DIY: How to Restore Headlights (Sanding and Spraying)

Hello YouTube. Today I’m going to show you
how to restore a headlight on this 350Z As you can tell, this is really really yellow light well not extremely but it’s getting
there you can see a lot of damage done. Fogging… you know how lights get when they get old, so
let go ahead and get to it. First thing were going to do is clean up this headlight. and then were going to go ahead and sand it and then spray it Heres the tools were going to be using to complete this project. So you’re gonna need your 600 grit sandpaper wet or dry but it’s require you have to
use one that works with wet another one with 1500 grit, a sponge paper towels, your paint, newspaper your bucket of water, and optionally you can
use turtle wax as a final to prevent it from getting worse in the
future, and your cup of coffee alright let’s go ahead and start the sanding process, so the first thing we’re
gonna do is clean of the headlight from any dirt that is already on there Lets go ahead and get our paper towels and dry up around that area. Make sure you clean up around the paint were going to go ahead and put the tape around it to prevent damage while were sanding once it’s completely dry, were going to put this tape all around the light. What you want do, is up to you, but on
this 350 Z we’re gonna go ahead and leave the hood
closed but if you want to get into more detail you can open the hood, and put tape on the very edge of the light. once we have the tape applied, we can begin the sanding proccess. The grit were going to be working with first is 600. What your going to want to do is if you have these half sheets, go ahead and cut these into another half. you get something about this size with a full size sheet, fold it into a half, then into a quarter. you get the same size. For this car, the
damage isn’t so bad so im probably only going to use one of
these sheets, and one of the 1500. so if your car is really yellow, you might want to use two of these and make sure you have the light super
super clean before you begin the painting process. Once you cut it into the quarter your going to want to fold it in half one more time and put it in the water so that its wet. Then you go ahead and
follow one direction wherever you are sanding so if your gonna sand this way, don’t change
your direction, you are going vertically or
horizontally in this case since the car runs downwards is probably going to be easier to go vertically. so lets go ahead and get to it your going to wanna periodically dip this water to make sure you have plenty of water on the headlight Once you’ve given it one pass, your going to want to get the sponge dip it in a little bit of water and take off the first pass that you gave it. As you can tell it
looks worse than when you started right? don’t let that scare. That’s part of the
process. Go ahead and get your paper towel. Dry it again yeah slow Greece so what you’re looking for here is to make
sure that you have an even sanding. If you see some parts like this that are
still clear, like this part you can still see some clarity right
there you trying to get it all look faded like
this. Evenly. So you see they’re still many parts so let’s go ahead and keep going and not
only that if you look right here its a little hard to see on the camera but
there are small marks right here you want those to
come off too they look like water marks but I don’t know
exactly what they are. It look like where the sun burned it a little more but let just go ahead and sand it again a second time but this time let’s flip it to the other
side than the one we were using okay so once your done with the 600
grit sandpaper you wanna go ahead and move onto the 1500 grit sand paper for that real fine crystal clear. Rather than have small miniscule scratches Your tape is probably going to end up like mine right here go ahead and remove it all as you can tell your car looks like it’s crying, tell it it’ll be okay, it’s for its own good Grab the 1500 let’s go ahead and do what we did to the last one… and cut it in half you may need to use this entire sheet. Because the 1500 wears down extremely quick as you can tell the 600 has already
removed the yellowing on the light the more yellow the more sanding your going to need to do to get that clear look use plenty of water I just went through the first sheet of the sandpaper. So were going to use the second half of the quarter we cut just to make sure we get a perfect headlight at the end of our painting remember the key to the painting and all this clarity and all that, is making sure that
you have this perfectly sanded. once you got ahead and dried it with this
dont touch it anymore at all so that the painting that the paint can adhere
perfectly to the headlight you must let it air dry but don’t touch
the headlight because if you touch the headlight you risk damaging it and the paint spreading, The paint need to stick perfectly This is internal damage I don’t know you can see it in the
camera. You can see some damage right there that’s probably going to come out after but
everything I should come out pretty clean Let go ahead and get started put newspaper all around this area just so
that the spray when we spray it, wont get everywhere. You just want it at this location. What your going to want to do it make sure your headlight is completely dry before you paint because if you have any water on it at all, what will end up happening is you will get a spreading in the paint. it will look bad. all the paint has been covered with the newspaper so according to the instructions to this
specific paint brand shake for 10 seconds after each minute
of use let’s go ahead and get started on that so since we sanded in this direction
I’m gonna go ahead and paint in the same direction that’s not necessarily required. it’s
just habit we’re gonna stay I believe it says eight to 10 inches
away going over one than half of the other on I’ll show you better demonstration right now when i’m spraying Just so you guys got a good look this is what looks like after the
sanding Let’s get to the painting let it dry then after its completely dry we apply the wax so after your car has cried for
quite a while you told it was going to be okay so look at its final product. Crystal-clear again. just like it came out of the factory. okay so after you finish
the headlight and it’s nice and dry already. you’ve given it at
least an hour go ahead and apply a small amount of Turtle
Wax so your going to need the turtle wax the little sponge that comes with it a microfibre cloth to take it off nicely just grab this, dip a little bit, just a
little bit to much. That fine right there. Put it on the light the more you put the harder it’s gonna be to take off so it’s your choice. Nice
little circles let it dry for about 15 minutes. if you like my videos like and subscribe. Let me know in the
comments if you guys have trouble, I mean I have two videos up there. Ill put the other one in the description in case you guys want to look at those
comments people have asked quite a bit of questions on those. Your question might already be in there but look in the description who knows. So ill go ahead and let you guys go again like and subscribe. Ill see you guys in the next one.

