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      04-29-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
crfine88
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Painted reflectors

Here is a quick and easy DIY for painted reflectors. I had used Dan’s Decals before having the fronts molded in, and painting the rear reflectors. The decals work great for the price and ease of installation, but the color is not perfect.

I purchased everything from Express Paint. Following the provided instructions, the results were flawless. I was hesitant at first because Interlagos blue is a tough color to match, but the color is dead on. Here is a link to Express Paint:
https://www.expresspaint.com/contact_us/


The notes below are in order of the photos added. A clean, dust free, wind free work space is very important.

1. This photo photo is the view directly behind the rear plastic wheel well. Just disconnect plug, turn the reflecotor counter clockwise to remove.

2. This photo shows the reflecots after I sanded them down removing the raised lettering on the reflector. This is an extra step, but provides a cleaner finished look.

3. This step promotes a good bond between the plastic and the paint.

4. Primer. 1 even coat.

5. This photo shows the reflectors painted and clear coated. I applied two even coats of paint and 1 even coat of clear. The clear was the most dificult. Very tacky and I messed one reflector up by applying to much clear coat. I had to redo this reflector and it was a pain removing all the primer paint etc. to start from scratch. The trick is patients. The clear looks blotchy when you first apply, then smoothes itself out.

6. Baked the reflectors in my oven. This step worked really well to cure the finish. The downside is my kitchen smelled like automotive paint for a week, and the wife did not appreciate this.

7. Finish result. Color match is dead on.
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      04-29-2010, 08:44 AM   #2
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Nice write up. I might have to give this a try since I have a spare front reflector. Found the spare last night when my tech removed my bumper to swap a headlight. Looks like the dealer I bought the car from removed the bumper to paint it, they lost the reflecter in the nose and couldn't find it so they just replaced it. Just need one more now

I have a small toaster oven like show below. It has bake, broil, toast, etc... Maybe I'll use this to "bake" my reflectors so I don't stink up the kitchen. What temp did you bake them at?


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      04-29-2010, 09:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crfine88 View Post
6. Baked the reflectors in my oven. This step worked really well to cure the finish. The downside is my kitchen smelled like automotive paint for a week, and the wife did not appreciate this.
And I'm pretty certain if anyones wife/gf would be understanding of this, it's yours

They look good... I wanna see the molded front too!
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      04-29-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind32 View Post
Nice write up. I might have to give this a try since I have a spare front reflector. Found the spare last night when my tech removed my bumper to swap a headlight. Looks like the dealer I bought the car from removed the bumper to paint it, they lost the reflecter in the nose and couldn't find it so they just replaced it. Just need one more now

I have a small toaster oven like show below. It has bake, broil, toast, etc... Maybe I'll use this to "bake" my reflectors so I don't stink up the kitchen. What temp did you bake them at?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmulax View Post
And I'm pretty certain if anyones wife/gf would be understanding of this, it's yours

They look good... I wanna see the molded front too!
Thanks
Yeah, my wife is very patient when it comes to the M
I have not taken any pics of the car since the front was done. I will be sure to get some up once I am done with the current projects.
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      04-29-2010, 02:26 PM   #5
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Nice writeup.
Did this with my M roady, just haven't had the time to do it yet for the Coupe.
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      04-30-2010, 06:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Nice writeup.
Did this with my M roady, just haven't had the time to do it yet for the Coupe.
thanks
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      10-26-2010, 12:27 AM   #7
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What grit and type of sandpaper did you use?
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      07-08-2011, 04:22 PM   #8
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Just did mine. Thanks for the DIY.

Couple of suggestions for others: 600 grit wet sanding worked great to get the lettering off. Don't underestimate the benefits of spraying many coats. I found that doing 3-4 light coats for the paint and clear coat made the reflectors turn out fantastic.
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      07-08-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
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Did you guys remove the reflectors? Does the glue still hold well after being removed and put back on?
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      07-08-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
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I removed the reflectors. Back ones don't use the tape. The front ones do though, so I just bought some new ones. I can tell you that from pulling my front ones off the tape would not be reusable. If you wanted to salvage the old reflectors, you could maybe buy some new sticky tape or glue them.
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      07-09-2011, 12:00 AM   #11
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I figured as much. Seems like such a waste to buy a second pair of something you're getting rid of.

I guess you could also mask it off carefully and do it in place.
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      07-20-2011, 02:09 AM   #12
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Nice work Chris, I may have to try this at some point. Next big project is euro headers!
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      03-10-2013, 07:11 PM   #13
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Is it necessary to bake the reflectors? I'd prefer not to live in the doghouse
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      03-10-2013, 07:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by losingmylycosa View Post
Is it necessary to bake the reflectors? I'd prefer not to live in the doghouse
No need.
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      03-14-2013, 11:41 AM   #15
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Are the rears illuminated? I see the electrical connection in the first pic. If so, does this trigger the "lamp out" indicator if they're left unplugged?
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      03-17-2013, 09:25 AM   #16
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