LS Sport Taillight Painting Project.
Danny sent in the following instructions on how to paint your center taillight panel to get the LS Sport look.
- Transparent contact paper (hobby store, think i paid about $5)
- Dupli-Color factory match paint (got mine at hi-lo auto parts). It comes in small 8oz spray cans, i think. I only used one, for light colors might want to get 2nd can just in case since red color of lense shows thru.
- Clear coat spray paint (for auto, almost any brand will do)
- Light grit sand paper, even steel wool would actually do ok (something too gritty will scratch plastic too deep)
- Xacto knife/or one-sided razor blades will do (but hurts fingers after awhile, i know)
Before I start with the instructions, so you know, you dont have to remove taillamps, but I did, made it so much easier to work with them and when doing the painting you'll need a clean inclosed dust-free as possible area to spray paint.
step 1: Cut sections of transparent contact paper a little larger then the size of each lens/turn signal circles to be covered. Remove backing and apply to the lens/or turn signal area, be sure to press down tight (on the round lens circles there will be wrinkles, but dont worry, it doesnt affect anything).
step 2: Using the Xacto knife or razor blade, you can then cut away excess so contact paper is covering the circles only (this part takes patience, the exact edge of circle is actually about 1/4 deep inside lens, so take your time).
step 3: Now that the circles and turn signals are covered with contact paper, you'll need to give the taillamps a light sanding. Only enough to remove the shine and leave a white haze, without the sanding, the paint will probably peel in time.
step 4: With a clean cloth, wipe away any dust that is left on lens from the sanding. Find a dry, dust-free area as possible to lay the taillamps down, best to put them all side by side, so that your get best use of your paint and an even coverage. Then paint according to instructions on Dupli-Color paint can. They usually say stay 6-8 inches away (or something like that), check can!! Spray even strokes across, first horizontally, wait about 30 mins for paint to dry a little, then spray vertically or vis/versa. If any red of lens is still showing thru, or you feel better with another layer, go ahead, but just wait at least 30 mins between coats, this allows one layer to dry and avoids runs in paint (if you have a spotlight or heat lamp, this will help with this process). Repeat till your satisfied with color.
step 5:After drying of paint is complete, use the clear coat paint, using same stroke and drying process as in step 3 to spray the clear. This is the part that is hard to match to cars clear coat, since you wont be able to tell final result until its dry. I gave mine about 3 light coats, and left it at that and ended up with a shine that is a little less intense then the factory paint on car(still looks great). I say use your best judgement here in how many coats to spray.
step 6: After clear is dry for few hours, using the Xacto knife/or blades, cut small opening in the center of the contact paper, and start to peel it away. Be very careful with the edges, it could pull excess paint from the area you wanted painted (you might want to hold a blade to the edge as you pull away contact paper, don't press down, just hold against edge lightly and pull contact paper away, or you'll make a cut in paint).
step 7: Bam, ur done, just reinstall on car. If the edges are not perfect, I suggest getting the touch-up paint kit, that is is a pen type thing (not sure what its called) and touch up edges. The paint will harden a little more over time, so after a few days, then you might want to check if there is any excess glue from the contact paper left on lens and remove with soap and water.