How to: Smoked or Tinted Tail Lights - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Gilbert ArIzOnA
Posts: 85
Lightbulb How to: Smoked or Tinted Tail Lights

I've seen it discussed here and there but I haven't seen a how to on this forum yet so here it is!
I took this from another (GM) forum that I used to frequent. It IS kind of long but there is some good info in it.
So far I've done three trucks and two motorcycles all with the same can of VHT Nite Shades.
I had my last truck for four years in the desert and never noticed any fading, chipping, or peeling even tho I regularly went thru a carwash.
The great thing is you can go as dark or as light as you want.
I just did my 2016 today.
Cargo light seems too dark so I'll probably hafta redo it.

From Woody on another (GM) forum……
Skill Level:

Removal = Less than 15 minutes
Apply = Hour or less (depending on what you want to do, longer if you mask off part of the taillight)

Special Tools:
Rattle can of VHT Niteshades (buy online or at auto parts stores)

Things You'll Need:
Removal: Gasoline, Old Rag
Soap & water Soap & water
, clean cloth (microfiber, 100% cotton both work), VHT Niteshades,
masking tape masking tape

I will explain how to remove old Niteshades from a lens, and also how to apply Niteshades. I will offer hints along the way to make the job easier.


1. Remove lenses from vehicle
2. Find an area to securely set the lenses down (in this case, taillights) so you can apply pressure while scrubbing the lenses without damaging the back side or edges of the lenses. I had some old felt cloth material that I placed on a concrete slab.
3. Gather your small tank of gasoline, and an old rag
4. You have two options, soak the rag with gasoline by pouring the gas onto the rag (or submersing the rag into gasoline), OR pour the gasoline directly onto the lens. I like to pour the gasoline onto the rag itself because it is less messy, and reduces the chance of getting the gas onto other parts of the taillight that I do not want it on.
5. Immediately after the gas is poured onto the rag or lens, scrub with the rag. You must not wait more than a couple seconds before you start scrubbing. The longer you wait, the more gas evaporates, and the harder you have to work to remove the Niteshades. The quicker you can soak, and scrub, the better.
6. Once you have completely removed the Niteshades, thoroughly clean the lens with
dish soap dish soap
and water. I use
Dawn dish soap Dawn dish soap
. Dish soap works well because it is safe for the surfaces, and removes the oils & residues. You CAN use alcohol prep pads or something if you have them laying around, however, be careful as alcohol prep pads and other forms of alcohol can cause the lens to haze over. This can then only be removed by polishing the lens with a product like
PlastX PlastX
. If you plan on re-tinting the lens, the haze issue isn't as important as you won't be able to see it. Regardless, soap and water is the best way to clean the lens.
Application of VHT Niteshades:

1. Remove the lens you wish to tint from the vehicle (if you want to tint the lens on the vehicle you can, however it will be more difficult and you must mask off around the lens very well)
2. Wash the lens with
dish soap dish soap
and water to remove oils & residues (if you can see fingerprints, they need to be removed, fingerprints are left by oils from your fingers transferring to another surface - You can carry and move the lenses by the back part that is not getting tinted, or you can wear gloves)
3. It is NOT necessary to sand or wet sand your lens prior to application of VHT Niteshades! I have seen many people do this, and say you have to do this, but it is not true! If you wet sand, it will be more difficult to return your lenses to original if you decide to remove Niteshades in the future. It will cause your lenses to be hazy, unless of course you wetsand up to 2000+ grit, then polish with a
plastic lens polish plastic lens polish
. Save yourself the hassle and just don't wet sand to begin with
4. If you removed the lens from the vehicle, you can put masking tape over any openings in the rear of the lens, or over any electrical connectors, etc so you do not get any Niteshades in/on them
5. Find a good location (preferrably between 65-80 degrees) out of the wind and away from debris or particles floating in the air (I use an enclosed utility trailer, open the door and hang or place the items inside surrounded by a tarp so overspray does not color the floor)
6. Make sure you shake the can of VHT Niteshades for a while (I shake the can for approx 5 minutes and every couple minutes thereafter) You want to make sure the contents are mixed well and even
7. Apply Niteshades in smooth, even coats. Wait approx 3-10 minutes between each coat. I found that medium coats create the shiniest finished product. Too light a coat will give it a speckling, freckled look...and too heavy a coat will create runs and irregular tint darkness. I would recommend the first coat to be light, then each coat thereafter be medium wet until you get the desired darkness that you want. Remember, the Niteshades will look lighter/darker depending on your lighting. If you have direct light on the lens as you apply Niteshades, you may tint the lens darker than you really wanted. So when the lens is not in direct light, it will look very dark. And if you tint in dark conditions, it may not be tinted as much as you had wanted it to be. I recommend allowing the tint to
dry 10 dry 10
minutes or so, then carefully pick up the lens by the back side and move it to other light conditions and other angles that way you really understand what it looks like. Then take back and apply another coat if you want it darker. Just be careful not to get the tinted part of the lens dirty. It can be lightly brushed off with a cloth of dust gets on it as long as it has dried for 10+ minutes.
8. After you get the desired darkness on your tint, I would wait at least 1-2 hours before installing the lens back in the vehicle. That is, if you do not have to put much pressure on the tinted part of the lens or handle the tinted part much. If you must push on the tinted part of the lens and handle it a lot, you should probably wait longer before reinstalling (several hours to 1 day if possible)
9. Reinstall and enjoy your work!
Side Note:
If you want to mask off a certain area like I did on my second Niteshade application (masked off the reverse light section, as this allowed me to see behind the truck at night when in reverse. If entire lens is tinted, you will have very minimal or no rear lighting from the taillight). I would tape off the area slightly larger than the section you don't want tinted. Then shine a light (like a flashlight) directly into the lens beside the tape, so that it goes inside the taillight, reflects, and bounces back out under the masked off area. This actually will help you see the cutoff line between what you want tinted, and don't want tinted. Then just grab a pencil, draw the line on top of the
masking tape masking tape
, and use a razor blade or exacto knife to lightly cut down the line you had drawn and remove the excess outside tape. This will allow you to have a perfect, clean dividing line between the tinted section and untinted section after you spray the tint and remove the tape.
Also, you do NOT need to clear coat over the niteshades. It will turn out glossy and nice by itself if you apply it properly. But if you must clear coat it, wait until the niteshades is completely dry and apply several medium wet coats of clear. In my experience, if you do not wait long enough before using the clear, it ends up looking satin instead of glossy and it darkens the tint slightly. So, I never even use the clear coat anymore.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg TL Tint 1.2.jpeg (146.3 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg TL Tint 1.3.jpg (87.8 KB, 58 views)

If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is!
CheezyRiderAZ is offline  
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