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Old 06-13-2009, 01:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: NJ>>>>FL
Posts: 3,025
My Ride: 04' 330ci/15' A3 TDI
DIY TiAg Painted Reflectors

So I was bored yesterday and decided to paint the ugly orange reflectors on the front bumper. Instead of throwing away money for prepainted reflectors online, you can do it yourself for less than half the price.

This is my first time doing any sort of paintwork and would not have been possible without this thread

I ran over to Pepboys and here are the materials I used:
-1 can of Duplicolor Adhesion Promoter ($6)
-1 can of White Primer (I had a bottle handy at my house but it shouldnt cost more than $2 at walmart)
-1 small can of DupliColor Auto Spray, color>"Radiant Silver Metalic" ($5)
-1 small can of DupliColor Auto Spray Clear Top Coat ($5)

Starting the Project!

Step 1: Take the reflectors off the car. In my case I have a facelifted coupe so the reflectors are a bit different in size compared to other e46's but its the same idea. I used a credit card to get underneath the reflector and pry it out. Start from the top closest to the wheel.

Step 2: Once you have the reflector out go and wash it off with very hot water/soap for a couple of minutes. This will take any unwanted particles off the surface.

Step 3: Dry the pieces fully and lay them out on some old magazines or something. When spraying the reflectors I did each individually. The paint will smell so make sure you're in an open area.

Step 4: Apply the Adhesion Promoter. I stood over a foot away and applied 3 coats of this which helps the paint to stick. Let it dry for a few minutes.

Step 5: Apply about 3 coats of the white Primer. The white base coat will help keep the silver coat later on from getting too dark. This needs to completely cover the reflector. I sprayed one coat at about a 30 degree angle on each side of the reflector and then a coat from straight above. Let this dry fully, in my case it took a about 20 mins.

Step 6: Apply the Silver coat when the white primer has dried. Do the same method like you did with the white primer, except this time to 2 coats on each side and 2 coats from straight above. ***Do not spray too close to the reflectors, keep over a foot distance to prevent the paint from getting too dark. And also be consistent so that the reflectors dont come out in 2 different colors . Wait another 20 mins for paint to fully dry.

Step 7: Once the silver has dried apply the final Clear Coat. Do 2 coats on each side of the reflector and 2 coats up top just like the silver coating. Wait about 10 mins and do another coat all around. This will ensure that the paint is protected.

Step 8: Let clear coat fully dry. If you want a full finish take very very light sandpaper, sand it down then wax it after. Stick the relfectors back in and your done!!

Heres the final result

Looks WAY better than it did before hand

Originally Posted by PEI330Ci View Post
Oh...and the "$300 here, $600 there" scenario will turn into "$3000 here, $6000 there". I've had an enourmous amount of labor put into my car. (Luckily the majority of it was done by myself) Also, I've spent over $5k on my tool set since I started my project. You've been warned...
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