View Full Version : Massive Vinyl Protectant Test *UPDATED 8-21*

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08-11-2015, 02:43 PM
Last week I had the opportunity to test out 10 different vinyl protectants on a massive vinyl tonneau cover. This is just the initial impressions from the test, I will be keeping this thread updated weekly until all of the protectants have failed and are no longer offering any protection.

The Products I used are the following:

Meguiars Ultimate Black Sponges (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/meguiars-trim-sponges.html#.VcpZ3Pm6dpg)
Black Wow Pro (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/black-wow-pro.html)
CarPro Perl (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/perl-protective-coating.html#.VcpZ__m6dpg)
Wolfgang Exterior Trim Sealant (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/wolfgang-trim.html#.VcpaE_m6dpg)
Blackfire Total Trim & Tire Sealant (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/bf-271.html#.VcpaIvm6dpg)
Poorboy`s Trim Restorer (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/poorboys-trim-restorer.html#.VcpaNvm6dpg)
Ultima Tire & Trim Guard PLUS + (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/ult-7012-120.html#.VcpaUPm6dpg)
Forever Black Black-Top (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/forever-black-convertible-top-dye.html#.VcpaXPm6dpg)
HD Dress (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/3d-hd-dress.html#.Vcpab_m6dpg)
Mystery Product

Here are all of the Products I tested out:


This tonneau cover had definitely seen better days, as it has laid unprotected from the harsh Florida elements since it was purchased from the dealer.


After cleaning the cover I proceeded to tape it off into sections. Initially I had planned to do 6 sections, however once I saw how big my canvas was I decided to up the ante and test out 10 different products.


As this top was extremely faded and dehydrated, each product received 3 applications to the manufacturer`s directions.

After divvying the Products I was set to get to work!

I started with the most affordable product, Meguiars Ultimate Black Trim Sponges (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/meguiars-trim-sponges.html#.VckTD_m6dpg).
These come in a pack of 2 sponges, which are pre-treated and ready to go right out of the re-seal-able packaging.
I pulled the sponge out and immediately wished that I had gloves on. While the sponge didn`t have a bad smell or leave behind any staining on my skin, it did make it difficult to hold and wipe across the tonneau without losing the sponge.
I had a few issues with streaking, even after applying then wiping off with a microfiber several time I still had several streaks.
It did an alright job at restoring the color but this product is designed for use on hard trim and plastic, and I`ll contribute that into the problems I had with it on the tonneau. I followed up and used it on a few small trim pieces and it turned out much better.



My next test subject was Black Wow Professional Trim Restorer (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/black-wow-pro.html#.VckV5_m6dpg). I left this section unwashed so that I could use their recommended Pre-Wow Pre-Cleaner (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/pre-wow-pre-cleaner.html#.VckWA_m6dpg) prior to application. The Cleaner in conjunction with a microfiber applicator did a great job at getting all of the gunk off of the cover.
After the Cleaner I was ready to go ahead with the Restorer. Black WOW has a plesant Cherry Scent and applied with a microfiber I found this easily brought the darkness and shine back into the cover with no streaking issues. This is also another trim product so it will be interesting to see how the durable it proves to be.





08-11-2015, 02:47 PM
Perl Plastic & Rubber Protectant by CarPro (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/perl-protective-coating.html#.VcpQlfm6dpg) followed. This was applied undiluted as the vinyl was in dire need of reconditioning. I simply poured around a tablespoon onto the cover and wiped it in with a microfiber towel. The first coat restored the color, while the following coats added more shine and even more of the black color out. This was very easy to work with and I had no streaking issues at all.




Wolfgang Exterior Trim Sealant (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/wolfgang-trim.html#.VcpQqfm6dpg)is widely regarded as an outstanding Trim sealant, with the ability to be used on a wide variety of surfaces. Just a small squirt of this onto a foam applicator and I was good to go. The First coating gave a rich darkness to the tonneau cover and made it look almost new. I felt as though this product did not need any more coats, however to keep all of the test subjects the same I went ahead and did so. I had a few streaking issues on the second coat as i left the excess on, however I remedied it on the third by quickly wiping off the excess and not allowing it to dry.




Blackfire Total Trim & Total Sealant (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/bf-271.html#.VcpQv_m6dpg) went on effortlessly with a microfiber applicator. I applied a generous amount of product to the applicator and gently massaged the vinyl. Within a few passes enriched the vinyl and restored the darkness to the tonneau. The Blackfire left a dark satin finish, with just a hint of gloss. It was a big difference compared to the Wolfgang & Perl, which both left a wet, oily sheen.





