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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
well i searched and only came up with one result out of several that actually had to do with painting the front side markers, but it turned out to be about smoking them. you see i don't want to smoke my clear front side markers...i want to paint them a transparent red so that they match the look of the OEM rear side markers. by the way i own a red MKIV, hence the reason i want red side markers all around.


anyways, i was wondering if anyone might know of a translucent red paint i could use to make my clear side markers red...you know, something similar to the VHT Nite Shades Coating (the translucent black people use to smoke their tail lights, side markers, etc.), except in red.


i searched and found THESE translucent VHT paints. at the top of the list is the stuff you use to smoke things. unfortunately, VHT doesn't make a translucent red for plastics. the 3rd one down the list is translucent red, but it is meant for use on metals according to its description.


i found THIS stuff, which is designed for use on transparent polycarbonate R/C car bodies. but the "comments" box to the right says never to use these paints on plastic models. is polycarbonate not a plastic? i'll have to call the place tomorrow and see what the deal is, and what is and isn't safe to paint. if this isn't the right stuff, might someone be able to point me toward the correct paint for this kind of application? and is there any prep work or anything else i should know about before spraying? (i.e. will i have to sand anything, or will the appropriate paint adhere to smooth plastic surfaces? can i just spray the outside of the marker lens provided it has a clean surface, or would you open them up and paint the inside of the lens?) any advice would be appreciated...

TIA,
Eric
 

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You might as well shave them/get rid of them completely if you are going to paint them red. It is illegal to have red lights on the front of a vehicle.

I know on the Mercedes CLK, they used to sell side markers that were painted to match the factory color of the car, and an orange bulb would shine through the paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
TNH said:
You might as well shave them/get rid of them completely if you are going to paint them red. It is illegal to have red lights on the front of a vehicle.
well as far as the legality of this issue goes, it would only be a problem when those lights are turned on and a cop sees them (in which case i would only need to worry about it at night). this leaves me two options - i could just not put bulbs in them and it would look like red reflectors all around, or i could just buy amber bulbs for the front side markers (that way they would look red when not lit, and amber when lit). or a third option would be to just run white bulbs and take my chances with front side markers that actually light up red.. i mean technically they're on the side of my car, not the front...

shaving them isn't an option since it would cost more, and that mod is low on my list of priorities right now anyways. not to mention my 12 year old paint job has of course faded in the Florida sun to the point where it looks like i might have a few different shades of red on the car. the last thing i need is yet another shade of red on my car when the bumper gets finished after the sidemarkers are shaved and molded over. thanks for the suggestion though...i would love to do that if i had money to repaint the whole car, but until then...

by the way i tried replying to your response yesterday, but the site went down as i was typing, and the site wasn't back up until i woke up this morning. this gave me pretty much all day yesterday to do more research, and i found and ordered a few different things things. first i ordered a Krylon Stain Glass red. i also ordered some Palmer Glass Stain and some Krylon Paper Finish "Stained Glass" Sheer Color. i know the Krylon Paper finish may not work on plastic, but it was cheap, and i have some clear lights i can experiment on before i spray my new side markers with anything. it will probably be a week or so before the paints get here, but i'll take pics of my experiments so everyone who cares to look can see how the three different products i purchased work on plastic.

in the mean time i'd like to know what everyone thinks about the Krylon Stain Glass i ordered (is it something you'd try, or do you have any experience with this paint?). i'm also open to other suggestions...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Curt Aigner said:
Mount a set of rears on the front. You'll have to make two new screw holes for each lamp.
interesting that this idea didn't dawn on me earlier...i guess i just assumed they wouldn't fit without modification. of course the 97-98 front markers i did order require modification to fit on a 93-96 Supra from what i hear. so i probably should have just gotten some rear markers for the front since i'll have to do some modification anyways. i'm gonna try painting the 97-98 clears that are on the way. besides, they're already ordered, as is the paint, and i do like the "wedge" look of the 97-98 front markers. if this doesn't work out, i'll have to try rear markers @ the front. thanks for the insight :bigthumb: .
 

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what ppl used to do in the past was to use tamiya translucent red paint found at almost any hobby shop to turn orange turnsignals on tailights to red.. of course if you go that route i suggest finely sanding or scuffing the surface before spraying and then if need be to wetsand and polish it after painting..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
95jza80tt said:
what ppl used to do in the past was to use tamiya translucent red paint found at almost any hobby shop to turn orange turnsignals on tailights to red.. of course if you go that route i suggest finely sanding or scuffing the surface before spraying and then if need be to wetsand and polish it after painting..
funny...there used to be hobby shops all over this town, and now there isn't one. i even hit up all the crafts stores (Michael's Crafts, Jo Anne Fabrics, etc.) and had no luck finding the paint i needed. anyways i did end up ordering the paints i linked to in one of the above posts. i got translucent red for hard surfaces (glass, metal, plastics), translucent red for paper (i don't know why i got this...just to test it out i guess), and some translucent red die for plastics, all for around $10. it all arrived yesterday afternoon, along with my 97-98 clear front sidemarkers. unfortunately i didn't get a chance to test any of the colors b/c it was raining cats and dogs and i didn't want to spray in high humidity.

i thought about just painting my current amber sidemarkers red like you suggested, but i stumbled across a DIY on the net where this guy wanted to red out his ambers in the tail lights on his CRX (or whatever car it was...i can't remember). anyways, he was successful in painting red over the ambers, but it did finish a bit darker than the true red lenses they sat next to. in the end, he ended up ordering eBay clears to replace the amber units, and he then painted those red. so it seems to me that if you want to get as close to a perfect color match as you can, you need to start w/ clears (as opposed to painting over an existing color).

by the way, the paint i got i believe requires no prep work to stick to plastic. But in the event that i decide to prep it anyways, what grit sandpaper will i need to scuff before painting? and how do i wet sand (what grit paper, how do i polish, etc.)?

PS - sorry about all the questions, i know a minimal amount about finishing.

TIA,
Eric
 
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