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Discussion Starter #1
Well I'm not personally a fan of the "Lexus" style lights on the NC...

I tried a set of Lamin-X smoked covers for about a month, and while they looked pretty good they were still too dark and the color did not work on my Silver NC.



I then tried to source some red transparent vinyl a month later, I did find some, but the application of them was impossible, it had wrinkles and impossible to shape correctly even when using heat to apply them. But I did like the color...



So a while passed and I then decided to try and paint them myself...
I got some Testors paint and clear coat, and spent the guts of a weekend in prepping/painting/drying them.
I wanted to keep the reserve light exposed so I cut out vinyl circles and applied them over the reverse lights for painting.
I ended up doing 7 very light coats of the red and three of the clear coat. (I allowed 30mins between each application, and 24hrs before applying the clearcoat)

Prepped


Painting


Removed masking.


Now I am a complete novice at painting, so it came out pretty ok for me. Only thing I'm disappointed with is the matte finish. I was scared to wetsand as I had no idea how to do it.





Anyway I ended up taking the lights off yesterday and I then attempted to wetsand them, and I also used the Mothers Ball and 3m 1500grit rubbing compound.
I was buffering then gently but slipped up at one point when my drill moved and thus rubbed off the paint on one corner. I was not very happy with myself at that point ! Opps.

Anyway while I did buffer the surface then shine that I am hoping for did not happen.
I would prefer a more gloss look.

I plan to remove the lights again tmrw evening and start all over again, I'll strip the paint off and prep it once again.

I'm wondering if due to me only painting originally in very light coats, and from about 12 inches away with the spray can this was the cause of the matte finish. I'm thinking about doing a heavier coat next time from about 6 inches.

Any ideas from someone who maybe experienced in painting on what is the best method to do. It would be greatly appreciated.

I understand that this mod is not for everyone, and I take full responsibility for it on my car.
 

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there is transparent spray on paint made specifically for auto lenses. goes on glossy/shiny as far as i have seen ~$20-25 for a 4-5oz spray bottle
 

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If you want to make em tinted I know VHT Nightshade or something is out there, look on ebay, also stained glass spray paint works decent.

Anyways anything looks better than the new NC's euros, once you fix that and its truck like stance it looks good in my opinion.
 

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I've only tinted mine - not used red paint. I used the VHT nightshades paint, and after 2 coats of the paint it was very dull/matte - when I added clearcoat it got very glossy... and I just used a random exterior surface clearcoat spray can that I had laying around.
I think that if you go a little thicker with the clearcoat that may help - but I'd not coat on the red paint any thicker per layer, or you'd risk messing the even coloring up. Try 8 inches or so away with the clear and spray it on a bit thicker so that the coat looks very glossy and wet...
Then I would give it a good wetsanding. Are you sure you wetsanded it well?
-Ryan
 

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I wrapped my foglights with yellow transparent vinyl (I work at a vinyl shop) and I know it can be tuff but with heat vinyl can almost take the cure of alot of things. The main thing is how thick the transparent vinyl is. I took some clear vinyl and digital printed yellow and it worked great. The transparent vinyl stretches easier. If you want I can do the same but make it red for you to wrap your taillights. Just give me some measurements and an address to mail them too. It shouldnt take but a couple of days to get them in the mail. I am going to make some red vinyl covers for my taillights.
 

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When you sprayed a light coat from far away the paint was mostly dry when it made contact with the tail lamp. The paint was just wet enough to stick but not wet enough to flow. Wet sanding in between coats can be nearly impossible if the paint is applied in light coats. It can be tricky finding the right balance point between sufficient wetness and having the paint run due to heavy coverage. A different spray tip can help. I recommend you apply several coats of paint, let it dry, wet sand by hand, then apply clear coat, then wet sand again, and then polish to remove the fine haze from wet sanding. I also recommend you do all of this by hand as using a power tool on a small curved surface can result in a mistake. You do not want to make such a mistake on a soft plastic surface like your tail lamp. Props for doing it yourself. Be sure to report back wit new pics once you've perfected your technique.
 

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You can make it shine! Wet sand with 800-1000 grit in between coats. Sand your final clearcoat with 1000-1500 grit and then polish with rubbing compound... done right it'll look like a mirror
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You can make it shine! Wet sand with 800-1000 grit in between coats. Sand your final clearcoat with 1000-1500 grit and then polish with rubbing compound... done right it'll look like a mirror
Thanks everyone for the responses. Much appreciated.

For wet sanding between coats,how long do I leave it to dry before sanding. Also after I have wet sanded do I then clean off with water before attempting to put another coat on ?
 

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well, yeah! you use just water and then towel dry. i'll have to post up some of my painted models... most of them have a better finish than my real car!

the key is to put a little more paint on than you think per coat, so you can sand off between.. (can you tell i've been building models since i was 7?)... i just need to complete them!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
well, yeah! you use just water and then towel dry. i'll have to post up some of my painted models... most of them have a better finish than my real car!

the key is to put a little more paint on than you think per coat, so you can sand off between.. (can you tell i've been building models since i was 7?)... i just need to complete them!
Cool thanks, how long would you recommend in leaving each layer to dry before attempting to wetsand it ?
 
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