DIY: Headlight Tint

Written by stephanie abir
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Trying to make your car distinctly yours can become trying. If you want to add a little pizazz and tone to your new ride, tint the headlights---one of those easy do-it-yourself projects you can complete in less than an afternoon and with nothing complicated in the way of tools. The best part of this project lies in the fact that most types of tint film are easy to remove so you can alter the colours as often as you want.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Soap
  • Heat gun
  • Paper towel
  • Squeegee
  • Spray bottle
  • Tinting film
  • Craft knife

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  1. 1

    Clean the headlight thoroughly with soap and water. Any dirt that remains on the lens will become trapped behind the tinting film.

  2. 2

    Apply heat from a heat gun to warm up the lens of the headlight. The warmed surface will grab onto the film better than cold plastic would.

  3. 3

    Wet a paper towel, and wrap it around the squeegee. Using water helps reduce friction when you apply the tint and prevents damage.

  4. 4

    Spray the headlight with water until it is dripping wet. Peel the backing off the film, then spray it wet as well.

  5. 5

    Place the wet side of the film against the lens, covering the entire headlight. Slide the film into place until satisfied with the position.

  6. 6

    Press the wrapped squeegee against the middle of the headlight, and drag it up to the top edge of the lens. Some water will remain under the film.

  7. 7

    Smooth the film down from the middle outward. Some small sections of film will lift off the lens; don't smooth them down yet.

  8. 8

    Hold the heat gun in front of the headlight, and heat the film. Use low heat to warm the film enough to stretch slightly.

  9. 9

    Smooth down the film again, starting from the middle of the headlight, until you reach the lens edges. On this pass of the film, you will force the water out underneath.

  10. 10

    Trim the excess film using a craft knife. Cut as close to the edge of the lens as possible for a seamless look.

  11. 11

    Smooth the film completely with a squeegee, and dry any remaining water with a heat gun. Pay careful attention to curves in the lens to ensure proper adhesion.

Tips and warnings

  • Use removable film so you can remove the tint if you want to sell your car.
  • Do not cut into the plastic of the headlight lens when trimming the film, or you will make permanent scratches.
  • Check the laws in your area; tinting your lights may be illegal.

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