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Old 07-11-2011, 07:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to black out/smoke tail lights

The pictures are not of Honda lights but off a customers BMW. Anyways I hope you guys find it useful.

Materials:
  1. VHT Nightshades Spray Paint
  2. Brillo pads with built in soap (easier than sandpaper)
  3. Masking tape
  4. Lights you will be tinting
  1. Obviously to do a nice job, your gonna want to remove the lights from the vehicle, so do that first
  2. Take the lights and mask were the bulb slides into them as to avoid getting water/debris in them
  3. Grab yourself a bucket of water/hose or sink and a brillo pad. All your doing here is scuffing up the plastic surface so the paint has something to adhere to, the soap also removes all grease and wax from them.
  4. Rinse them when your done and let them dry, make sure your hands are clean before handling them once dry.
  5. Set them on a flat surface so you can start painting. I prefere flat rather than hanging since this paint is really thin it tends to run, so if its laid flat it just settles on its own.
  6. Spray evenly from around 8-10 inches away making sure to go past the end of the lens and overlaping each previous spray.
  7. 1 coat is very light and barely noticeable, 2 is lighlty smoked, 3 is about as much as you can do and still notice the reflector color in the day time, 4 coats and its only distinguishable at night
  8. Allow around 5 minutes between each coat, and 24 hours to completely cure. After about a week you can go ahead and wax or wetsand them.



before


After scuffing


2 coats


3 coats


4 coats


Side markers
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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2 coats looks good
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GUnited View Post
2 coats looks good
Yeah thats what I have on my own lights, this particular customer wanted it darker sooo yeah
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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right on man, nice DIY. thanks for this. keep up the good work. i need to do this on my clear corner lenses on my ef.
if i was aloud to give out repps i would, but it says none more for 24 hours
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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came out looking good, i like how it looks better with only 3 coats.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How does the VHT hold up tho? Ive seen spay on smoke peel and crack on lots of cars.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Vht holds up awesome. I agree 2 coats looked great.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Save/Sohc View Post
Vht holds up awesome. I agree 2 coats looked great.
Good to know. Thanks!

I like the 2 coats as well. More subtle
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Whats the reasoning for wetsanding or waxing them after they cure? Just shine them up? Wouldnt the sanding scratch them up?
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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VHT is defently a good product.

And i agree 2 coats def looks the best

Some thing like this...
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Omegax1 View Post
Whats the reasoning for wetsanding or waxing them after they cure? Just shine them up? Wouldnt the sanding scratch them up?
This paint will actually wet sand and polish to a mirror finish, its nice stuff.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Don't scuff up the lenses before spraying VHT. Your just making it harder if you ever want to go back to stock. Anything more than two coats is stupid and dangerous. The purpose of tail light is so people can see you are stopping.
I put VHT on my g35 tail lights and it held up fine for years. You will want to buff and polish when they finish drying because they will have a semigloss look otherwise. You don't have to wetsand unless you screwed something up.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I've done several sets, and agree that 2 coats is best.... anymore, and it really starts to get dangerous. I've sanded EVERY set of lights that I've done, and I'm sure that if I wanted to go back stock, it would be no problem. All it takes is a little buffing to get em back shiny after the VHT has been sanded off.

I usually clear my lights after the last coat of VHT... Really makes for a good glossy look, and it protects the VHT better. Just a little extra touch I do. I also tape off the reverse lights on my own vehicles, just because I like to be able to see when I back up at night

Looks good!
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4eyedconekiller View Post
I've done several sets, and agree that 2 coats is best.... anymore, and it really starts to get dangerous. I've sanded EVERY set of lights that I've done, and I'm sure that if I wanted to go back stock, it would be no problem. All it takes is a little buffing to get em back shiny after the VHT has been sanded off.

