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Old 04-07-2012, 11:59 AM   #626
jkacman77
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Not bad for ten dollars, from the pics they look factory, nice job!
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:59 PM   #627
P_tothe_G
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yup, I am another convert to painting. Have experience with vinyl work with signage, and was thinking of doing it with bulk sheet (cheap for a 24"x10yd roll). But it would definately be a pita applying to the outer tails. I agree that the overlays can be done to look nice, but the hassle is not worth it. The painting is the way to go...and I will be doing this one soon
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:50 AM   #628
kriswithak
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after reading this over the weekend i stopped at a local crafts shop and picked up some of the Krylon Stained Glass paint. the previous owner put some vinyl overlays on the tail lights, the inside (on the hatch) lights looked fine, they were starting to peel where the hatch meets the body, but the outside lights had really bad bubbling on the top. so i heated the lights up with a blow dryer and peeled the vinyl off.

scrubbed them down, and started painting.




thats 2 coats red, waited an hour between. just hit them with Crystal Clear right now. waiting to put them on
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:09 PM   #629
lifeonwalls
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As a new Subaru owner/member I wanted to thank everyone who posted tips/hints on how to paint the tails. Did this last night and all of the tips were very helpful - from the steps to remove the inner tails (top/pillars/lower) to the best methods on masking/taping.

I ended up using the plastic sheet method to create a single template that I could use on the inner tails and then masking off the outer ones by hand/eye. I used the Metalcast Red (3 coats) and UPOL clear #1 (2)and they look great. One thing I noticed that one light had some red bleed thru the tape (used 3m blue painters tape) and should have taped it over once more just to be sure.

Be sure to mask them off while they are on car so you can see that they are symmetrical and then when you are painting them have the left/right lined up as they would be on the car so you are making sure to get them as even as possible. I wanted a strip of red between the tail lights and therefore didn't mask all the way to the edge - left about 3/8s of red border.

I purchased this sanding pack on Amazon:
Amazon.com: 3M 03006 Wetordry 3-2/3" x 9" Automotive Sandpaper with Assorted Grit Sizes, (Pack of 5): AutomotiveAmazon.com: 3M 03006 Wetordry 3-2/3" x 9" Automotive Sandpaper with Assorted Grit Sizes, (Pack of 5): Automotive

And while I was working remembered that I had this lens restorer kit leftover which also came in very handy - the lubricating liquid was perfect for the light wet-sanding, especially around the edges.
Amazon.com: Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit: AutomotiveAmazon.com: Turtle Wax T-240KT Headlight Lens Restorer Kit: Automotive

It helps if you have some side projects to work on while you wait for it to dry, I cleaned/polished my wheels and exhaust during the wait. All in, it was more than $10 but certainly well under what it would cost for new lights. It took me a few hours to complete - masking took the longest because I wanted to make sure the lines were tight, and then drying time was extended because I did it on a rainy night.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:10 PM   #630
SwiftShifter87
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here's an amazing question for this topic. What did you guys use to strip the lights? mine have faded and I've had to strip the paint and do a new coat twice now, obviously because I haven't yet found UV resistant paint, which is fine, but the tail lights get ugly as sin after removing the paint, recommendations suggestions?
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:30 AM   #631
lifeonwalls
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Is there a DIY for removing the rear spoiler to gain access to the third brake light?

I've taken the trim piece off and see the lines for the power and washer fluid but can't seem to find where to disconnect them. There are two screws that hold the spoiler in on the but I don't want to unscrew those just yet and be left with a dangling spoiler without an idea of how to disconnect safely.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:57 AM   #632
dickiescoob
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Spoiler is super easy to remove on the hatch. After the trunk liners, remove the 2 outer bolts, then there is 2 more inner bolts that you will need a deep socket to remove. After those, there are only a few plastic clips, so you just pull it up.
As far as disconnecting power/washer fluid, once the trunk trim is gone, about 4 inches from the center to the left is where you disconnect.
Ill see if I can find a pic sometime today
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:55 AM   #633
dickiescoob
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Here is a spoiler removed. Notice the disconnect after the rubber seal




And as you can see here, you can remove the spoiler and have a little room to flip it over
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:58 AM   #634
lifeonwalls
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Awesome, thanks so much for taking the time to upload pics - I appreciate it.

