Giving Your Taillights a face lift for around $10 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Giving Your Taillights a face lift for around $10


Active Member
March 6, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Parlin NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 Sport
Giving Your Taillights a face lift for around $10





A while back while working on one of my hotrods I found that this Dupli-Color Metalcast MC200 Red Anodized paint. Your supposed to paint it over chrome to achieve a Anodized aluminum look. What I found it more useful for was tinting taillights red. In the past I had used this custom taillights made from clear lexan. Recently I have also found Red taillight tint at the local auto parts store I tried it but it is so transparent and takes a lot more coats then this stuff, the Metalcast paint is around $8.00 a can and the Taillight tint is $13. With better coverage and a lower price the Metalcast is a great buy. And you should have plenty left over I would say that you could most likely be able to paint between 5 and 10 sets of taillights.




Things you’ll Need
Dupli-Color Metalcast MC200 Red Anodized paint
A Prep Solvent of some kind
Masking tape
Paper Towels
Box Cutter or Exacto knife
Phillips head screw driver


Step one
Remove your taillights.
Open the hatch.
Your taillights are held in by 2 Phillips head screws they are located on the top of the taillight. Remove the screws and pull out the light. Remove the bulbs. You have now successfully removed a taillight. Follow the same steps on the adjacent side.

Step two.
Cleaning and taping.
Clean Your Taillights using your prep solvent and paper towels.
Now the easiest way to tackle the taping aspect on these is to tape over the amber section and run you fingernail on the edge in between the black plastic section and the amber section of the taillight making a grove that your knife can easily follow. Cut through the tape using your knife and peel the tape off the amber section of light.


*** Don’t Tape off the entire red section of the taillight!***

Step three
Using your prep solvent and paper towels again clean the amber lens. (It is a must to get the oil from your fingers and any other dirt and glue from the taping process off before painting to avoid things like fish eye or any other paint defect)

Now for the fun part!
Using the Dupli-Color Metalcast MC200 Red Anodized paint spray the amber section with light coats until it matches the red section of the taillight.
This paint dries ultra fast so depending on temperature they should be ready to be untapped and installed in less than 30 minuets.
After they are dry to the touch untape them.



Step Four
Install and enjoy
Follow Step one but in reverse.
Stand Back and Enjoy.



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looks good

That's REALLY sweet! I'd just love to see them on the other 2nd gen taillights before I do mine, since I'm kinda tempted now..

Sweet.:thumbsup::thumbsup: I will be doing this to a KIA Sportage I have. I have custom tail lights on my Mountaineer.

Thanks for the welcome!! First time owning an explorer I've had more than a couple rangers... I'm loving the forum... Tons of good info on here! Hope this little how-to helps some forum members!!

looks really good!!! thanks for the info, I'll definitely be doing this to mine sometime soon!!

looking good

I just did this on mine...pretty happy with the results :cool:



meangreen, looks great.. thanks for posting that up i was gunna goto the junk yard and get a newer taillight to do it to for the guys with that styl taillight.. you just saved me $10 thanks man!

do they make this paint in blue? im thinking a light coating on the headlights with blue would give it the look of the fancy blue fire something (or whatever theyre called) bulbs you see in some cars. would be interesting to play around with...

and welcome to the forum! love the taillight mod

Ill keep my eyes out for it

I looked around for some taillights, but could not find anything that even remotely looked good. I just did this to my 2nd gen and !!!!!!!!!!!!!! It turned out great and was extremely simple it cost me about $10. I dried in about 15min

would this work with tinting them black also? ive seen this stuff but never paid attention to the actual colors they had

I would like to know too. You should try and let us know how it turns out.

i would love to try. except here in indiana its 10 degree outside. i have no garage to work in.
and i am busy with work all week i only have from 6pm friday nights till 8 pm sunday nights where im home. and that time is spent sleeping, eating, and studying. unfortunately besides brakes, and oil changes this truck will not get anything done to it till summer

Wow old thread, yes look for the VHT night shades, its black spray tint, I have a set of early second Gen tails done, if you do it I would get an extra set to use, tinted lights are illegal, I have been pulled over for them but i had a normal set in the truck and played dumb so the cop let me swap them out on the side of the road and I just got a warning

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well the state i am in they are not illegal. you just have to be able to be seen from a certain distance.
plus techincally you only need 1 braking light. therefore if you didnt do your third brake light you are legal. read your laws, youd be surprised how stuff is written and what you can do if you know it