Glenn Chapman


  1. I tried this, everything went great, then the clear started cracking

  2. Also check out our video on How to remove Paint Transfer/Scratches from your vehicle.
    Also please hit that subscribe button!

  3. Im using this kind of spray paint. https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=spray+no.+190&rlz=1C9BKJA_enPH704PH704&hl=en-US&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjb6pCd3vzSAhWMbbwKHZziDyEQ_AUIBCgA&biw=1024&bih=653&dpr=2#imgrc=y0PqlzpJj5yVAM: . Would this be fine? Thanks

  4. think i messed up with the spray paint and now it looks cracked how do I restart?

  5. did all the steps and now i cant get the fogginess from the sanding off my lights. the clear enamel didnt work.

  6. Go back to your country !! hahahaha just kidding man , awesome work I like your videos it's easy and any one can do it . here is a like and subscribe .

  7. How long do you wet sand with each grade or how do you tell when to move on?

  8. Thank you! With your method, I'm glad I won't have to use a buffing machine because I don't have one.

  9. wet sand the clear coat as well. but instead of one coat of clear do two, 3 is pushing it for headlights but wet sanding the clear will really give it that wow factor

  10. Just saved me about $500.00 bucks restoring my Audi A8 lense covers. They look great! Thanks Christian!

  11. I wasn't sure about the painting… Restored mine last week sanding first with 1500, then 2000 and finishing on 2500. I then used an orbital buffer to apply a cutting agent, followed by a polish and then to maintain the finish, used a UV protective spray. The results were incredible. I just think the clear paint is a bit of a cheat, and could result in undesired effects if done incorrectly

  12. What's the name of this paint? Please reply.
    Or what compound is it?
    Do reply please.

  13. Can it work for scratched up headlights because my passenger headlight is a bit cloudy with small scratches?

  14. Can UV protection be inserted somewhere in the process or does the clear coat handle that protection?

  15. Looks good and all but it won't last very long if you don't let the clear coat cure for a few weeks before putting on any wax.

