How to Black Out Tail Lights

This is our guide on how to black out your tail lights. This is a tutorial on how to do it yourself. We have two different tutorials for two different levels. The first tutorial is a more simplistic process and the second tutorial is more complex but the results are freakin AMAZING (using buffers, compounds, etc). Blah blah blah, the simple tutorial is on this page and the professional finish tutorial is here. If your wondering about laws and regulations we have a thread on state laws found here.
*If your looking to just buy plastic covers you should head over to this Amazon link because there are some top sellers there.

Basic More Simple Tutorial

The smoking process takes very little time and materials. With our tutorials, a maximum of an hour or two will only be needed for the process. With step by step instructions, it is basically impossible to get lost or be confused.

From the beginning tell the end of the smoking process, we walk you through everything. Truth be told, anyone with a little patience and determination can use our tutorials to fulfill this desired process. We offer a basic tutorial and a professional finish tutorial. The basic tutorial is a more simple process that comes out with a nice finish that most people are satisfied with.

The professional finish tutorial is a more complex tutorial that finishes with a professional finish. It is the nicest finish available, but is a little more difficult and time consuming.

The tutorials walks you through step by step of every needed process. The slim number of things that can go wrong almost always are rooted from having the wrong materials for the this process.

1. Locate Lights or Items on Vehicle

Take a look at your vehicle and decide what items you are going to smoke. This may seem like a pointless thing to include in the tutorial since you are already here at the site, but we want to make sure everything is included.

Next, your going to want to ponder the fact of removing those items from the vehicle or leaving them assembled to the vehicle. We would recommend removing the items from the vehicle for best spray results, and less hassle of taping things off. But if you decide to leave them attached, that is still fine.

To take off your tail tail lights or desired items, you will most likely need some tools. The best guide to do this would either referring to your cars owners manual, or just jumping at it and trying to figure it out on your own.

For those or you leaving the items attached, you will need to tape off everything but your items that you want smoked. If you miss spots taping, you may spray the spray onto your cars paint, and that is not good.

2. Cleaning and Spray Prepping

Now that you have either removed your items or taped them very well, you are ready for the next step of prepping to spray them. Your going to want to make sure you have all tar, dirt, grease, or whatever may on you items OFF. This is a big deal, being whatever is on your lights before you spray them will be between your sprayed layer and lights. NOT GOOD.

Take out your glass cleaner or multi surface cleaner now. Clean your items tell your arms are sore. This is a being a little extreme, but what were getting at is clean your items VERY GOOD. Use lint free towels while cleaning your items with the cleaner. Lint free towels stop from leaving residue and lint behind. After you are sure they are very clean and ready to be sprayed, sit them out in a good spot to let the cleaner dry.

Allow enough time for the cleaner to dry. A lot of people are so excited to smoke their stuff that they rush the process of letting the cleaner dry, and smoke spray over the wet cleaner. The two do not mix well, and will highly effect your results.

3. Spraying and What is Involved

While your lights or items are drying from cleaning them, start to shake your can of vht nite shades. Shaking the can vigorously for a couple of minutes is what is best. Remember, ideal spraying temperatures are between 60F and 95F (16C-35C) and when humidity is less than 60%.

Once your cleaner is dry on your items you can then spray. Hold the can while spraying 8-10 inches away. Being too close can cause the paint to build up too fast and run. Running paint is bad. If your spray runs, we advice taking all layer off with paint thinner and START OVER completely.

4. Different Coats of Spray

Your first coat has now been applied, and has NO running of build up spray. Here is how the spray works, the more coats you apply to your items the darker color or visibility will turn out. It kind of be compared to percentages of window tint.

One sprayed coat has around 50% darkness visibility. Two Coats has around 35% tint visibility color. We advice only going a maximum of three coats, which would be related to around 15% tint visibility color. Anything past 3 coats, will be extremely dark.

The spray manufacturer recommends one hour wait time between coats, but we have always just waited around 20 minutes with good drying conditions. Allow 24 hours to maximum dry and 1 hour for dryness to hand touch.

So decide how many coats you want, and move forward. After your first coat is dry, move on to coat number two. Same spray methods apply for as the first coat applied. Keep it thin and try not to over do it. It would be a shame to wreck it right now while your getting farther into multiple coats of spray.

5. Finishing Up and Re-Installing

We will only be spraying two coats in this tutorial, because that is what we advice. For two reasons, one being the law and the other light visibility. It is up to you, but after more than 2 coats the cops may be a bit after you at times it may seem. We do hear of most of our customers wanting three coats, but we are just advising some helpful information.After your done spraying as many coats of lens spray as you desire on your items, it is now time to spray clear coat if that is an interest of yours. It is not needed, but we find a lot of people to apply it for its help in safety and durability. Use same spraying techniques and precautions as with lens spray for clear coat.

