Ok guys as promised here is my How To on tinting your 3rd brake light and side markers
. These are the steps I used and the things i learned along the way, im sure there are different ways to do this but this is how i did it and what i used. This was definatly a learning experience for me. so here we go.
- VHT Nite Shades ($8.00+ shipping on ebay)
- Dupli-Color Auto Spray Clear Top Coat ($6.00 at pepboys, autozone, ect.)
- 1500 grit sand paper ($3.95 at pepboys, ect.)
- 2000 grit sand paper ($3.95 at pepboys, ect.)
- Painters tape ($5.00 at home depot, ect.)
- Rubbing Alcohol (Free cause just about everyone has a bottle of that under a sink somewhere in your house)
- Cotton Balls
- Paper grocery bags (Free at any grocery store)
- Socket wrench
- Socket wrench extender
- 10mm socket
- Some patience!
Total Spent: About $27 give or take a dollar or 2, its way cheaper then buying the tint film :thumbup:
Ill start with the 3rd brake light. It is much easier to take it out then to spray it on the car so thats what i did. Here are the steps:
1. Pop the trunk
2. There are 2 bolts holding it in, im going to same everyone the time and tell you it requires a 10mm socket. Also you will need it to be a long socket because the screw is very long and you will need a socket wrench and an extender will make life much easier.
3. Dont bother unpluging the lights from the houding because it is an unnecesary step as i learned, it is all connected buy one little plug on the left side. Start unscrewing the bolts on each side the light will lift up as you are doing this. The bolt and screw stay attached to the trunk so dont worry about them droping cause they wont.
4. After the light has been unscrewed enough to lift it up do so gently as it is still attached. The plugin is easier to take out when the brake light is pulled off the trunk a little so pull it up gently and unplug the plug.
5. Take a cotton ball and put some rubbing alcohol on it and whipe the light clean.
6. Next i taped the back of the light so i wouldnt get any overspray or water in the electrical stuff or in the housing from wet sanding.
7. Start with a very light coat of tint. you want to be careful not to put to much on or it will run and you will have a much harder time wetsanding it smooth later. Let it dry. I suggest that you spray the light outside and then more into the open garage so as not to get contaminents on the wet tint while it is drying.
8. Wetsand it with 1500grit sandpaper untill it is even and smooth and then you can use the 2000 grit after if you choose to. After sanding wipe it clean.
9. Apply another layer and let it dry and wetsand and then repeat untill you have aquired your desired darkness. i found 3 coats was enough and then wetsand with 1500 grit followed by 2000 grit sandpaper and whipe clean before applying the clear coat.
After 2 coats
after 3 coats
10. Now its time for the clear coat. I highly reccomend 2 things. 1. you apply very thin layers because it is harder to sand then the tint and 2. you spray outside and bring it into an open garage to dry because it is extremely sticky and anything that floats by will stick to it easily. Use as many coats of clean untill it is nice and shiny. Mine actually need a few more coats of clear but it was getting dark so it will have to wait till tomorrow. Make sure you wetsand with 1500 Grit between each layer and get it nice and smooth.
11. After it has dried completely reinstall it and your done!!
Now for the side markers. I choose to keep them on the car nd that only created more challenges. Because they are vertical you have to use extremely light coats of tint and clean because both will run very easily.
1. Tape off the surrounding area with painters tape. Make sure to get the tape in the ridges around the side markers so tour not spraying your paint too. Tear tiny strips to it is easier to fit in there around the corners.
2. once you have it taped you want to prevent from getting overspray on the car so this is where the paper bags came in. Worked out great for me even though it looks really white trash.
3. Use a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol to clean the surface.
4. Time for tint. Use VERY VERY light coats because it will run very easily and you will only make more work for yourself wetsanding it once it dries( learned this one the hard way) use as many coats you need until you get the desired darkness.
5.Time for Clear coat, again very light coats and wet sand after each one
3 light coats
5-6 light coats and a few coats of clear
Make sure you wet sand in between every coat of tint and clear coat.
6. wet sand one final time with 1500 grit and 200 grit.
7. Carefully take off the bags and peel off the tape and your done.
8. Let it dry over night and then buff it out with rubbing compound.
Tomorrow i will buff the 3rd brake light and side markers out with rubbing compound to give them a glossier shine.
I think thats everything. If i think of anything else i will add it. if you have any questions feel free to PM me. This project was not to difficult and definatly a learning experience. However it was pretty time consuming. I went back and forth between the 3rd brake light and side markers allowing ample time for each to dry.