What About Painting Your Vehicles' Lights?

Spray Painting your lights is an option, but not the best option.

There are other downsides to painting your lights than the time and effort required. While at a local speed shop shooting a new install video there was a car in for a pre purchase inspection. All of its lights were painted with what looked like VHT Nite-Shades. They looked home sprayed and not polished or cleared as they were a dull matte finish.

Typical Nite-Shade Application:

Protected Headlight

Headlight Armor Stealth Smoke Taillight Film

Protected Headlight

The person who brought the vehicle in knew it might not pass the state inspection as all lights looked nearly completely black… He asked if the paint could be removed safely as the person who he was buying the vehicle from said, “sure no problem” but was uninterested in removing it prior to delivery.

The person who brought the vehicle in asked us for our thoughts. We sent him to the VHT site where right on the product description is stated “Warning: Once applied to a plastic lens, VHT Nite-Shades™ cannot be satisfactorily removed.” He got back on his phone and started looking for removal vids. Found a few using brake cleaner… We said maybe, we have never tried it but would exercise caution as brake cleaner is not good for paint and could damage the plastic lenses. The safest bet was to factor in the cost of complete light housing replacements in the offer to purchase the car.

Fast forward a few weeks. The person did buy the car at a slightly reduced price. He was able to strip the taillights without any short term damage (it is unknown if the plastic is weakened). The headlights, complete disaster. The previous owner had sanded down the headlight prior to painting and when the solvent was used to remove the spray the underlying light was completely frosted over and opaque. He then spent the following day refinishing the headlight and clearing them with a Sylvania system. The vehicle does have a history of spider cracking of the lens so who knows how long they will survive…

If the original owner had used Headlight Armor’s adhesive backed lighting protection applications the removal would have been much more straight forward. Removal of Headlight Armor: Start by warming the material a bit with a hairdryer and then pick at a corner with your fingers and then slowly peel off - making sure to hold onto the light firmly during the process. You may or may not have left over adhesive on the lens. Leftover adhesive can be rubbed off or carefully removed with an adhesive cleaner.