How-to Tint your tail-lights using VHT
I just picked up some VHT yesterday, and thought I'd give this a try. For starters, you'll need some masking tape, VHT night-shades, clear coat, Meguiars ultimate compound, and 2000 grit wet sandpaper
For starters, remove your tail lights with a 25 torx bit
Be careful of these two metal prongs and don't just rip the tail lights out. Otherwise, you'll break em off (almost did lol)
Next, this is a little decision for you. You tape off the reverse section of your light, or not. But if you don't, it'll be near impossible to see anything at night in reverse. I went ahead and taped mine up.
Now, once they've been taped up (or not) you will grab your sandpaper, get it wet, and sand your lights. Don't apply a whole lot of pressure. Just enough so that you lightly scratch the surface. This will help the VHT stick properly.
Once they've been sanded, you're going to want to find some paint thinner. Put a little paint thinner on a towel, and wipe them down. When you get them wet, they'll look like new lights, but when you use the dry side, they'll look scratched up again. This just helps with removing any oils or other things.
Once you've wiped them down, you'll be ready to paint them. Dont touch the lenses directly, or you'll need to wipe them down again. Now with VHT the most you're gonna wanna put on the lights is 3 coats, any more, it'll be too dark. You can do 2 if you're afraid of them being too dark. With mine, I waited about 5-10 minutes between coats. Also make sure you shake the can (Duh). I started by spraying the edges first. Then spray light even coats across. Make sure to start the spray off the side, come across, and then let off when you've gotten the entire light. Otherwise, you'll get spots of darker tint. This is just one coat. It's not that dark.
This is the second coat. The second coat is darker, but not too dark. It just looks really dark in the low light. In the sun, it's not as dark. If you don't want the lights too dark, I'd stop here. But make sure you get a good even coat, because it's easier to see imperfections with just two coats.
This is the third and last coat. It made them pretty dark, but if you look hard enough, you can still see the LED's. Just fyi, this wasn't so dark that you can't see the lights. I was afraid it would, but the light comes through fine. Once you finished painting, let them sit for about 30 minutes, so they're dry to the touch. You can go ahead and pull the tape off at this point.
Once they dry, you can go ahead and break out the clear coat. Now with the clear coat, I'd recommend getting the glossiest you can find. Unless you have a murdered truck and like the more matte look. But otherwise, find a good gloss clear coat. With the clear coat, you're gonna wanna do at least 3 coats. This way the VHT is fully protected and wont fade. I put a good 4 coats. This is the lights with clear coat done. (Mine wasn't glossy enough :smiledown:)
Once you're done with clear coat, it's time to sand again. Mainly just to help smooth out the clear coat, and help get rid of any lint or dust that might have fallen on the lights. With sanding, you're gonna want to make sure the light is wet, along with the sand paper. I even put a little dish soap on the paper. This time sanding, don't use pressure. You don't want to go right through the clear coat. Here's the finished sanding. You can kinda see the scratches. You'll notice it more when it's in your actual hand.
After the sandings done, you can grab the compound. You'll want two polishing microfibers with this. Apply some onto you're microfiber. Don't be stingy
Spread the compound around the entire light first, and prepare to buff it. You'll wanna put as much pressure on the light when buffing to help attain a good shine. This will help get rid of the scratches you made. If you're not satisfied the first time, polish it again.
Now that you've polished it, you're done. You can go ahead and reinstall the lights. Here's a picture of mine with the LED's on.
If you have any questions, feel free to reply, or shoot me a PM! :smileup:
Excellent how to. Lights look great.
Very nice job, they look great :smileup:
Another thing i've found useful is once youve put on the nightshades, sand them down with high grit wet sandpaper, and take them to a paint shop/body shop etc. the clear coat they use is much higher quality and will be much more glossy/reflective. shouldnt cost more then 20$ for them to do it
Very nice write up and pics, thanks for taking the time to post that! :smileup:
Great How To!
It definitely deserves to be in the Knowledge Base.
Thanks, guys! Figured someone had to do it lol.
Did the same to my stockers but I wetsanded again before I sprayed on the clearcoat. But still fundamentally the same and great write up & great results!
Very nice! Looks great, write up was awesome, reps for you!
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