  16. Great video my man. Can't wait to try this on my Lexus ES350. Car looks nice, but those pussy yellow headlights kinda fuck it up. Hope this works. Thanks again

  17. +Christian Marcias Great video…except for the dubstep 😛 But I will definitely put this on with some classic rock to appease my tastes while I work. This vid will definitely come in handy again when I start restoring my car's corneas…THANKS!!!

  18. Everything was going so smooth until I got to the clear coat. The upper part section was beyond clear it worked so well. But the bottom portion did not. It's as if the clear coat mixed with grime. I tried clear coat remover but it made it worse. Now my headlight has it baked in.

  19. spray polish is the worst thing you can do. it will peel of, orange peel is bad and you have to polish to get it perfectly clear, spray clear gets scratched super easy, just try it with your fingernail.

  20. You shouldn't Polish or wax any paint job for at least one week, unless the paint job is baked at a professional paint shop

  21. Great video !! One thing tho, The music is too loud which blocks what your saying at times

  22. @Christian great video mate. Can you please post links of your products from amazon? Also its good for you because you can make some money 🙂

  23. HI I have question for you I only have top of my headlight the cleer coat is peeling off can just sand top leave rest alone because rest looks great.

  24. My headlights looked like absoulte shit after applying the clear coat. Should I wet sand down the new clear coat and try and do a new coat? Or should I do a low grit and try and get rid of the new one(Id use a power hand sander) and then wetsand to smoothness and recoat?

  25. Question
    What are the songs in the clip here?
    And how come you didn't show us what to do with the coffee. You said coffee is one of the project materials A-ha 😂

  26. As others have commented you need to let the clear coat dry for about a week before applying wax or anything like that because it maybe tack free to the touch but that doesn't mean that it has completely cured just like with any kind of paint or epoxy clear coat it tells you on the can or you can even call the company for instructions if you don't believe me

  27. mine came out looking like shitt. I think I over spray the clear coat I will have to redo them next week

  28. You SAY and SHOW NOTHING about the PAINT!!  You POINT to two cans of spray paint, don't show the label, don't show the type, don't talk about much of ANYTHING about the paint. Talk is much more about types of sandpaper. Would have been a good video if you'd just covered the painting as well as the sanding. The final process of finishing up is lacking.

  29. Save all that time get some Off Deep woods and a white paper towel . Job Done

  30. I guess mine was not dry, because the paint was cloudy and it's clear gloss spray, I have to sand it off now I think

  31. Do not use clear coat! It looks greasy and leaves an orange peel look.

    Instead, after sanding, use something like plastx by meguiars, or compound.

    That will make it look opaque clear which is what you want it to look like… Just clear, not greasy

    Of course without applying a clear coat, your headlight is now exposed to the elements and will yellow out once again soon…

    So to avoid this from happening I suggest you use a sealant and or wax afterwards. If you cared enough about your car to do this whole procedure, then you should also was it at least once every 6 months. Just apply wax to the headlights also..

    This ensures that there's a layer of protection and will prolong the yellowing from happening again

    Only professionals should ever clear coat a headlight.. If you use an aerosol can, believe you me, it looks crappy

  32. I had everything perfect until the clear cost part. I fucked up and got the Dupli-color Acrylic Enamel Clear coat with a matte finish instead of gloss. Both cans look identical so I have to re do this I believe.

  33. Where do you buy the correction compound? Thank you,
    Albert Lara

  34. Fucking terrible! Maybe not all headlights are the same plastic but I did this to my 2010 Escape and shit alligatored like hell. I used the exact same products! I even skipped the wax step!

  35. Wouldn't it be easier and safer to take the headlight off? I'm looking to do this myself.

  36. Old video but if anyone comes across it, you should polish the head lights until clear and then use clear coat to seal and protect.The waxing should be done a week or two later. Polishing will remove the fine scratches left behind from the 1500 grit paper. Clean with rubbing alcohol before clear coating. Remember the clear coat is for protecting and it's not the same as working with paint.

