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tinting tail lights

 
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billy101
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:42 am    Post subject:  tinting tail lights Reply with quote

Hey all, As you may have known I had my tail lights tinted using VHT & Multiple coats of clear coat. I did 3 coats, pretty heavily. I got fed up with how dark it was (got multiple complaints of not being able to see my brake lights during the day). I sanded them down with 320 grit sandpaper so they're back to the factory ugly red. I was thinking of trying to make them look like the newer 03+ taillight panels (black border with the red circles).

I was thinking of masking off the outside two brake lights, along with the clear reverse lights; doing one coat of VHT nightshades, then removing the masking tape and doing another coat of VHT. Followed by 10 or so coats of clear coat hopefully coming out looking good.

What is your opinion on this idea? I think it would come out looking good yet having functional tail lights during the day.

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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Pitch Black SS
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

the idea is fine, thats how I would do it. Lighter over the actual lights and darker over the surrounds. However, you asked for opinions and I'll give you mine.... VHT sucks. Doesnt matter how much clear or how good youy think you are with a rattle can, it will never look as good as a professionally done tint job.

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billy101
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:46 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Pitch Black SS wrote:
the idea is fine, thats how I would do it. Lighter over the actual lights and darker over the surrounds. However, you asked for opinions and I'll give you mine.... VHT sucks. Doesnt matter how much clear or how good youy think you are with a rattle can, it will never look as good as a professionally done tint job.


Well, of course I know that! If I had the money to go with a professionally done job that's the route I would go but I haven't been disappointed with how VHT has looked for me.

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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00impala123
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

>complains about VHT in post 1
>post 2 defends VHT and says not disappointed

pick one Laughing

Just bustin your balls, have you thought about buying a cheap spray gun and mixing your own tint? It's honestly not too hard and it looks 10x better than VHT

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billy101
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:07 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

00impala123 wrote:
>complains about VHT in post 1
>post 2 defends VHT and says not disappointed

pick one Laughing

Just bustin your balls, have you thought about buying a cheap spray gun and mixing your own tint? It's honestly not too hard and it looks 10x better than VHT


I ended up leaving it the factory ugly red at the moment.

Would something like this work? How much is clear coat & black paint?

http://www.harborfreight.com/2.....47016.html

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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00impala123
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

That was the first paint gun I ever bought and it works pretty well, I have a few nicer ones now but I still use that for certain things.

You'll kind of have to mix it and see what it looks like. There isn't a set ratio that I use, it all depends how dark the person wants it. How dark do you want to go?

I would start out with something like a 10:1 ratio and see if that's dark enough/too dark. (10 clear to 1 black). From there you can add in more clear or black and adjust it to how you want it.

Just grab some inter-coat clear, clear coat, and black paint. (if you want to save money or be cheaper, you CAN use regular clear coat in the mix instead of the inter-coat clear).

The intercoat clear mixed with the black is a little easier to control than regular clear coat with black. It spreads more evenly basically and gets a little better results, but as long as you take your time with regular clear you'll get good results as well. (incase you don't know, intercoat clear is basically a base coat without any pigmentation in it.)


Personally, I have found better results (at least I like the look better) with a candy black.


So the steps would be normal:

Prep work
3-4 coats of tint
3 coats of clear
Wetsand
Buff


and now you have way nicer tails than using VHT

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billy101
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Have you tinted your tails using this method? I was under the impression where I could just mix 1/3 black paint with 2/3 clear coat and it would have a tinted appearance to it with clearcoat already in it.

Could you point me in the right direction of what black paint and clearcoat to use? I am completely clueless in this area. I'm going into this blindly and would appreciate as much help as possible.

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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00impala123
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I have not done my tails but only because I haven't felt like pulling off the covers to tint them and then put the covers back on.

I run a business (kind of a side thing) where I do paint, interiors, sound systems, etc. And have done many sets of tails and headlights. As far as headlights, I like to start off lighter and work my way darker (since they're headlights). For tails you can start darker (3:1 ratio) if you want to. I figured you said you wanted lighter since you had complaints about it before.


But you can absolutely start with a 3:1 ratio and go from there. It will give you a good tint, the 10:1 ratio or so is a good start if you just want a smoked appearance.

I'll give you some links later to some paint options (kinda busy ATM).



As far as the clearcoat, you mix the clear and black for the tint, but you still need to do a straight clear over the mixture.

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Wingman520
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:07 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

i've sold a ton of those paint guns when i worked at harbor freight... sometimes they go on sale for ten bucks. usually during a sidewalk sale which should be around october or november i think. besides that they work pretty well as long as your not dumb and put thick paint or laquor in it like a lot of customers came in and said they clogged up and found out it was that :-p

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