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Unread 07-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #1
alfaitalia
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What paint for headlight backings?

The chrome reflector surrounds in my headlights are tarnishing...its starting from the lens and slowly working its way back...although there is no sign of water ingress so I think its just old age. The reflectors themselves are as new. Since I also have a bit of clouding on the right headlamp lens im going to take them apart, polish the lenses and paint the chrome backing black in a Laredo styleee! I know how to take them apart and polish the lens etc but I want to know what paint you folks who have painted the chrome bits actually used and how you prepped the chrome. Cant imagine paint will stick too well to smooth shiney chrome! Also was the paint you used heat resistant or do they not get that hot to require it.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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Unread 07-20-2013, 05:35 AM   #2
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Its a chrome film on the inside of the headlights even cleaning can cause it to rub off. You can't paint them silver again it will never be as reflective as the chrome film that is more like a mirror.

When I was retro fitting projectors in headlamp I used alcohol based clearer and the chrom rubbed off with a cloth.
I sprayed the lowbeam reflector black and the surrounds only leaving high beam chrome. HID in projectors dont need reflector.

Even masking tape will lift off the chrome.

Clean polish the lenses but only wipe the chrome with damp soft cloth to removed dust and dont rub hard as chrome is a very very thin coating and yoy will rub through it.

I would advise just picking up a cheap ebay set instead of messing around with bad headlamps.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 06:13 AM   #3
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I've always found once it starts to peal, it's all downhill from there.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 06:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Tom View Post
Its a chrome film on the inside of the headlights even cleaning can cause it to rub off. You can't paint them silver again it will never be as reflective as the chrome film that is more like a mirror.

When I was retro fitting projectors in headlamp I used alcohol based clearer and the chrom rubbed off with a cloth.
I sprayed the lowbeam reflector black and the surrounds only leaving high beam chrome. HID in projectors dont need reflector.

Even masking tape will lift off the chrome.

Clean polish the lenses but only wipe the chrome with damp soft cloth to removed dust and dont rub hard as chrome is a very very thin coating and yoy will rub through it.

I would advise just picking up a cheap ebay set instead of messing around with bad headlamps.
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Originally Posted by cykaaro View Post
I've always found once it starts to peal, it's all downhill from there.
Sorry I did not make myself clear! I want the backing to be black not chrome (like the Laredo) so the pealing is not important. My actual reflectors are good as new. Just want to know what paint people who have painted theirs have used. Quite a few threads about doing it but none mention the paint type.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 06:22 AM   #5
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Well, in that case once the chrome is removed, clean the area to be painted, then use krylon for plastic (it bonds to plastics so won't peel or come off). I've been using it on my cladding for years without it ever peeling off. You don't want ot use something that could potentially peel off and have to open them up to redo them again. Now it just depends on what sheen you want to use at that point. I'd probably go with a nice matte black.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 06:35 AM   #6
4Tom
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Sorry my bad I thought you wanted to restore the chrome.

Most car paints will work
I used high temperature non gloss engine can spray
But it wasn't really nessary.
If I was doing it again I buy satan black car body paint.

Clean off the chrome you want to paint.
Or use a very fine sand paper no under coat is required as paint will stick to the plastic. 2 or 3 Very light coats of spray paint is all that is needed.

The orange reflector at side of head lamp relies on the chrome behind to be reflective. So you might want to keep that bit of chrome. Becare with masking tape as it can lift chrome.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 06:47 AM   #7
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Thanks...I like the idea of gloss black......and I have some on the shelf! Might delete the orange bits completely as its the only orange plastic left on the Jeep (tinted rears and side repeaters!). They are not a legal requirement in the UK like they are in the US . Might replace them with white ones....might not. Will see what it looks like without them.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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Gloss black should look good.
It will be better than the mat black I used.
When I finished doing mine a friend just said pity the black isn't shiny ha ha it was too late I had resealed the lenses. Live and learn.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 10:07 AM   #9
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I used Krylon Fusion [gloss black] when I painted mine (I had it on the shelf).



I think it turned out just fine...

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Unread 07-20-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
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Yeah...that's the I look want. Good job!
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