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Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... #118823 Mar 7, 6:27pm Mar 7, 6:27pm
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 914
Alberta, Canada
robare99 OP
Senior Member
2003 Toyota Celica GT
robare99 OP
Senior Member
2003 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 914
Alberta, Canada
Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup...
Here's a writeup of my headlights paint job. I'll include tips and things I learned along the way. I did them in gunmetal, using Duplicolor wheel & rim paint. The color was "graphite" I chose wheel & rim since it was the only one at that store that came in graphite. Looking at the can, it says for wheels and PLASTIC hubcaps, so I knew I was in business. First off, wear gloves, they get hot, being in the oven & all. And wear some old junky clothes because you'll probably get some epoxy on you.

Here's a pic of the can of paint I used. It might be different in the USA, but I picked it up at Canadian Tire for like 7 bucks.

Linked Image


So here I am in the garage, first order of business is taking the bumper off, and then removing the lights.

Linked Image
Linked Image

Tip#1: undo the silver screw on the side by the fender last, it supports the light while you take out the top & bottom screw.

Everyone knows about the 3 brass screws, but there's also 2 little rubber nozzles with sponge filters I was NOT expecting to see. Take these off too since they probably wouldn't fare too well in the oven. In the top pic, one is shown along with the DRL which I also removed. Second pics show's them removed. (obviously)

Linked Image
Linked Image

And the top one, along with the lowbeam rubber seal which should be removed along with the bulb, as in the next pic (yeah the bulb's still there but I did take it out)...

Linked Image
Linked Image

Take out the 3 screws on the lowbeam seal and it comes right out. I'm not sure what the hell those other 2 things are but they didn't seem to be going anywhere so I left them. Survived the oven fine so no big whoop.

Linked Image

Next comes the oven.

Tip#2: place the towel on the rack and "pre fit" the light in the oven with it off. Then you have an idea how far into the oven it has to go.

Turn on the oven to 300F. When it hits that temp, open it up, stick in the towel, and place the light on the towel so it doesn't melt on the rack. Have the rack on the lowest one. I used "bake" instead of "broil". Turn it off, close the door and start the timer. I left it the full 15 minutes before I took it out.

Tip#3: don't be afraid to get some help. I had my kid help me take them apart, his job was to unclip the clips on the side of the light with a butter knife while I pulled. ALSO, VERY IMPORTANT... Start at the top, when you get the top opened a bit, stick the knife in between and jimmy it open. The rest should go as smooth as can be. The sides of my light didn't get wrinkled at all like you sometimes see. I just kept pulling and pulling. Only had to do it once, didn't have to reheat the oven. But leave it in the full 15 minutes. Use an old butter knife as it gets some gunk on it. Here's one of the lights apart...

Linked Image

Tip#4: to take the insides out, remove the 2 screws, the jimmy it apart. Start at the top, be careful since you don't want to break the damn thing. When you put them back together you'll notice it just sort of drops in from the top and snaps into place, so do it reverse to take it out. The side opposite the screws has a little tab. Note it's path, it needs to be pulled up. It will take a little fiddling but it comes out. Then bend up the tabs carefully on the reflector and take it out. The single tab will lift up first, and then you can pull it out. Don't get carried away bending it up and down since it will get weaker each time you do and eventually break.

Next up...decide if you are going to paint the top or the underside. I wanted the ribbed look, so I decided to paint the underside. This being said, it's wise to totally mask everyting on the top, since as you spray it goes pretty much everywhere. Take your time, do a good job, we're only going to do this once... right? Don't worry, if you fcuk it up, you can always paint the top. grin

Linked Image

Flip it upside down, paint it someplace dry and not dusty, if you're doing it in a garage, pull any vehicles out since paint might get on it. Stands to reason right? But you never know. When it's upside down, you can see if you missed any spots.

Linked Image

Tip#5: On the first one, I tried to follow every curve perfectly with the masking tape. On the second one I let it overlap, with the overlap hanging in the air. I made sure that it was on tight by running my fingers over top and pressing it down really tight. By spraying light coats, it sholdn't wick paint under the crack. It didn't for me, but again, I pressed it down really well.

Next, paint the mofo. Use light strokes, again, take your time and do a good job. You don't want it running all over. I did 2 coats. Took a while on each coat to get it all, and then waited oh, about 1/2 an hour between coats. Then let it dry a couple of hours or so.

Linked Image

Wait until it's dry and then peel the tape off. Take care as some paint on the tape might be wet. You don't want to get it on your hands or on the light. Once it's off admire it. Damn that's a thing of beauty.

