How to Fix a Damaged Trunk Lid Molding
The trunk lid molding is that strip of plastic paneling mounted on the back of your car, often in middle or upper portion of the trunk lid. It serves as a key accent to the vehicle's rear, making the logo and license plate stand out and highlighting the outline of the trunk itself. However, this also makes the molding jut out by design and thus more prone to scratches, cracks and other forms of damage.
Managed to scratch or scuff your car's trunk lid molding? Follow these steps to get it back into shape.
Difficulty level: Easy
What you'll need:
- Flathead screwdriver
- Epoxy/heavy duty glue
- Primer spray (optional)
- Spray paint (optional)
- Clear coat spray (optional)
Step 1: Open the trunk and locate the fasteners securing the molding on the interior of the trunk lid. The trunk lid molding is usually held in place by a series of plastic retaining clips, metal screws, or a combination of both.
Step 2: Loosen the fasteners one by one. Remove the screws using the appropriate screwdriver type and nudge the plastic retaining clips out by hand. You can also use pliers and screwdriver on the clips if they prove to be difficult, but be careful not to put too much force as they snap easily.
Step 3: Once all of the fasteners have been removed, pop the molding off the trunk lid. It should be easy to remove at this point with the fasteners removed, but if the molding still remains uncooperative use a screwdriver or a thin metal ruler covered in cloth as lever to pry out the molding from the lid.
Step 4: Wash the molding with soap and water. This should remove any dirt, dust, and grease that may obscure any damaged spots that you may have not noticed before.
Step 5: Sand off any scratches with sandpaper. Dip fine grain sandpaper in water and wet-sand the scratched area of the molding in a circular motion. If the grooves are particularly deep, you may need to patch it with a filler agent such as rubbing compound as well.
Step 6: For cracked or broken moldings, patch it up with epoxy or heavy duty glue. Take the pieces of the molding, apply the adhesive on the broken edges, join the pieces together and let it set for a time specified in the bonding agent. Make sure to wipe off any excess glue with a clean cloth.
Step 7: If the paint is also damaged, prep the molding for priming. Wet-sand the molding and let it dry for several minutes before spraying with automotive primer. Coat the molding evenly with at least two coats of primer and let it dry for an hour.
Step 8: With the primer dried, paint the molding with your preferred color and finish. Make sure to let the paint dry for at least an hour before adding another coat. Once the paint has reached your desired look, seal it with a protective clear coat spray.
Step 9: Reattach the molding to the trunk lid. Be sure that all of the fasteners are secured onto the molding and on the trunk lid.