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Old 04-30-2010, 06:24 PM
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Can I Apply Clearcoat on Headlights?

A few months ago I used a 3M kit to refinish my headlights. I thought it was annoying that the kit didn't come with a clearcoat spray to apply. I then realized I could just go buy a can of clearcoat at an auto parts store.

Can I Apply Clearcoat Spray from a can on Headlights? Would there be any problems with doing this? Has anyone else tried this?

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Old 04-30-2010, 06:26 PM
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I dont think it would help clarity at all......how did the buffing turn out?
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:00 PM
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What is the story about this kit? I assume it is a paint kit? If it did not come with clear, then it is a "single stage paint", which has about 20-25% clear mixed with the color. This is the way most paint was made until about 30 years ago, and is still widely available today.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:10 PM
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No! The 3M kit is for Restoring Your Headlights! It works very well.

However... it doesn't come with any spray to protect it. I was thinking of just buying clearcoat spray from an Auto Parts Store. I wasn't sure if that would be a good idea or work.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayh127
A few months ago I used a 3M kit to refinish my headlights. I thought it was annoying that the kit didn't come with a clearcoat spray to apply. I then realized I could just go buy a can of clearcoat at an auto parts store.

Can I Apply Clearcoat Spray from a can on Headlights? Would there be any problems with doing this? Has anyone else tried this?
Just put two coats of your favorite wax on the covers and call it done.

What would the clearcoat have to grab to?
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:15 PM
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clear-coating the beams

If someone has tried this, they may dispute my response, but..... I wouldn't recommend it. I'd guess the heat from the headlights with a bit of time would tend to likely discolor the clear coat. The extra layer of protection would really work against you over time.
If you do try it, let us know how it worked....I'd be glad to eat crow!
good luck.
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:26 AM
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I'm with you 38mike. I have never used head light polish but my guess would be that it would clean them up, like take the layer of scum that has been heated on and it might smooth the surface some what and that should be that, I would'nt put anything on them.
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Old 05-01-2010, 01:53 PM
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There are actually a lot of businesses that do this full time for a living.

The polishing kits are a waste of time and money as it will not last, like polishing old paint you break down the UV protection in the plastic.
Now applying a lacquer type clear over it will be a real problem in six months, as on the clear will break down by then and at that point will have done enough damage it will be head-lite buying time.

Pro's do it a couple of ways but the one way I hear the most works very well and is not hard at all.

Scuff plastic with a cleaner like scuff and stuff.
Spray plastic with coat of adhesion promoter as some of these plastics require it and some don't, so just use to be safe.

Spray one medium wet coat of a good urethane clear and it will last a long time.

If you want some better advice, there are three guys on the SPI user forum that do these, you might post a question there as one is Brian, JimC and Ed all do this type work and can advise better then I can,
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Old 05-01-2010, 01:57 PM
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A quick hijack , then you folks can go back to head lights - my trucks wheels need stripping and re-clearcoating. Will the SPI Universal clear hold up??

Dave W
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:00 PM
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Not over bare metal for the long term.
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:24 PM
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I am with Barry, if you were to sand a blend panel with 800 and clear it, why the heck not a headlight?

Sand it well enought to get all the "dead" stuff off the top with 400 or 600 then maybe go up to 800 and clear it.

Brian
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Old 05-01-2010, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryK
Not over bare metal for the long term.
Thought so - thanks
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:49 AM
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Do I need to apply an Adhesion Promoter before I put clearcoat spray on the headlights? Brian have you ever actually tried this on headlights? Does your body shop put on a spray when restoring headlights?
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:04 PM
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I'd use a promotor, yes. Never tried headlights, but guys tint their tailights all the time. I actually just did mine on the weekend, 3 coats of tinted clear, followed by a coat of normal clear.

As far as heat goes...My headlights never get as hot as my black car does sitting out in 30+degree sunshine.


If you are looking for some protection, why not consider something like Lamin-X? Its a clear (or tinted) film, applies really easy. Certainley better results then I think you'd get from a rattle can of clear coat. The stuff resists chipping much more than clear coat, and when it does eventually get beat up and full of scratches, just peel it off and apply new stuff.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:13 PM
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I just saw a friend clearcoat some headlights and we'll be able to keep track of this project to see how it holds up over time.

http://youtu.be/T65qbRy2rKo

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