How To Restore Headlights – Headlight Restoration From Home

Learn How To Restore Headlights by Watching The Video

Let’s talk about how to restore headlights using 2k automotive clear coat.

Yeah, I know… your sick and tired of looking at your car and seeing those old and grimy headlights and you want to do something about it.

Or maybe you want to start a headlight restoration business and make some pretty decent part-time cash, just like one of our premium LABAP VIP club members Gary Wolf did after learning a whole lot about auto body repair and paint and automotive detailing.

Here is his website if you want to take a look at his new business I congratulate you Gary for making things happen!

You have 2 options when it comes to restoring headlamps.

  1. You can Sand & buff (what I usually do)
  2. You can Sand and Clear Coat using a 2k automotive clear coat (like this post and video above)


In this post we will show you the simple process of wet sanding and clear coating your headlights with 2k clear coat. For those of you who don’t know what 2k clear is, basically you have 2 kinds of clear. The first one is 1k. You see then on the shelves of automotive stores like AutoZone, Checkers, O’Reilly and PepBoys. You know… Brands like  Krylon and Rustoleum.

They have no hardeners in them and are weak in durability plus they are cheap. You can use them, but you won’t get a long lasting finish if that’s what you’re looking for.

If you want to restore headlights by clear coating them, then I recommend to use a 2k clear coat like I do in the video on the top of this post. They can last longer and won’t fade out every year to 18 months. This method has been tested and used by many people.

There are Pros and Cons, and here are the Pros first.

  • Easy and affordable to clear coat your headlights
  • Longer lasting than buffing out headlights
  • Beautiful high finish gloss after clearing
  • Very durable when comparing to a 1k clear coat

The Cons

  • Takes 30 min longer because of masking and painting
  • You need to buy some automotive clear coat and a spray bottle
  • May peel in 3-5 years if in consistant sunlight. (you can always sand and re clear though)

So, yes! this is easy as heck to do and you can make your headlights look like new again. You can also start a mini business out of it, like I said one of our VIP members Gary did. Here’s a finished picture below of a completed headlight that we did on a Honda CRV.

headlight restoration

In conclusion, when performing any kind of headlight restoration know that you have options. You can wet sand and buff or you can clear coat them. …And if you do clear coat them, then go with a 2k clear coat not a cheap 1k aerosol can of clear. You want them to last and by using a 2k clear coat, it will.

If you end up buffing them, just remember that you’ll probably have to do it every year or two depending on how much they wear off. It really only takes about 10 minutes to complete a pair if you buff them out and they will look nice.

Good luck with your headlight restoration projects or business!

The LABAP team!

P.S. if you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy learning about how to paint plastic car parts.

P.P.S. Want to be an auto body ROCK STAR? Cut your learning curve and become a VIP member here.

Please like or share. Then comment below. We would love to hear from you!


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15 thoughts on “How To Restore Headlights – Headlight Restoration From Home”

    • You can, I think you’re talking about 1k? correct? It will not last as long as a 2k clear coat. You can get 2k in aerosol too. SprayMax is what you want. If you don’t do it like I did here… Good luck!

  1. This is exactly what I needed for my is300, here in sa you could end up paying 300 bucks for a restoration kit, one question though, will this procedure work on the rear brake lights?

  2. I noticed you used the PPG Shopline JC630 Clearcoat and JH-6370 Hardener. I was wondering if getting a PPG Deltron clear coat would look even better? Would there be a benefit to using PPG’s high end clear coats over the Shopline?

    If there is a difference, which Deltron should i get?

  3. Tony, thanks for the video buddy.
    I sanded and buffed my car headlights as I watched in the previous video and they look great!! And this method looks awesome too, I think I’ll try it next time my headlights fade out. Tony how much would I charge for a front headlight restoration job with the clear coat method?

  4. Hello Tony,

    When you talk about a 4:1 mixture, what do you mix the 2k clearcoat with?

    Also, when you get the 2000 grit sandpaper, what chemical do you use to sand the headlights down?

    I’ll be glad to hear from you.

    Wish you well,

    Paul Wilson

    • Paul, Hardener or activator. Some clears are 2:1 or 2:1:1 or 4:1:1. It all depends on the brand. We cover all of this in easy to understand terms and all on videos within the VIP section of the site. You can use water to sand your headlights down… 🙂 Good luck! You can also just buff out your lights if you wish to do so. We have videos on the buffing out technique also, just browse the blog to learn more.


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