I usually clear my lights after the last coat of VHT... Really makes for a good glossy look, and it protects the VHT better. Just a little extra touch I do. I also tape off the reverse lights on my own vehicles, just because I like to be able to see when I back up at night

Looks good!
Good tips all around, what clear do you use? Ive never tried any because i was afraid the vht would lift.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The reason I say don't sand prior to VHT is because there is some stuff called Whitey's White wall cleaner. It is harsh enough to remove the paint but gentle enough to not affect the plastic lens. It is a little bit easier than all the sanding. I do like taping off the reverse lights as well. I also add led bulbs to compensate for the darker lens.


Here is my G. two coats


Here is my Lexus.

Last edited by speedjunkie_g35; 07-12-2011 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I gotcha.. sorry about the delayed response, but I'm interweb poor at home (new place, and At&t is dragging their feet about turning it on), so I'm using cell web only. I'm a stickler for good prep work, and I like to make sure that my coatings stick. I sanded, tinted and cleared the ones on my truck, and have had no issues. I also did some this past weekend on my Civic, but this time, just used Duplicolor Wax and Grease Remover. Guess we'll see how this works.

Lemme see if I can attach some pics of my newest addition...

Nevermind. Will try and get a pic or two up of it soon, so you guys can bask in the DD/Beater glory of the little Civic dubbed "Fugly"

You'll see soon enough, lol.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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VHT is great and all, but if I was a "customer" and assuming that Id be paying for this "professionally", Id be pissed if I paid someone to spray paint my tail lights.

Next time, try picking up a spray gun, and mixing some clear with a little black. You can mix it to the tint that you want, and itll come out a LOT cleaner, glossier, and last longer. You of course mix the clear as you would any other time. Just toss a little black in there.

And for those gay cars like the 08+ Subaru Imprezas or WRXs with those retarded clear lights, you can mix the clear with red, instead.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:05 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by theidealone View Post
VHT is great and all, but if I was a "customer" and assuming that Id be paying for this "professionally", Id be pissed if I paid someone to spray paint my tail lights.

Next time, try picking up a spray gun, and mixing some clear with a little black. You can mix it to the tint that you want, and itll come out a LOT cleaner, glossier, and last longer. You of course mix the clear as you would any other time. Just toss a little black in there.

And for those gay cars like the 08+ Subaru Imprezas or WRXs with those retarded clear lights, you can mix the clear with red, instead.
Blah, Blah Blah

I love how you come in telling everyone how you'd be pissed if a "professional" spray-tinted your tails. How would you know the difference? You wouldn't. Who cares what product is used, or how it is applied, as long as the results are consistent, professional, and the customer is happy? As long as a quality product is used, with good prep and proper application, fade/gloss/lifetime of said tint job should still be just fine.

I've done it both ways, and prefer the use of the duplicolor product, mainly for consistent results, and the fact that I can do it pretty much anywhere, without having to drag out a compressor and air lines (which I don't have at my disposal for the moment). I can assure you, I'm proficient enough with a spray gun to handle tinting lights - this ain't my first rodeo.

Final thought, and then I'm off my soapbox - not everyone on this forum has access to a compressor/spray gun/spray booth/etc - why would we only detail a process like that? We aren't talking about painting a car, which I WOULD NOT do with a spray can, but putting a shade of tint on a set of taillights. It's easy to apply, and easy to remove if you screw up. I can say that my results were cleaner in the booth, but a clean, covered tabletop in my little project room at the semi-crappy rental house I'm in worked just fine for a set of taillights I did on Saturday.

-Michael
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caramanos2000 View Post
Good tips all around, what clear do you use? Ive never tried any because i was afraid the vht would lift.
Sorry, I missed ya... I've used automotive clear before, and even some duplicolor wheel clear on the set on my F-350. I used 2-3 coats, letting the clear "flash" between, which usually takes between 5-15 minutes, depending on the type of clear, and what kind of reducer/drying agent it is mixed with. I usually let them wait for at least 24 hours, or whatever the can says before I put them back on. The trick is to not heavy or 'wet" coat the clear, IMO. If there is dry spray, or texture that you dont like, you can wetsand/buff them after they dry, as it's often hard for inexperienced folks to know when clear is really still too soft to try and sand.

Hope this helps!
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