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Bright trim around windows fading


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Have 83 Buick Regal which was in a garage for its first 17 years. All bright work was excellent. Been sitting outside for 3 years now and starting to get that "foggy" look on the trim around the windows. I have seen other cars where that trim looks absolutely terrible, almost gray looking. Would like to prevent that on my car but can't put it indoors.

What is best way to protect it? Seems like an anodized aluminum finish to me, but not sure about that. Is there any special product on the market for that?

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I suspect the "clear anodize" finish is deteriorating on your stamped aluminum trim items.

It is possible to buff through the clear anodize coating and get down to the base aluminum, but this takes a stationary buffer and a good deal of time. Some friends tried that on some Chrysler A-body trim several years ago and then proceeded to polish it out to chrome-like brilliance, but it took so much time and effort to burn through the remaining anodize finish that they said "never again". When polished, it did look quite nice, though.

The black trim that was on GM cars was also an anodize coating. On the later '70s Z-28s and TransAms, it flaked off and had to be repainted, but the clear doesn't seem to flake but just clouds.

You can use some fine grit abrasive and scuff the existing pieces and then paint them satin black.

I don't know if there might be any anodizing places in your locale that might be able to refinish your items, though, or if it's similar to rechroming where they first clean all of the existing coatings off before putting new ones on. If they can take the existing cloudy anodize off, then you can get them polished out and clearcoated.

Whatever happens, it's not very simple or easy.

Hope this helps,


via webtv

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Thanks for a lot of good info. Will refer back to it when problem gets more noticeable.

Actually all that bright trim does still look very good compared to other GM cars of that vintage (it's just starting to get that "milky" look) Am more interesting right now in protecting and preserving what I've got. Think it must have something to do with UV rays since this car was garaged for the 1st 17 years and that trim looked like brand new 3 years ago.

Think any kind of cleaner or cleaner/wax would just take the anodizing off quicker and probably should stay away from that. Would something as simple as plain Johnson's wax applied every few months help?

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