How to Custom Paint Your Tail Lights – Learn Auto Body And Paint Q&A

Hi, guys! Tony here from Thank you for joining me live and checking this Blog. Know “How to Custom Paint Your Tail Lights” and learn more about Auto Body and Paint in this Q&A session. Don’t forget to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to my YT channel for more videos and get great information to help you with your own custom painting! And also, check out Learn Auto Body And Paint VIP Program to learn more about DIY auto bodywork and paint.

QUESTION: Screwed up the base coat a week ago and have to redo it. Had spray gun issues and was limited by hot weather. Didn’t bother spraying any clear. Will scotch pads be ok to scuff for some areas?

You could. The only reason why I don’t like scotch Brite pads, the green, the maroon, the gray, or whatever color you’re using is, it’s an inconsistent sanding that you’re going to get. It’s not for finishing, to put good paint over, it’s good to scuff up if you’re going to prime something. 

I don’t like it because it’s inconsistent. In those pads, you got your fibers and then sometimes a chunk of the grid is just not consistent. If you wipe that on a piece of clearcoat you’re going to see that some scratches are deeper than others and you’re gonna get an area that’s not evenly scratched. So it’s good for getting rims under if you’re going to be undercoating a truck bed. Things like that rough draft stuff. I like to use it but I do not like to use Scotch Brite for any type of refinishing, putting a base coat or clear coat on top.

If I were you I would block it out with 400 grit just don’t even have to block it. You could just wet sand it, put some 400 grit on your hands there, and just wash it down with 400 grit. Put some scuff marks on it and rebase it and re-clear.

QUESTION: When adding a black base coat to clear, does the black base coat need to be reduced? I’m wanting to darken tail lights.

You want to make your clear coat regular. So, 4:1 mixture, 4:1:1 mixture or 2:1 mixture, whatever clear coat mixture you got, make that first. Say you have a pint of sprayable clear coat mixed up that’s reduced, that’s mixed. Some clear coats, you’re gonna add our reducers, some of them, no, just activator and clear coat right. 

So get that mixed and then you add a black base coat to that, that’s all you got to do. And you’re going to add very little so if I mixed up a pint of clear coat sprayable and that’s like a lot, you can do like all your tail lights with a pint. You’re going to probably want to put like a teaspoon, right of black base coat in it. Teaspoon because every coat every layer you do, you’re going to darken it up even more, so very little. Then you’re going to mix that up.

I show you how to do that in VIP, we have videos at learn autobody VIP, showing you how to mix that ratio and showing you spraying over other things. You’re gonna probably do more of that type of stuff, especially when we get to the van project.

I want to smoke out the tail lights so we’ll have all that project video back in VIP as new projects once we bang those out.

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Question: If I wanted to paint my plastic chrome front grill, what do I do like sandpaper and primer? Also, can I paint my chrome front bumper and plastic on top of it also wanted a flat black?

Yes, absolutely. You can paint Chrome. You can paint classic car chrome but you know like chrome bumpers, steel chrome-plated bumpers, you could prep and paint plastic plated or even chrome-plated plastic as well.

Prep it like any other thing. You can get 150 grit sandpaper, scuff it up. If it’s rusted pitted if you’re doing like a classic car steel bumper and you got some rust in it or whatever you’re gonna want to hit it with like an 80 grit.

You can epoxy prime it, do your bodywork, glaze, putty filler, or block it out 2K filler prime, and then you could shoot base coat clear coat on top of that. Or a single-stage enamel, a flat black, or whatever you want to do, just the same exact thing with plastic. You’re just going to scuff it and it’s going to scratch up pretty easily, chrome-plated plastic scratches up pretty easily.

So you could use like a 150 grit, you know you’re not going to have any rust on it, you could even probably use a 220 to 180 to 150 grit in that area, scuff it, prime it, because it’s plastic, you don’t need to epoxy prime. You could just put a 2k filler primer on top of that. Any kind of filler primer, 2K, and let that dry, sanded flat with 400 grit and you could paint right on top of that. Super easy. If you feel like you want to go the extra mile, you can sand it, prep it, spray some adhesion promoter on that and then spray or primer on top of that. Alright, so you got a few different ways to do it.


For more helpful links:

How To Paint Chrome Bumpers: Know The Process – AutoBody Q&A

Headlight Restoration – The ONLY 2 Ways To Restore Your Headlights!

How To Clean Chrome – Cleaning Chrome Rims & Car Parts at Home!


Explaining Painting Candy Over Silver: Auto Body Q&A 

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