Faded Plastic Grill

Hello, I have a 2000 Chevy Blazer and the front grill is faded and yellow. I drove to a reputable body shop and the guy there told me that this type of plastic cannot be sanded or painted because will only fade again. He told me my only option was to buy a new or aftermarket grill which ranges from $360 to $450. Is there anything I can apply to the grill that will return it to its original black finish?

You can try Krylon Fusion paint for plastics. http://www.krylon.com/products/fusion_for_plastic/

As with any paint job, the surface must be absolutely clean.



I’d sure try something like this first:

Tester is right on. You can paint that grill. Just wet sand it by hand. A good way to get good and clean before painting (after sanding) is use a red suff pad and Ajax cleaner and lots of water to rise. Use the primer then paint. Use lite coats. I also would use a mat clear over the paint. That will give it some move UV protection.

You can paint it and if you want it to shine, put some clear paint over it when you’re done with the colored paint.

One comment; I’ve had extremely poor performance from the “Fusion” paint. I’d recommend the regular Krylin spray enamel.

The first question should be- what are your expectations? Before offering solutions, the expectations of the owner need to be understood. I’ll guess the body shop guy either did not want the work or figured if he couldn’t restore it to like new, it wasn’t worth doing because; he has super high standards or he perceived that you do.

That being said, it’s a 12 year old truck. If it looked decent from 5 ft away, would that be sufficient? How about 10? You get the idea…

If you’re OK with a 5footer or more, then I think you can do as good a job as necessary with some rattle cans of paint. You can get the OEM color or go with some off the shelf stuff. I’ve painted lots of grills from my daily drivers to restoration stuff using rattle cans and no one was the wiser.

What do you have to loose? $20 and a little time?

My first advice is to remove the grille. It’s actually super easy on those Chevys. Clean it with a toothbrush and some detergent and let it dry for at least a day. Then prime and paint. Several light coats are always better than a heavy one especially on grilles with all the facets and corners. Snap it back in and count your savings!

If you would prefer the OEM look and quality, then go to a different body shop for a second opinion. You’ll also save a bunch if you just bring in the part so they don’t have to do that labor. A good shop will strip it and repaint. That’s nonsense about sanding, fading etc. Only a masochist would sand something like that. They’ll media blast it and then shoot the paint. It won’t fade any faster than the original one did. Besides fading is the probably the least of your concerns when directly subjected to road debris…

“He told me my only option was to buy a new or aftermarket grill which ranges from $360 to $450.”

Better not show him this one from Rockauto for $35!

It’s ready to paint.

I have used a flat black paint that was labeled BUMPER PAINT and the results were acceptable. I removed all the pieces and cleaned them first. Using a special primer first made the paint stick to the plastic faux chrome.

There’s another option too, called plastidip. It’ll leave a matte black finish, and if you screw it up, you can peel it off.


I have had good luck too, painting plastic grills. But, I would look for some inexpensive after market custom grill if you’re not in love with Chevy logos.
$38 to $120, I could live with the cheap one on a thirteen year old vehicle.

If you decide to paint it yourself, use a very light primer coat. Ifit is sprayed on too thickly, the paint will peel off within the primer layer. Primers are not strong, they just adhere well. Ther spray a few light layers as Twin Turbo suggested.

With the Krylon Fusion paint no priming is required.