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I finally got around to refinishing my tail light.


Ronnie

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I had been putting off this job for some time but I recently got it done. My tail light was dirty inside because of a small leak and didn't look too good. Instead of taking it apart and taking a chance of breaking it, I decide to try VHT Nite Shades to tint it to hide the imperfections. I think it turned out really well although I did get it a little darker than I intended. Still I'm very happy with the results. If you want more information about how I did it you can find it here. Below is a before and after photos of how it looks.

 

Before:
 

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After:
 

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Ronnie,

 

this looks very good in the pictures. I have a couple of marginal spare tail lamps (with some crazing and the like) and am inclined to try this on one to see if it will make it presentable enough to meet my high standards.  I will add that the added contrast of the lens to the red of the car makes it looks especially sharp. Not sure of the improvement would be quite as pronounced on cars of other colors, but my vert is red so I expect it would look great on that car.

 

VHT also sells a red tail lamp tint spray I've seen in stores here. I'm now wondering how that would turn out, since the original outer lens is smoke grey color, not red

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Ronnie's taillight looks great and what we all aspire to have ours look like.

 The taillight on my 'vert still looks great, the one on the Black is weathered but it is a winter daily driver so neither one "needs" anything. The Red  I refinished last year with an exterior akyd spar varnish and looks great. It closely resembles in appearance but I believe the varnish I used is more durable then the amber top coat product used in the Sylvania  Headlight Restore kit I originally tried. My rationale to using a varnish is this; the Red is now a summer daily driver that is kept outside 24/7 as my wife's Enclave and 'vert has garage rights, so I needed a finish that will not be too hard that it will crack as it weathers. An alkyd won't do that and is easy to sand and recoat if needed. I do store the Red inside in the winter months as I drive the Black. The 'vert is always inside.

 Ronnie drives his car less then 2000 miles a year on his Reatta and has garage space to keep his car protected so he should expect years of great service from the product he used.

 Not trying to downplay what he did to his taillight as once again it looks great and has the final "look" we all want, but it may not be the correct product for all applications.

 

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Kevin, you have nothing to lose by trying it.  I've read that it can be removed pretty easy. In my case where the blemishes were on the inside, I think this was a better choice than trying to take the tail light apart and risk breaking something. If I had a show car it would be a different story.

 

I agree that this may not be the best solution for all Reatta colors or all areas of the country. Tennessee seems to be pretty lenient but some states are pretty strict on any changes you make to lights and other safety equipment. I'm a little concerned about mine being so dark but not to the point of worrying about it. Red tint might be a better choice if you are concerned about being stopped for it being too dark although I doubt red tint would hide blemishes in the lens as well as the black.

 

I don't know how durable the finish will be if a car has to be outside all the time. Even though my car is usually garaged, I was concerned about durability so I added 7 coats of clear before final wet sanding, polishing and buffing. I'm thinking that many coats of clear will help prevent scratching the black tint and allow for some wet sanding with 2000 grit paper again in the future if needed to keep the finish glossy. Only time will tell about how durable it will be.

 

I think red is the ideal color for the dark tinted tail light. It matches up well with the gloss black trim strip around the car. It might also look good on a black or white car. I'm not sure that it would look so good on all the Reatta colors. I can't see it on polo or driftwood, but who knows, it might look great.

 

 

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