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DIY: Headlight Restoration using Clear Coat


Old 07-14-2014, 03:49 AM
ProStreetDriver is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 50
Default DIY: Headlight Restoration using Clear Coat

Video tutorial on how to refinished hazy/foggy plastic headlights by applying clear coat. This is intended to be a long term method compared to the other two methods which I have done in the past that was the wet sanding/polishing method and the method using strictly toothpaste. The headlights do not need to be removed from the vehicle or disassembled as I have shown the in the vehicle. Removing the headlights from the vehicle does help to eliminate the chance of any over spray from the clear coat or adhesion promoter landing on the paint which would need to be cleaned afterwards.

Tools/Supplies Needed:
-800 grit wet/dry sandpaper (if your headlights are severe)
-1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper
-bucket of soapy water
-isopropyl/rubbing alcohol
-clean lint free cloth
-adhesion promoter
-lacquer/clear coat

-if you decided to remove your headlights, start with that step first (headlight removal varies between makes/models of vehicles)
-wash the headlights thoroughly to ensure no contaminants will get into the wet sanding process
-tape off around the perimeter of the headlight lens or vehicles paint to protect it (optional)
-ensure the lens is always well lubricated during the wet sanding process using the soap water
-if your headlights are severely hazy/foggy, wet sand starting with 800 grit and finish with 1000 grit
-if headlights are mildly hazy/foggy, start and finish wet sanding with 1000 grit sand paper
-once satisfied, wash the headlight again to ensure there are no contaminants which would affect the lacquer/clear coat
-once headlight is dry, wipe it down with isopropyl/rubbing alcohol
-tape off the areas you do not want any lacquer/clear coat on
-wipe headlight lens down again with isopropyl/rubbing alcohol, do not touch the lens with your hands (oil from your skin can cause imperfections when apply the lacquer/clear coat)
-use the adhesion promoter to ensure there will be maximum adhesion when applying the lacquer/clear coat
-once adhesion promoter has setup, then go ahead and apply the lacquer/clear coat
-lacquer/clear coat can be applied in 2 coats if you are not planning on wet sanding afterwards
-if you are planning on wet sanding to a polish afterwards, apply 3 coats to ensure there is enough material for the next process
-wet sanding tutorial located here
-be sure to remove any paper or tape after about an hour of setup time
-let the headlight fully harden in the sun for at least 24 hours before the wet sanding and polishing stage
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