08-11-2015, 02:58 PM
Poorboy`s World Trim Restorer (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/poorboys-trim-restorer.html#.VcpST_m6dpg) was easy to use, as I had no streaking issues and after 3 generous applications it did a great job at restoring the color on the tonneau. I tried to use the same amount per application as the other products I had used, however I found that it soaked into the vinyl much quicker and required more product to get the job done. It left a light shine on the vinyl, somewhere in-between the Blackfire and Wolfgang. When testing was done it had appeared to slightly dry out and the vinyl was lighter than after application, I believe this could be remedied with another application or two. My favorite part about this product was the aroma of coconut.


Mystery Trim Restorer here are Autopia-Car Care we are always trying out new products, and this is one such example of trying one out. I applied several drops of this product onto a foam applicator began massaging the tonneau. With just one application there was a reflective shine coming from the cover, however I had major streaking problems. The second and third applications did little to help, as I tried every application method possible; microfiber applicators, microfiber towels, more/less product. Nothing worked and in the end I was disappointed. I also found that it left an oily feel to the vinyl surface. This is the reason why we are always testing and developing and I`m looking forward to trying a upcoming version 2 of this product. :rockon



Ultima Tire & Trim Guard Plus (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/ult-7012-120.html#.VcpTC_m6dpg) + (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/ult-7012-120.html#.VcpTsvm6dpg) comes in it`s own container along with a red applicator. Upon pouring the product onto the applicator I found it to be slightly thicker than the older version, but still thin. Just a quick squirt and there was a plethora of product rolling down the applicator. Application was a breeze, although I had to stop halfway through each coat to pour more product out. The finished product was a dark satin finish.




Forever Black Black-Top Dye (http://www.autopia-carcare.com/forever-black-convertible-top-dye.html#.VcpTHvm6dpg) is the only product of it`s kind in the comparison. It contains silicone-free, black pigmented polymers which dye the faded vinyl back-to-black. It comes with a thick hand-held applicator and a 8 oz. bottle. After pouring a quick line of product onto the applicator and I`m set to go to town. The application process is simple, just spread out evenly, let dry for 15 minutes and it`s set. If I were applying this next to a painted surface then I would have used masking tape along the paint to be safe, however if you do get some on your paint it won`t cause any damage. While it was drying there were some streaks visible, however I believe that was just part of the drying process as they quickly disappeared.





08-11-2015, 03:08 PM
My last test product was a new product I`ve been itching to try out, 3D HD Dress (http://autopia-carcare.commerce-search.net/search).
The bottle comes with a sprayer, which I went ahead and installed to give it a go. I found the sprayer to give a strong squirt, too strong. I wasn`t able to adjust the sprayer to get a light mist to come out of the bottle so for my second application I went ahead and applied to the microfiber applicator before I applied to the vinyl. It quickly restored the vinyl to a rich black with matte finish. The following coats stored even more of the darkness to the vinyl, as well as adding a nice shine. There was some streaking visible before it fully dried, however once the product was set there were no issues.





These photos give an accurate representation for how the Vinyl Top looked when completed:




My favorite product out of the group was the Blackfire Total Trim & Tire Sealant, but I am biased to a matte finish.
Any of these products (excluding the mystery) can yield great results, with the variables being the total amount of product needed, application method and the final look (Matte vs Gloss). Durability will also be another variable that I will keep an eye on and I will continue to keep this updated with pictures of how these products hold up in the Florida Sun.

08-11-2015, 05:15 PM
I`ve been using the Blackfire product for awhile and it also is my favorite.

08-11-2015, 05:44 PM
Very nice review and comparison Paul. I look forward to seeing the durability of each product.

Goin Rogue
08-11-2015, 05:55 PM
Blackfire Trim and Tire Sealant is my favorite for this kind of application.

08-11-2015, 06:02 PM
Over the top comparison Paul. Excellent job. Looking forward to the durability follow up.

08-11-2015, 07:16 PM
Cant wait to see results, I just did my cover with BF toatal trim and tire love the look the feel and how it cleans and beads but man does it like dust sticks like glue on it. Just turned a month and looks good as new.

08-11-2015, 07:39 PM
Holy "amazing product " test Paul. Thanks for putting this together. Subscribed for results !!!!

08-11-2015, 08:36 PM
Thanks for taking the time to document this and sharing. That Blackfire and Wolfgang look impressive, being a meguiars user- I haven`t really considered venturing out of the brand when possible. But these photos make me realize I should give it a shot.

08-11-2015, 08:54 PM
Great test bed, Paul! Looking forward to the updates. Which one does Meghan like the best?

08-12-2015, 06:33 AM
WOW! Thats quite the test of products. Going to be interesting to see the results. I currently have WETS on the xterra. And can attest this is a great product. I see months before i have to re apply it. It will take on a PA winter without issue.

08-12-2015, 08:22 AM
Great test.

08-12-2015, 09:08 AM
Great test bed, Paul! Looking forward to the updates. Which one does Meghan like the best?

I like whichever one will last!!!