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Sn4ckM4st3r 05-19-2008 10:04 AM

How-To: VHT Niteshades Tails
I looked through the archives and found nothing on this so i thought i would try my hand at this.

Baby wipes or rubbing alcohol

800 Grit Wetordry Sandpaper

1000 Grit Wetordry Sand paper

1 or 2 Cans of VHT niteshades (depending on how dark and how many lenses)

1 or 2 Cans of High Gloss clear coat (again depending on how many lenses) *Side note* If you wish to have a different look try a high gloss clear with a sort of metallic flake in it. Something like Clear Effects.

Plenty shop towels or microfiber

Rubbing compound (Meguairs Scratch X recommended)

Your favorite Wax

Packing Tape

Open your trunk or hatch depending on your trim line.

Reach in and remove the wing nuts to the tails, and the screws on the sides for the hatch focus. Remove both tails and put ziploc bags or plastic wrap around the bulbs and wiring to prevent ANYTHING.

*At this point if you would rather do the inside for a light smoke take your lenses in and bake at a very low temp long enough to melt the seal*

Once you have the tails inside or where you will be painting take your baby wipes or rubbing alcohol and lightly apply and clean the lenses.

Wipe down with shop towels or microfiber.

Wetsand with 800 VERY lightly and make sure to do the whole lens. Be careful not to sand your reverse lens if you want it left clear.

Wipe down with baby wipes again.

After both lenses are clean and prepared put some kind of protection underneath them to protect whatever they are on.

*If you wish to leave your reverse lights clear take your packing tape and apply it perfect over and then gently cut it to the shape and contour of the reverse lens.*

Spray your first coat of niteshade. Make sure to spray it on VERY lightly in an almost dusting style. Make sure to cover the whole lens evenly.

Make sure to wait for the nitesahde to completely dry *10-15 minutes*
When it does dry wet sand lightly with your 1000 grit every coat.

Apply 3 coats of this for a light smoke

Apply 4 coats in a similar fashion for a darker smoke

Apply anywhere from 5-6 coats for a dark or almost black lens.

After your final coat of niteshade has dried, wetsand lightly with 1000 grit.

After you wetsand apply 3-5 coats of clear to achieve the shine desired. Also wen clearing make sure to wetsand all impurities or flaws made while spraying on the clear.

After the clear has dried put the tails back onto the car at this point.

When the tails are back on the car take your rubbing compound ( i used scratch X and found it to work best out of the 3 i had.) and gently work a very small amount in with an applicator.

Rub it off in circular motions with a microfiber POLISHING cloth.

After this apply your favorite wax ( I used Meguiars Tech 2.0)

Let dry and buff out with the same or another polishing microfiber cloth.

Depending on your darkness and amount of braking time look into LED style bulbs from ebay or such. These can be helpful as they are brighter and don't share the same heat problems or concerns as do the stock style bulbs*

You are now done, i do not have pictures as my camera was dead.

Also note to do the side markers as well as front signals the procedure is identical. The procedure is the same for the 3rd Brake lens as well, make sure to cover the back of it with plastic or aluminum foil and to clean the washer nozzle if you get over spray on it.

Pics of finish product-

Front End-

3rd Brake Lamp-


Video of light-

trailbikerider 05-19-2008 02:41 PM

Not quite sure, but isn't that illegal to have your taillights like that?

TKE_Quailman 05-19-2008 02:46 PM

Nope so long as your brake lights shine trough at least here in miami thats how it is

FocusedEnergy 05-19-2008 04:51 PM

"After you wetsand apply 3-5 coats of niteshade to achieve the shine desired. Also wen clearing make sure to wetsand all impurities or flaws made while spraying on the clear."

I believe you meant 3-5 coats of clearcoat, not niteshade[neener] . Cool though- good writeup. I believe though that you have to let the paint really dry out and breathe before you coat it with wax, and if I'm not mistaken, that usually takes around 6 months. Just my two cents.

Again, good writeup.

Sn4ckM4st3r 05-19-2008 10:11 PM

Sorry fixed that. And this is the third set of tails i have used this exact setup on. Never onced had an issue and always turned out great. I believe i will be using clear effects to try and give it a different look some time.

CapnGnarly 05-20-2008 02:18 PM


Originally Posted by FocusedEnergy (Post 2135067)
I believe though that you have to let the paint really dry out and breathe before you coat it with wax, and if I'm not mistaken, that usually takes around 6 months. Just my two cents.

Clearcoats react MUCH differently than color coats. I haven't done it on a car before, but I have on guitars quite a bit (been doing custom paint jobs for nearly 6 years).

If you wax a color before it's cleared, it will "suck out" the dyes in it, which will cause the color to fade and sometimes the "flatness" of it warp, causing curves, wrinkles, and even orange peel in some extreme cases. A clear on the other hand is typically a MUCH harder compound, takes about a year to truly cure, and has no dyes in it.

On guitars, I use beeswax (which I know is very different than car wax), and usually put it on within 6 hours of the top clear drying. If I didn't put a clear on, then I don't wax it at all. The wax does the same thing it does on your car, it fills in whatever small scratches or dings or chips are in there, and is easier to "spread," so it flattens out and smooths over any rough spots while still staying glossy and clear.

On a clear, I'd say it's okay to throw some wax on it. Wait a day or so, but it's okay. If you don't put any clear on it, don't touch it with wax until a LONG time after you've sprayed it. I can see the plastic getting warped with the color if it were to happen. I can't say "if you do this, you will ruin your headlights" because that's more than likely not true, but the caveat should be there, just in case.

CapnGnarly 05-20-2008 02:21 PM

Editing is freaking out on me, so this post will make my changes for me.

"If you wax a color before it's cleared" should be "before it's cured."

nacnudv8 05-20-2008 02:27 PM

front turns look good - they are really "stealth"

thenorm 05-20-2008 02:47 PM

its a good, detailed write-up for super high quality work.

when i shaded mine, i didnt have the patience that you did, so i never wetsanded, didnt wax either or buff. All i did was.
rubbing alcohol
3 coats of shade (drying between)
2 coats of clear.

they turned out good IMO, but i suppose side by side with yours, I would see the difference made by your procedure.

Sn4ckM4st3r 05-20-2008 02:59 PM

Thanks. Yeah i have done 3 sets of tails in the past 2 years. And every single set i have done this way has NEVER been warped, discolored, or faded. The scratch X is more like a polishing deal to take away small blemishes that were left after wet sanding. And then the Tech 2.0 keeps them shining bright. Like i said NEVER had a problem. And while paint is the same i have found that nitesahde behaves VERY differently then car paint or such. They told me not to wax my bumper on my old car for like 2 months so i didn't. But these i have done it everytime and ALWAYS loved the end result.

EDIT: Also if you feel really dark you can use the 1000 to sand down your ford emblem and then wet sand it. After that hit it with niteshade a few coats to black it and then clear it and use the same shine precedure. I need to hit mine with another coat of clear but i blacked it for that added stealth effect.

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