Introduction: Tinting Your Taillights
in this instuctable i will show you the proper way of tinting your car's tail lights. I'm sorry for the lack of pictures but i did this over a year ago, and since then lost most of the pictures. I'll try to be as detailed as possible
Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible to any damage that may occur in this process. and as always follow your local laws on the tinting of tail lights.
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Step 1: Materials Needed
materials needed (not all shown)
About two (I used three) cans of tinted window hobbies paint $4 per can (any color would work)
a can or two of VHT nightshade
Painter's tape (use the blue tape)
Rubbing alcohol $1
one can of high luster lacquer $4-$5
400-800-???? grit wet/dry sand paper (i had some lying around)
Paint thinner (in case of screw ups)
A clean bucket or sink ( I already had a bucket)
dawn dish soap $1
Paper towels $1
tack cloth or swifter pad $2
Step 2: Removing the Lens
this method of tinting the lenses require that the lights and lenses be removed from the car.
before you start removing the bolts or nuts, be sure to pull the carpet back as much as you need, its not worth the hassle of trying to do it by touch.
remove all the bulbs and harness (I left them attached).
pull the nuts or bolts and keep them in a safe place remembering where they went.
Step 3: Masking Off the Lens
masking off the lens:
before you stat masking off with all your creative glory, it most likely that the lens is covered with dirt, using the alcohol and the paper tower, wipe off all the dirt and road grime. Using the tape, mask off anything you don't want to be darker. most people just tape off the trim, but i didn't want to affect my ability to back up at night so i taped off the clear as well. plus it looks cooler ; ). In this step, it doesn't have to be prefect, because its all just gonna come off later.
Step 4: Wetsanding
sorry its not time to start painting yet. the surface of the lens way to smooth along with the dot lettering on the bottom. for the lettering on the bottom i used a razor and carefully shaved off the letters. time to start wet sanding. in a five gallon bucket filled about half way with warm water add about a 1/4 of a teaspoon of dawn liquid dishsoap.
with a sheet of 600 grit wet/dry sand paper saturate the entire sheet, along with the lens (you don't have to dunk the lens) palm sand the entire lens (everything you don't have masked off). Warning: do not finger sand with the paper wrapped around any point of your hand, use you entire palm with gentle even pressure (this avoids and low spots). be sure to keep the lens and sandpaper wet at all times and remember to rinse them off often.
Step 5: Cleaning & Retaping
at this point most of the tape is pretty much soaked. the reason for taping it off before is so that it wouldn't get scratched from the wet sanding. when you wipe off the light with paper towel it should appear to be wight and streaky, don't worry it mostly just the soap. your lens will scratched badly, this is normal. take off all the tape and re-wipe the lights with the paper towel and alcohol thoroughly followed by the tack or swifter cloth to remove any fuzzies.
this is the time to be really anal about the tape. reapply the tape being sure to get in to any groove that paint might possibly get in to. for this step i suggest that you also tape off the side/back of the lens about a few inches to protect against over-spray. after taping run your fingers along the edges to insure a good tight seal.
Step 6: Painting
its finally time to paint.
******as with any other type of paint you want to apply in a well ventilated area free of wind that will carry contaminates. ******
with your ares all set up, its time to check and re check for any contaminates on the lens.
read the directions and follow them to the tee, they know what they're doing. apply paint in light coats instead of heavy coats. use your judgment on how dark you want them. holding them up to a light is a good quick test to see how much light is shining though.
******Warning: if your light is curved, do not attempt to cover in one continuous spray. see proper illustration below.******
Step 7: Clear Coat
if you are at this step and the paint isn't smooth or if you have runs, let dry completely and wet sand with a very high grit sand paper (900+).
For the clear coat, let for full dry time and whip every nook and cranny clean for contaminations. follow the the directions on the can, and step 6.
For this step i applied two coats of clear with the paint still on and two more with the tape off except for the flexible rubber seal.
Step 8: ENJOY!
after full dry time, install the lights and marvel in your handiness!
For additional shine let dry for a week and wax for a more durable finish.
I hope you enjoyed my first instructable: feel free to leave any helpful feedback