Second reason being light visibility. We recommend this idea because, once you smoke your lights too dark it reflects with how much your lights show through the smoking. This can be an issue more in different positions.After your amount of desired coats, your lights are given 24 hours to dry and are ready to be reinstalled to the vehicle. Now remember to be careful while reinstalling your items. The spray is very durable, but anything can be scratched if your not watching what your doing.Finished product. If you desire, you can use the professional finish tutorial instead.

Common Questions: Tinting Lights

1. How easy is this as a do it yourself task?

Like any do it yourself task, it somewhat depends on your comprehension skills of learning how to do the actual act. And also the idea of what tools you are able to get and what steps you choose to skip and so on. So to fully answer this question, I will go with the answer of how many VARIABLES are working in your favor. What tutorial you use, what shape your lights are in, what steps you skip out on in the tutorial, how patient you are, how serious you are, AND SO MUCH MORE.

In my opinion, the basic tutorial on this site scores a difficulty level of 3 out of 10.

2. How much will tinting lights cost me?

On average, I would say it costs around $10.00 $50.00. All depending on what tutorial you use and where you buy your materials and of what quality materials you buy for the job. It is a very cheap modification, which is what makes it so popular.

3. Are tinted lights illegal or legal in my area?

Here is the magic question everyone asks, and I have grown to literally hate this question but Ill try to explain it the best of my ability. In most states, there is a law that states that tail lights must be seen from so many feet away. So the lights need to be seen from so much of a length away. Do the research on your state and area to figure that out.

4. Can I remove the tint from my lights if needed?

There are amazing tutorials on here that teach a person to remove the tint from their lights. So YES, the process can be reversed. But remember that removing this stuff might be a bit harder of a task than just applying it. With most painted items, it is always hardest to remove carefully what was applied so nicely at a time.

5. Should I use clear coat on my lights too?

If your using the product VHT Nite shades, one really doesnt need to use clear coat over the spray itself. But we find that a lot of people just like the idea of using a clear coat over the spray to protect it. It is a very good idea in a sense.

But we have also seen a lot of stories to where the clear sort of wrecks the entire job itself too. At times, the vht nite shades does not like certain clears with high levels of whatever it is that wrecks the vht clear.. but just keep that in mind. Not to scare you from using clear, but I usually steer people away from using just because it really is not needed.

6. How long will the spray tint last and look good?

This question is all based off of weather conditions. The spray tint is an exterior product obviously, and depending on what exterior weather conditions the spray is put in will be how long it will last. Its a lot like a soft top to a Cadillac. The sun is going to bake and crack it no matter what with the sun and time. Depending on how much sun, and at what levels the top is in will determine how long it will last.

7. Do I have to remove my lights from the vehicle itself to spray them?

The simple answer is NO. Nobody has to remove their tail lights or head lights in order to spray tint them. In my opinion, it only matters if you should remove them when you can not tint the lights 100%. And at a clear rate to where they have the potential to turn out perfect. Why cut corners while doing something like this. It will only help the turnout look of your lights. If you can do it without removing the lights, all the power to you. If you cant.. remove them.

8. What is the best method of tinting my tail lights?

These opinion based questions are hard to answer without just using our opinions to answer them. In our opinion, the best method of tinting lights is the spraying method. It turns out the best as far as cosmetics. Holds up the best to weather conditions. And can be un-done with the correct procedures. The whole vinyl layover idea of tint film is a great idea, but with extreme weather conditions they fail. You be the judge.

9. Can I get in lots of trouble from the law with tinted lights?

With your lights being too darkly tinted, you could get a ticket from the law enforcement. In some states, I have heard that the idea of smoked tail lights are completely illegal now. Not even different percentages, but ALL TOGETHER.

So check your state laws and figure it out. Bad things can happen from these tinted lights too, SO DONT FORGET IT. If someone cant see your lights and there is an accident with deaths.. you might be looking at some bad things. Be responsible with the tinting lights idea.

10. Will the spray wreck my lights?

The spray can wreck your lights if you use the wrong precautions to remove the spray. Or in another case, use the wrong precautions to apply the spray. I have seen people sand with a rough sandpaper before the spray and it fogs their lenses and creates a nightmare.

Just never use too rough of a sandpaper when it comes to lighting devices on plastic. If you do your research, you will not wreck your lights and can even remove the spray properly if you wish.

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