How to make custom headlight covers

About This How-to
Author: moonwell
Added: 07.03.02
Updated: 02.27.04
Discuss (17)
Tired of blackouts being your only choice for headlight covers? Why not make your own custom set from clear covers instead?



How To Do It

Step 1

Peal any factory logos off the headlight covers. We don't want to give them free advertising, and it just looks plain tacky with them on there. Remove anything else stuck to the covers as well, such as rubber strips, and the Velcro strips (we will reattach those later). Use the Goo-Gone, or WD-40 to get rid of the sticky residue left over, then clean the entire cover with the rubbing alcohol.

Step 2

Design your pattern. Come up with an original design, please don't feel the need to steal mine. I designed mine on the computer, and printed it off directly on the back of the contact paper. You can also draw it freehand onto the contact paper. We are doing this on contact paper, so it can easily be cut out and applied to the cover to mask the areas we don't want painted. Remember, you are working on the backside of the contact paper, so the pattern must be reversed. Once you have the pattern on the contact paper, carefully cut it out with an X-acto knife, or scissors. Don't cut up the area surrounding the actually pattern, as we will use it later.

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Step 3

We will use the outside scraps from your pattern in order to get the mask pattern lined up. Tape the scrap to the outside of the headlight cover, so that you can use it as a guide to place the design on the INSIDE of the headlight cover. Yes, we will be painting the inside of the cover, not the outside. This way the paint will be completely durable to the outside elements.


Step 4

Once you have your pattern applied, you will need to mask off the edges and the outside of the headlight cover, so that you don't get paint on the opposite side. I just used a big sheet of the contact paper and sealed it around the edges with masking tape

Step 5

Clean the inside of the cover one last time with the rubbing alcohol to ensure a good bond with the paint, and then make sure your mask pattern is stuck down good and tight around the edges, so you don't get paint underneath

Step 6

Take it outside and start painting. You cannot use primer first, as the bottom coat is what is going to show, since we are painting from the inside. Use even strokes and several coats. Depending on what kind and color of paint you use, it may take quite a few coats to get the desired coverage. I used an entire 5oz can of duplicolor, and the paint is still a tad translucent.

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Step 7

Once the paint is good and try, carefully peal off the masking

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Step 8

The design process is now done! Reattach the velcro mounting tabs using some strong glue. I used epoxy, but automotive trim adhesive would work too.

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Step 9

Now you just need to install these babies on your car, and your all set! :)

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