  37. Why they call it paint when it makes it clear?. How long is this process? Especially sanding because i did it today at work and it kinda didnt get clear like yours. Embarrassing for since i did it at work

  38. been doing this method for quite a while . works great always.! works better if you can remove the light ,if possible.
    also use the hose if you can.blue tape is also a plus rather than the white. now if its in the budget i recommend
    krylon "UV" clear coat for PLASTIC ! your end result will last so much longer.i have a saab that was done a year ago.looks like i just did it. id go 4 coats. thats my suggestions ,cool vid chris btw IG 208_soldiers check out my z

  39. Great video gonna attempt this when I get the chance. Quick question my lights aren't very bad just starting to fade on top kinda like yours, would you recommend starting with 800-1000 grid paper and finishing with 1,500 grind paper. Don't wanna pay the price in the end if it would destroy the light. Thanks

  40. Good video i was gonna go and pay for this but now im gonna do this mission myself.

  41. Would it be okay if I do this outside and let it sit to dry? Temperature is ranging low 40s and low 15s at night. For those that don’t have a garage.

  42. I used the spray clear cost from dupli color and it turned out to get my headlights glossy BUT the cracks and marks are now even more easy to see… Like WAY MORE.

  43. So basically there's not good enamel in my city and I've been doing the whole process good

  44. Very good video. But I’m sure you have had to either polish or re clear these by now. If you want this to last, use a 2K clear. It’s automotive clear coat then you just treat it like your paint work. Will outlast a single stage clear in a can all day. Not knocking just giving pointers. Good video ! Also I saw mentioned, gassing out process is important. Wait a couple days before wax. Some say over a month.

  45. hi dude i kind of messed up by using like a 80 sang paper to start off with. any ideas on how to fix this ? did use the lower guages afterwards but still quite misty. thanks.

  46. So this is a good and informative video. However, there is one MAJOR measure that can be taken to make results much better and last longer than the headlight itself. If anyone is planning to do this job and lives near an auto body supply store (many O'Reilly Stores, Auto tire and parts Napa (in Missouri/Illinois), and many Federated auto parts stores) are all paint and body suppliers. Instead of buying duplicolor or the like, go buy a professional 2k clear coat. This type has a catalyst, which hardens it and gives the clear resilience to UV Rays. It can be purchased in typical aerosol cans now and makes the results beyond compare. As good as store bought canned clears can make these lamps look, they will fade in time, unfortunately. I hope this helps anyone considering this, and I am in no way disparaging those who use other types or the maker of this video.

  47. Why you gotta use a compound/polisher after using the clear coat? I mean after you applied the clear coat, I'm pretty sure it has UV protection, it looks fine to me. Anyone wanna explain?

  48. Background music a little to loud G… but good video thorough detail👍🏽

  49. great video. only thing is that spraying clear coat on your headlights can manipulate the beam of light from the headlights. a bit like when you put a straw into a glass of water and it looks like its bent a bit. alot of people suggest using a clear coat film after machine polishing with cutting compound.

  50. The best clear coat for the headlights are the ones that say that they bond to plastic and that they’re anti yellowing and UV resistant

  51. A car detail guy warned me not to use any kind of acrylic spray because in about 6 months the Florida sun will cause cracking of the acrylic and it's nearly impossible to get off. He showed me how it happened to his headlights. I decided to just use a Meguiars plastic cleaning product instead. I bought but didn't use the sand paper. They look great right now. I'll add wax to protect them tomorrow. If it doesn't last long I'll repeat it. It literally took 5 minutes, less actually.

  52. I also have a 2000 grit sandpaper that I used on my car finish. Should I use that last, or is 1500 enough?

  53. That worked perfectly!!!
    I'm a plumber, not a painter, so let me inform guys out there that may not know that there is a little white nozzle on the spray can. Well, that fell off while I was shaking it I guess. The first coat came out like a blob….LOL……I found the nozzle and re-sanded the lights and then reapplied the clear coat. Worked great!!
    Thanks for the vid!!!!

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