How to Darken Headlightsby Brandy Alexander
Darkening the headlights on your vehicle can make a car look more aggressive and customized. Using tint spray generally intended for use on tail lights, you can slightly darken the outside surfaces of the lights to blend them into the body of the car. When the lights are turned on they shine through the tint, lighting up the road as normal. Be sure to check with your local authorities before proceeding, as some areas prohibit darkening headlights.
Remove the headlight from the vehicle. In order to obtain optimum results, the headlight should not be darkened while still on the vehicle. Loosen and remove the light's wiring harness, then remove the mounting screws that hold the light into the body of the car and remove. Tape off any sections of the light that you do not want to tint using masking tape. Any areas covered with the tape will remain clear.
Wet the headlights with water and scuff the surfaces of them with 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper. This will help the tint spray to adhere and will not damage the lights. Add a few drops of dish washing soap to the lights and repeat the sanding.
Soak a soft cloth with rubbing alcohol and polish the lenses with it to remove any dirt grease, soap or other matter that could interfere with the tint spray.
Set the lights on a stable work surface, then spray them from side to side holding the spray bottle about 12 inches away from the surface of the lenses, always orienting the spray perpendicular to the surfaces being coated. Spray only a single layer, then wait for about 15 minutes for it to dry. This type of tint spray tends to darken as it dries, so be patient to avoid over tinting the lenses. Add a second layer if necessary, applied in the same fashion as the first layer.
Spray on a layer of clear coat spray once the appropriate level of tinting has been attained. Make sure the tint is dry before proceeding, then spray on a layer of clear coat to protect the lights from stone chips or other damage. Apply the clear coat spray using the same techniques as the tint spray. Allow for 12 hours for the lights to fully dry, remove the masking tape if present, then re-install the lights into the car and enjoy.
- Think about tinting aftermarket clear headlight covers instead of the lights themselves to allow for easy reversal.
Things You'll Need
- Masking tape
- 2000 grit wet/dry sand paper
- Dish washing soap
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Soft cloth
- Nite Shade tint spray
- Clear coat spray
- Check with your local police regarding the legality of tinting headlights before tinting your own.
Brandy Alexander began writing professionally in 1993. She has years of experience as a professional of the English language employed with the "Cape Times" and "The Mercury." Alexander holds a master's degree in English literature from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.