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got widebody?®
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys/gals,
I know it's pretty simple to paint the tails but one or two easy-to-make mistakes can make a really crappy job, as I've seen on many Hondas etc.

I personally LOVE how the tails came out on my car...who cares if there are no Altezzas, those are PLAYED OUT. :)
It was super easy to do mine the way I did.

You'll need Testor's™ Transparent Candy Apple Red in a SPRAY (can be bought at hobby shop for $3 approx) , one can of clear coat (Tremclad works well), a SHARP Exacto™ knife, some old newspaper and a roll of masking tape.

1. use masking tape to make a precise frame around the orange (or white if you're 1995-97) part of the tail light. For the round parts just keep ripping off small pieces and overlapping them, each time changing the angle ever so slightly so it ends up "rounded". There is a very defined line around the orange/clear part, try to do it exactly on for easy knife tracing later. For reverse light lay some strips of tape over the whole thing and press it down, then cut around the lower groove with your Exacto for perfect spray coverage.

2. next tape some newspaper to the frame you've made, open the trunk etc...make sure no over spray will end up on the car! I recommend painting somewhere with NO WIND.

3. make sure the surface is pretty clean, but not wet

4. spray a thin coat (it will look ugly pink/orange at first, that's ok) of the Testor's Transparent Candy Apple Red on each side and let dry 30 minutes.

5. repeat step four 3 more times in THIN COATS!!!

6. allow to dry 2 hours, and then apply 2-3 coats of clear coat over the red, allowing 30 mins to dry between coats.

7. use an Exacto knife and lightly "trace" the edge where the paint meets the tape. MAKE SURE the knife is BRAND new of it will "tear" the paint and make a big mess. Same thing if you just rip the tape off without knifing it first, the paint will rip a bit at the seams.

DON'T SPRAY TOO MUCH AT ONCE. That is the key to the whole thing, THIN COATS. The Testor's paint is very thin and will drip if you spray too much at once. One more thing. If you mess up on the first coat, simply wipe the paint off and start over. This stuff comes off VERY easily in the first 24 hours with a bit of thinner on a rag.

Good luck!
 

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1998 SE 5 speed
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2,485 Posts
Excellent Instructions. I wish I had it when I did a few months back.

Definitely listen to him about overspraying at once. I ended up with a little pait drip in the corner but over all it came out pretty good even though I never clear coated mine. May be I will do it over again one day. 100% imporvement over the yellow tail light.

Altima8,
I guess you did not pait the existing red section. How is the transition between the new red paint and the existing red plastic? I was thinking of painting over the exiting red section as well next time?

Any thoughts?
 

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maybe another alty soon?
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1,509 Posts
Im just gonna paint over the red section.. although I was told that the paint might crack from the heat subjected to the outside of the car during daytime hours? I guess that could be avoided by clearcoating, right? I might try this..
 

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1998 SE 5 speed
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2,485 Posts
93Clear said:
Im just gonna paint over the red section.. although I was told that the paint might crack from the heat subjected to the outside of the car during daytime hours? I guess that could be avoided by clearcoating, right? I might try this..
I park my car outside all the day and we had a very hot summer so far.

To date (3 months since painted), paint still looks as good as the day I painted it even without any clear coat.

If you clear coat, you should definitely be fine.
 

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got widebody?®
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Discussion Starter #15
93Clear said:
Im just gonna paint over the red section.. although I was told that the paint might crack from the heat subjected to the outside of the car during daytime hours? I guess that could be avoided by clearcoating, right? I might try this..
I wouldn't recommend painting over the whole tail light because you lose a lot of the transparency...they end up looking a bit duller. The transition between the painted and unpainted parts of my tails is only visible (and even then only VERY slightly) when you are within 6" of putting your nose to the lights.
So far I've had mine painted for over a year and they look identical to the day I did them. thanks for the compliments guys
 

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got widebody?®
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Discussion Starter #16
Tommy said:
I did mine around 6 months ago. I love how they turned out. I like them better than the 95+ tails with the clear.
so do I! I find they are a bit more aggressive looking somehow...maybe that's not the right word but they feel more "sports car-ish" in all red.
 

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1998 SE 5 speed
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2,485 Posts
drew said:
Beautiful!


Yes it will work well on 2nd Gens.

I've been looking for the Testors Candy Apple Red but not many stores near me have it.
Drew,

If you want, I can check the hobby store where I picked mine up. It's 2 minutes from my house.

I'm leaving for NY City tomorrow but will be coming back next Wednesday. I am on vacation for the rest of next week and will be heading over to Gilman on Thursday or Friday so if you want to hook up, PM me!
 

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Custom Altima
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2 Posts
I'm still wondering if we have to take anything apart or just spray it while its in the car. Does anyone know if there is a clear layer of glass/plastic on top of the tail lights?
 
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