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Smoked Taillight Q


July 7, 2009
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Year, Model & Trim Level
04 xlt
Hi all, first post. Just picked up my 04 xlt 2 weeks ago. So far i've done the clear lenses up front, tinted the windows, installed aftermarket headunit to work with my ipod and sirius radio, and got a new grille that should be here tomorrow. I also smoked my taillights, but not sure if i like em. I taped off the reverse light, and the 2 indented parts, and smoked the rest. I used the vht nightshades, and a few coats of clear. My problem is that they're more flat black than glossy. Any ideas? I sanded after the last coat of night shades, as well as the clear, but still flat... Any and all help is appreciated.

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I haven't really seen anyone that has done the nighshade thing end up with a glossy finish. I think because the VHT is a flat color, you may have trouble brightening it up even with a glossy clear? I could be wrong though.

Another way to go about it and possibly harder(but doable) is to seperate the tailight from the housing and spray the inside?

I did like 4 coats of VHT, and then 2 of clear, and mine look great, and glossy....


i niteshaded mine and they turned out about the same as the guy above. 2-4 coats of clear, wait about a day, wet sand with 400 or 600, then wet sand with 2000 or 2500 (2500 is very hard to find but it works the best), and then polish them using polishing compound or rubbing compound. you really need to wet sand the heck out of it..a lot of wet sanding..takes a while but this will give you a great result.

i used 1500 and 2000 grit when i wet sanded, but still got the flat look even after the clear. I actually ran into the same problem when i did my lights on my gixxer 750. on the bike, the turn signals came out perfect, but the taillight came out flat. i'll throw a pic up later of the xlt and you guys can tell me what you think, its not that it looks bad, i guess just different than what i thought i was getting.

do thicker coats to get them glossy. when i niteshaded my tails i did the 3rd brake light first with light coats and it came out dull so i just sanded her down. then sprayed 2 thick coats on a hot day. it drys to fast to run if its hot out.

gotcha, whats the best way to get what i have on their off...paint thinner? or sand the snot out of it

Gas works, I did my front TOP blinkers, and it ran and got crackly so I wanted it GONE lol...I put some unleaded in a spray bottle, and use a rough towel, it takes a little work but it'l do if you dont wanna spend ~8$ on a bottle of acetone

gas takes everything off that will work well enough just use some gloves with it. idk about you but i think skin poisoning sucks

Well just got my grille in, so here's a pick of that and of the taillights i posted about let me know what ya think...their actually growing on me since their not completely black, but still not sure.



I like that grile!

AS for the VHT tint. my tails are glossy after wet sanding and clearing, but the fronts are still dull. I am going to strip them and forget it!

UPDATE... removed it earlier tonight.

your coats are too thin. put a light coat on for the first coat then a heavy on for the second coat thats it. mine have a second heavy coat cuz i wanted mine blacked out but mine still shine through fine

looks good

after you wet sand u need to use polishing or rubbing compound. that will give the shine

i had to redo mine too...i used pretty rough sand paper with an electric sander to get it off. didnt take long at all

thanks for all the help, i did the gas thing to get it off, and it came right off. I re-did the process and the problem was i put too light of coats on. they came out perfect the second time, i'll try to post a pic later today after i get it washed. Thanks for all the help