash off or attract dust once dried and cured.
- Uses concentrated, specialist plastic dyes that are designed to penetrate and bond into plastics
- A little product goes a long way, so the 250ml bottle will do many multiples of cars.
- Excess wipes off easily from paint, headlights, chrome, alloy, mirrors & glass.
- Tested and developed in Australia's harsh UV environment, so it works.
We have also made a handy kit with everything you need for the preparation, application and the final finishing, which we call The Black Box.
This kit has the following in it:
- 1 x 250ml bottle of Mr Black
- 1 x 125ml bottle of Flash Prep
- 2 x Black Apps dual layer application sponges
- 1 x application foam brush
- 1 x Dark Deeds microfibre cloth
- 2 x nitrile gloves (1x M and 1x XL size)
- 1 x handy instructional guide.
These new Aussie made products are available from autObarn and Repco stores nationwide. You can special order them in from our other resellers with the following part codes:
- Mr Black RRP is $49.99 part code is BOMRBLACK
- Flash Prep RRP is $19.99 part code is BOFPREP
- The Black Box RRP is $84.99 with part code BOBBOX
If you have any questions about Mr Black, please feel free to call our team in the office on 1800 351 308 during business hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Love your car,