Tip#6. If there's little bits of glue from the masking tape, or epoxy on the outside, use duct tape to remove it. Yup, duct tape, is there anything it can't do?? Take a little piece and stick it over the leftover adhesive. Then peel it back. You'll see it pick up a bit. It will take some time but it will totally remove it. It's better then wiping it off with windex, or rubbing alcohol, or what-have-you, since it takes it off clean instead of spreading it around.

Linked Image

Put it back together now. Before you do, take a bit of windex and clean it up. ALso make sure the painted part is totally clean and everything is clean. I got the second light together and was giving it a once over before I stuck it back in the oven and wouldn't you know it. There was a damn HAIR on the inside of the light. REALLY look at it at this point, since you REALLY don't want to pull it apart again.

Insert the reflector and bend the tabs back down. Do the double tab side first then set it down on the single tab. Next, slide the painted part into the clear light cover. If the light were on your car, slide the painted part down, and you'll see how that tab clicks right into place. Then press the other sides down and put the screws in.

Next, place the 2 halves together, be careful and line them up properly. Even though it is cold, the epoxy still sticks together pretty good. I heated the oven back up to 300, and this time put them in for 8 minutes since I didn't want to melt the paint or anything. (I don't know if that would happen but I didn't want to take the chance) When it comes out press it together and the pieces should slide in nicely. Put the 3 brass screws in at this point and it will really suck the whole thing together. Here's some pics of them done...

Linked Image
Linked Image

And both lights together, completed.

Linked Image

Replace all the little rubber filters, the DRL's and the rubber seals for the lights.

Tip#7: put your lowbeams in before you install the lights back on the car. WAY easier.

Slap them back on the car...

Linked Image

Put the bumper back on and voilla. Easy mod, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Set aside a day to do it, since the painting takes the time. But don't be afraid. I was hesitant at first but it was a piece of cake. Having a helping hand when you take it apart might be all the difference in the world.

A couple more pics of the final product. Oooooooooooh... Aaaaahhhhhhh. Yeah it looks great, and will go great with my Carbon Fiber hoodscoop (which is in getting 6 coats of clearcoat) and my gunmetal rims which I should be buying any day now. Really, like ANY day now, I mean it, like totally. grin

Rock and roll. Hope this helps out with some of the details and tips & tricks.

Linked Image
Linked Image

Rob

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118824 Mar 7, 6:39pm Mar 7, 6:39pm
Joined: Oct 2003
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maryland
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aykut
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great guide smile thanks man , still afraild to mess it up

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118825 Mar 7, 6:40pm Mar 7, 6:40pm
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celicafourotwo
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celicafourotwo
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That's a nice job you did. The light luk awesome. Is that an Injen Intake i see you had hook up??

Good job


Originally Posted by pesho01
Question:
Whenever my car is at a full stop or even in park the RPM never sits on 0. what does this mean?
Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118826 Mar 7, 6:40pm Mar 7, 6:40pm
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,129
Philadelphia, PA
Sultan
Speed Omen
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Sultan
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very nice... good job with the guide thumbsup

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118827 Mar 7, 6:49pm Mar 7, 6:49pm
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 306
New Hampshire
round2gts
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round2gts
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first off rob they look sick. they look awsome painted against the yellow. and thanx for putting out all of the steps out with pics of exactly wat you did. because i am planning on doin this too and had no idea where to start. thanx a lot grin


[Linked Image]
Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: round2gts] #118828 Mar 7, 6:52pm Mar 7, 6:52pm
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Maryland USA
RoMkApOmKa
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RoMkApOmKa
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Nice! thumbsup

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118829 Mar 7, 7:07pm Mar 7, 7:07pm
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PnOyGtS
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Looks good!

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: round2gts] #118830 Mar 7, 7:45pm Mar 7, 7:45pm
Joined: Aug 2003
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New Orleans, LA
Speed4TheNeed
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Originally Posted by round2gts
first off rob they look sick. they look awsome painted against the yellow. and thanx for putting out all of the steps out with pics of exactly wat you did. because i am planning on doin this too and had no idea where to start. thanx a lot grin


ditto.

now THAT is awesome and a very nice job with the pics & install. great job, i can't say enough.

although we already have a similar guide on here about painting your headlights, it definately wouldn't hurt to give isaac a pm and ask him about taking a look at your guide to see if he can put this up as well.

again, great job. thumbsup

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: celicafourotwo] #118831 Mar 7, 7:57pm Mar 7, 7:57pm
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Alberta, Canada
robare99 OP
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robare99 OP
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Alberta, Canada
Quote:

ditto.

now THAT is awesome and a very nice job with the pics & install. great job, i can't say enough.

