Introduction: Painting Car Headlights


Here's another "mod" for automobiles/vans/trucks etc.

While not very difficult, it requires a lot of patience to get it to look right, BUT you can save a lot of money doing it yourself:

Remove headlight from vehicle, 3 bolts - 2 up top and 1 on the bottom in my case.  The bulbs unsnap from behind, and remove any extra hardware like clips or clamps.

Preheat the oven to 200- 225 degrees and place headlight assembly in on a cookie tray and alum. foil.  LOW HEAT LOW HEAT LOW HEAT!

 After 15-20 minutes, take it out of the oven (USE HEAT GLOVES, IT WILL BURN THROUGH WORK GLOVES) and use a flat head screwdriver or a butter knife to gently lift the tabs up and cut through the OEM adhesive that holds the clear cover to the housing.  Work quickly, but patiently, and don't bend the tabs to much or they will snap off.  If one or two break, it's okay, but not all 7 or 8 (oops...)

Pull the clear lens away from the main housing, and place aside.  Once cool, clean with glass cleaner and wax/grease remover.

After removing any chrome pieces and taping off anything you want to leave original, use wax/grease remover or alcohol to clean up. DO NOT USE SANDPAPER - it's not needed and only creates dust that messes with your paint job.

Find a place to paint with good ventilation. 

MAKE SURE you get Krylon Fusion (plastic spraypaint).  I used a satin/semi-gloss black.  No clear coat necessary.

Wait a few hours to fully cure, wear latex gloves and DON'T get finger prints on the paint or it'll be permanent. 

CAREFULLY - I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH - push the chrome casing back into the housing.  The adhesive will be hard by this time and can scratch your new the paint right off so TAKE YOUR TIME!

Put the clear lens/chrome housing together with the light assembly, push them together as hard as you can and try to snap any clips you can.  Place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to let the adhesive get soft and then mash them together to form an OEM bond again.  Some people clamp them together after warming the adhesive, but you can just hold them tight for a minute or two.  The factory stuff cools quickly.  You may also use an adhesive weatherstripping glue or similar product to ensure that they're watertight.

After fully cured, reattach any brackets, light bulbs, wiring etc that you took off before.

Final Step:  Use the RTV silicone to run a thick bead around the edge between the housing and the clear lens to make a "better than OEM" seal.  Glue down the weather-stripping and hit it with a hairdryer to speed up drying time. 

Bolt the assembly back onto the car, let it sit overnight and enjoy!

Remember to aim your bulbs afterwards, so you don't blind oncoming drivers :)