I discovered a reliable method, I obviously invented :), to create nearly-OEM-as-if-they-made-OEM-amber-bumper-lights bumper lights. I created these for a friend, and it has proven durable because he polishes the lights when he polishes the car. This tutorial is for advance users only. I will not take any questions that are not related to this tutorial as well. In addition to being BIASED, this is for the only people who have access to many materials. Sorry for being mean - I just don’t want anyone criticizing “shit you could of bought a new bumper light instead of doing this”
-Water Soluble Tamiya Clear Red AND Yellow Paint OR Any ACRYLIC Clear Paint at any hobby store
-Small shot glass cup to custom mix your amber
-800 and 1500 grit sand paper
-Any Acrylic Enamel Clear Spray Paint (e.g. Duplicolor, Rustoleum, Krylon) - if you have access to automotive durable clear, go for it.
-Buffing compound and buffing polish (not plastic compound and polish)
Clean and wet sand your lights with 800 grit. It should look evenly hazed. This step creates a “biting” area for the paint.
In the shot glass, put 2 parts of yellow to 1 part red. This will create a nice amber. I tested it out on a spare light to save you people the hassle of finding out that you have a too yellow/red color light. To custom mix your amber, you need to experiment. This is one of the reasons why I did not buy just the orange bottle.
Make sure if you did not buy the Tamiya brand acrylic color clear paint to check if your paint is water soluble. Add a LITTLE water - this is to create an even texture when you paint it on the lights. Mix well.
Paint the lights in one LONG direction THINLY to create an even texture. It should NOT drip or bead on the edges. After the first coat, blow dry it quickly so the paint does not bead up on the edges. Paint and blow dry 4-6 EVEN THIN coats to create the color you want. It should match my sample I did on a spare light. Let it cure for about an hour. There will be lumps but dont worry, the next step will even it out. (You could stop at this step because its already shiny, but it won’t be durable).
Wet sand the lights with 1500 grit LIGHTLY until it is EVEN and HAZED. This step is to prep for the clear coat.
Spray the first coat of clear really really light, it should look bumpy and thin. This is to create a “biting” area for the oncoming coats. Spray 5-6 coats thinly or 3 coats heavily. Sorry no picture…
As you may have already noticed, the clear doesn’t look as even as you thought it would be. “What the fuck happened? Before I put the clear, the lights look super clean?” Well bitch, sand them down again with 1500 sand paper this time. There should not be ANY SHINY SPOTS or LOW CLEAR BUMPS - just one EVEN HAZE - this is critical.
Elbow grease (not really hard to do though) - use a rag and rub that bitch with buffing compound. You’ll instantly see that it will become shiny the minute you rub her curves. Well, its not done yet. Grab the polish and repeat the same step with a lighter material such as a foam sponge or toilet paper.
Care: Remember, these are not plastic no more because you coated them with paint. When you wax and polish your car, run it on these lights too. From what I’ve seen, the lights never yellowed or discolored because when you wax/polish your car it’ll create a thin UV protective film.
Thank you and enjoy.