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Hello!

My least favorite trim pieces on the front end of the 4.4 Rav4 are the two chrome lines that run horizontally across the grille on either side of the Toyota badge. They make the car look like it's wearing a chrome mustache, IMO.

Thought I'd share an inexpensive and easy trick that really improved the look of the front end of my 2015 XLE: blacking out the chrome with 3M car wrap.

Here are the tools/parts required:
  • 3M matte black vinyl car wrap (12" x 12" from Amazon)
  • Plastic card or vinyl tool
  • Xacto knife

Steps to apply:
  1. Clean surface of the chrome
  2. Cut vinyl to size (place on slight diagonal to stretch across the full piece)
  3. Peel off backing
  4. Apply starting at one end and smoothing across
  5. Use plastic card to gently remove air bubbles
  6. Carefully cut along trim line with Xacto blade
  7. Done!

Really impressed with how much of a difference this made! Only took about 20 minutes and total cost was about $6.

Finished product:



50/50 comparison with the left side stock chrome, and the right side blacked out:



Close up shot:

 

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Before I scrolled down I didn't think I was going to like that but it actually looks really good. Thanks for posting that. Might do mine in electrical tape for a day or two and see how I like it.
 

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Well done! I think it looks great. And for less than 6 bucks, it's cheaper than PlastiDip.
 

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I rather like it myself.
 

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I'm going to give that a try and see if TOWMBO notices. Toyota used to have a black chrome trim option that was really sharp, maybe it was part of a package.
 

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As a confirmed chrome hater I believe that it is a good improvement - and I like it on esthetic grounds as well.
 

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Id rather take it off and paint it. Anyone know how that chrome piece comes off? Did a little prying on it but doesn't seem to just snap on as I hoped. Certainly don't want to break it.
 

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Likely clips on the rear.
Can probably look in there with a mirror and see.
 

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I did the same to my 2014 Limited-Magnetic Grey. I also did the chrome trim that runs along the door, and the small chrome trim pieces on the side mirror indicators. Not a bit of chrome shows on the side view. I used Black out tape from ebay. Next I'm debadging the back.
 

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Do you have the Ebay link for the tape?
Probably not hard to find locally for you. I just looked online at my local canadian tire and they have it. I'd imagine canadian tire doesn't exist in the US though. lol
But it is literally called Blackout tape and says it's made for covering up chrome trim.
 

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Looks great!! I like the trd logo.

I just blacked out my chrome grill trim today with blackout tape.
 

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Wow! Love your tip, PCM. It really looks great on your dark gray car. Yours as well, Chris. I personally don't mind some chrome but the blackouts you did make it better.

Wonder if matte carbon fiber vinyl would also look good?
 

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That looks great OP.

I don't like chrome strips either. I didn't notice how lame they were until my wife
followed me home driving my car while I was driving hers. I looked in the rear view and thought, "that doesn't look right."
It looks especially weird being that I carefully blacked out my front Toyota logo with paint.

I already have the back de-badged with the rear logo blacked out and the luggage rails off.

I recently had a custom shop add l.e.d.'s to the foot wells. They come on with the dome light. It looks good and it's super helpful being that my interior
is solid black. I'll post pics soon.

I'm gonna follow your lead... goodbye chrome strips! Thanks for posting.
 

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This looks great. Much better! Curious if the vinyl has held up over time? Has it survived car washes? Thanks!
Agree, surviveability would be nice to know but PCM hasn't posted since 10-29-2016.
 

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I'm sure it holds up well. I generally use plasti dip on chrome and it has always held up great so I imagine the vinyl would be even better.
 
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