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DIY Painting

Painting during your headlight retrofits sounds simple enough, but there’s a bit more involved than just blasting away particular pieces with a spray can.

The first step is to ensure you have all the proper materials, tools and space needed to get the job done correctly. For this you’ll need:

  • Spray Paint (most brands are acceptable that can be used on plastic)
  • Painters Tape (to tape off edges, reflectors or extra surround areas)
  • Gloves (overspray on your hands can be a pain to clean off)
  • Sandpaper (400 grit works very well for scuffing things up)
  • Heat Source (recommended, not required, to help speed up drying times)
  • Well Vented Area (a no brainer as closed-in areas & paint fumes can be hazardous)
  • Warm Environment (painting in the cold doesn’t allow paints to setup properly)
  • Patience (self-explanatory as rushing paint is a no-no)

Spray PaintPainters TapeHeat GunLatex GlovesSandpaper

The first step is to layout all the pieces to be painted. Choose which ones you’ll be painting, removing or keeping as is. Next, all the pieces to be painted should be scuffed/sanded to ensure good adhesion of the paint. At this point areas to be kept in their OEM finish should be masked off (such as reflectors, signal areas, trim, ambers – etc.).

Next — the spraying. This is the most critical step and doing this wrong can cost hours of time re-doing work. This is where patience comes in. Spray the headlight pieces in LIGHT coats. A coat of paint that’s too heavy can cause runs, drips or poor setup/curing characteristics. 2-3 light coats will give full coverage the same as 1 heavy coat but will actually allow the paint to adhere and cure better.

The curing step is simple – apply heat in a uniform matter with a dedicated oven (not one you cook in) or with a heat gun. This will speed up paint cure times and allow for a faster reassembly of the headlight retrofit project.

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