So it looks like you unscrew the two bolts that keep the plastic light piece attached to remove it without having to disconnect the other end of the power line.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:59 AM   #635
dickiescoob
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No problem.,lemme know if you have more questions
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:12 PM   #636
Celery GT-5
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redoing mine today with nightshades red. going solid red on the outer lights because im too lazy to do all that masking again. So far the color looks good but I may have to do some wet sanding
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:30 PM   #637
laxpro388
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thats pretty sick man came out nice
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:36 AM   #638
Celery GT-5
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repainted the outer tails with nightshades


for the record with all the fading and repainting this has cost way way more than $10, its probably closer to $60 at this point and I'm going to need more 3m adhesive remover to get the paint off the center lights and more nightshades. in the long run overlays are much cheaper unless you do an insanely good job
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:19 AM   #639
aaronn
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Does anyone else have a problem with fading? I've done this process maybe 3 times, each time looking better and better but it always ends up fading. I'm at a pretty high elevation with really sunny, hot weather which I'm sure doesn't help.

Should a different UV spray completely prevent fading?
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:58 AM   #640
Celery GT-5
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I'm thinking VHT nightshades might be better for fading since its made specifically for taillights. Idk a lot of noobs are driving around with blacked out tails and they usually don't look faded. Also they said to use lacquer...I piled a ton on there because I really dont want to do this again...I was thinking of just switching to overlays but removing the paint 100% is pretty hard especially under the sides

I think I may have gone a bit to dark this time but better than fading, I liked the look better with the turn signal masked off but its such a PITA
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:23 AM   #641
thrdeye
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I have zero fading. Mine were done Oct 16 2011.

VHT nightshades and 3-4 coats of clear.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:24 AM   #642
Celery GT-5
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good to hear..lol
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:21 PM   #643
subyhatch05
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if done coe right correctly with vht and the right clearcoat, it will last you years and shine as much as a freshly waxed car
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:21 AM   #644
Super_HKS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronn View Post
Does anyone else have a problem with fading? I've done this process maybe 3 times, each time looking better and better but it always ends up fading. I'm at a pretty high elevation with really sunny, hot weather which I'm sure doesn't help.

Should a different UV spray completely prevent fading?
You may want to consider using a canuba wax on the tail lights 3-4 times a year to give it that much more UV resistant protection. I live in Washington State where we get a ton of gray but I still do notice a little bit of fade after about a year or so. Honestly its not that bad though, all you need to do is give it a very light wet or dry sand with a very high grit sand paper and give it 1-2 coats of paint and 1-2 coats of clear coat. After everything is 100% dry giving it a canuba wax wouldn't hurt anything. (I haven't tried the canuba wax on them yet but I plan on giving my lights a new coat this weekend so I will keep things posted as time elapses)
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:49 PM   #645
STi410
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I just did mine this weekend and used VHT, I did 4 coats of red and 2 coats of clear. Like said before since VHT is made for the lights it will probably last longer.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:36 PM   #646
Ashr
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for the life of me I can not find Krylon glass stain...
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:16 PM   #647
Celery GT-5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashr View Post
for the life of me I can not find Krylon glass stain...
good, it just fades. Go to advance auto, autozone or amazon.com and get some VHT nightshades red(and possibly some clear lacquer) as per the directions

Amazon.com: VHT Nite-Shades Red Lens Cover Coating SP888 10 oz Spray: AutomotiveAmazon.com: VHT Nite-Shades Red Lens Cover Coating SP888 10 oz Spray: Automotive
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:39 PM   #648
scarney1988
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Anyone ever considered just going to a body shop and having a tinted clear coat applied? Wont be 10 dollars but... their clear coats will last much longer
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:55 PM   #649
Celery GT-5
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well this isn't $10 either once it fades
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:39 PM   #650
cianuro
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I read a lot here about the paint fading. It all depends on how you did it.

First off, how often do you guys wash the car? If you didn't apply a clear coat, the nightshades will fade because you're washing it down little by little. There's no point in doing this if you're not applying the clear coat. Its point is to protect the nightshades coat.

If you applied clear coat and it still fades, then your clear coat was too thin. Try waxing a corner of the light and look at how the cloth comes out. If it's red, then you no longer have a clear coat.

I did mine almost a year ago, and they still look like they did the first day. I used the vht nightshades in red and Krylon Fusion clear coat. I only polished them once to give them the mirror look, and that was it.
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