Introduction: Simple DIY Headlight and Taillight Polishing
Its getting colder outside here so not too many more outside projects for me now but this one is worth it. It makes your car more visible and gives you more visibility in rain and snow storms.
I've seen a lot of headlight refinishing kits out there. Everything from pads and toothpaste looking goo to something that looks like baby wipes. I made a polisher a long time ago from a dryer motor and a couple of 1/2 in arbors to use for polishing gauge plates and other small automotive parts.
I figured I'd give the headlights a try the old fashioned way....
Step 1: Simple Is Best
I never bothered to mount the motor to anything. I just toss it in the vice when I need it.
You just have to be very careful not to melt the lens.
The wheel had plenty of leftover rouge on it so I just raked it clean with a screwdriver. There are years of red rouge stuck in those wheels so I didn't want to add any more.
I worked the light quickly from side to side. I put a few drops of #3 Novus plexiglass scratch remover on the light to help it along. I gave the light a couple of spritzes from the #1 Novus spray bottle polish to keep it lubricated.
Did I mention you have to be careful to not melt the lens?
When you're done a quick coat of Krylon Crystal Clear will seal the deal.
The difference was amazing and it only took 1 minute each!
Step 2: Taillights Too!
One of my tail lights had a small crack in it. It was noticeable from the right angle. I used some solvent cement to seal it but that left a small blister around the crack so I sanded that away with a scotch-brite pad and buffed the tail lights until they looked like new.
You have to look a lot harder to see the crack and from a foot its not visible anymore. Not bad for free and no worry about damaging the paint or bumper around the lights since they are off the car. They are only held in with 2 screws so it was easy to remove them. Not bad looking for 15 year old lenses! I didn't clear coat these so I'll see how they hold up to the sun.
You do have to be careful not to melt the lens......
I've even done bicycle reflectors and marker lights.
Runner Up in the
Glovebox Gadget Challenge