although we already have a similar guide on here about painting your headlights, it definately wouldn't hurt to give isaac a pm and ask him about taking a look at your guide to see if he can put this up as well.

again, great job. thumbsup


Sure man, he can put it up with the other guides. The more information, the easier it gets for the next person. Whoever was the first person crazy enough to even think about it had some balls man! grin

Rob

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118832 Mar 7, 8:05pm Mar 7, 8:05pm
Joined: Jul 2002
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that's so fuckin awesome eek grin


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Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118833 Mar 7, 8:08pm Mar 7, 8:08pm
Joined: May 2003
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Orlando/Gainesville, FL
bmw52786
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thats sweet! maybe a ill set aside a day during spring break to try that... lol


IF YOU POST IT -- THEY WILL COME
Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118834 Mar 7, 8:10pm Mar 7, 8:10pm
Joined: Sep 2003
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New York
GTStick
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holy thats sooo niceee thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: Sultan] #118835 Mar 7, 8:54pm Mar 7, 8:54pm
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Evan
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Originally Posted by Sultan
very nice... good job with the guide thumbsup


[Linked Image]
Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118836 Mar 7, 11:02pm Mar 7, 11:02pm
Joined: Oct 2003
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Wyoming
2001 carbon blue Toyota Celica GT
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VERY nice! Good work! I've been thinking about doing that, but i'm afraid to mess up the headlight housings...

Oh what the hell... i've already started painting my interior, might as well do the headlights too rofl

By the way, for people who have any other questions about painting, you can refer to my paint guide, which should answer your questions. Paint away!

robare99, Keep up the good work!


[Linked Image]
Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118837 Mar 7, 11:09pm Mar 7, 11:09pm
Joined: Feb 2004
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Atlanta, Georgia
2000 Silver Toyota Celica GT
Warlord786
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Great job, and thanks for the guide!

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: carbon_blue_gt] #118838 Mar 8, 12:09am Mar 8, 12:09am
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Alberta, Canada
robare99 OP
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robare99 OP
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Alberta, Canada
Yeah man, go for it. Remember, God hates a coward. LOL it's easier than it sounds, but I think the key is an extra set of hands when you take them apart. Then a little time & patience.

Rob

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118839 Mar 8, 8:45am Mar 8, 8:45am
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BAT should make n overlay for this maybe is he could... confused


DJ CURTIZ - taking over the world one record at a time
Live life on the edge, otherwise you take up too much space.
Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118840 Mar 8, 11:39am Mar 8, 11:39am
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celicaTRDgts
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celicaTRDgts
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thats sickk dude...good job thumbsup


[Linked Image]
Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118841 Mar 8, 1:26pm Mar 8, 1:26pm
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South Sweden
Spread Eagle
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Yaah. Nice work. Still scared to take mine apart. I really do not want to f... it up wtf



Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: Spread Eagle] #118842 Mar 8, 1:31pm Mar 8, 1:31pm
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Michigan
element_celica
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sweet dude! they look like the 03 headlights now thumbsup


rip celi...
95 240sx
Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118843 Mar 8, 2:21pm Mar 8, 2:21pm

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excellent man i hope i can do mine as well as yours...great job! thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118844 Mar 8, 2:28pm Mar 8, 2:28pm

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here is a contrast...

1869866056-405708_61_full.jpg
Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118845 Mar 8, 2:29pm Mar 8, 2:29pm

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and the other...

1869866059-405708_76_full.jpg
Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118846 Mar 8, 2:30pm Mar 8, 2:30pm

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oooo, thats nice, much easier to compare!

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118847 Mar 8, 2:41pm Mar 8, 2:41pm
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just wow!!! that's super clean, but not something I think I'd have the brass to do...headlights in the oven scares me...incredible job tho.

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: robare99] #118848 Mar 8, 9:41pm Mar 8, 9:41pm
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Vancouver, BC
vietnamese2004
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vietnamese2004
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That's crazy man thumbsup
hope you don't mind if i copy u... rice
...just looks to dam good to pass up grin

Re: Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup... [Re: vietnamese2004] #118849 Mar 9, 10:54pm Mar 9, 10:54pm
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Anyone planning on doing this make sure you have lots of time, i read this yesterday 7th of march and decided to do it, i was out there from 430 pm to 1230 am, lolo... but the end result was way worth it no doubt. i also installed my TRD front bumper and fogs, and my TRD plate from bullet racing (thanx that shiz is tite)... so that took some time... but his directions are dead on balls accurate, ill post some pix soon, i just want to say thanx for posting that install guide you gave me a lot of direction in something i had no idea in doing... my gf also helped me the whole way, she was a big help except when she was complaining, as women do..lolo jk or not..

to those who try this good luck, just remember in the end it will be worth it!

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