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      02-17-2010, 09:31 AM   #1

Drives: 325Ci - E90 ///M - 330 - X5D
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Maryland

iTrader: (2)

Painted inner Tail light- 2008 M3

I've never liked the look of the pre lci tail lights and really wasn't sold on the blacklines. Before I put down $$ on some new lens I thought about doing a DIY and masking off the white area and painting the rest of the lens red. Here's what I considered:
- I'm probably going to get other ones anyway so if they turned out bad it would just up my time frame
- pretty much anything is better than the stock look
- I could give it a shot and at least give the community some feedback on the process

So during ht recent blizzard we had here in Mid-Atlantic I went to town. I purchased Testors candy apple red transparent spray paint from Michaelís and an automotive clear coat from Autozone. I removed the lenses which took about 3 minutes. You just pop out the push connectors hold in the trunk liner and remove two screws that allow the lens to be removed.
I cleaned the lenses with rubbing alcohol.

The lenses themselves offer a natural area to be masked so that the reverse light area is still white. Itís pretty easy to see it based on the contours of the lens. I masked it with two type of painters tape and then masked off the entire lower red portion of the lens.

Then I took my time spraying about 4 coats with about 1-2 hour between coats. For a better result I should have wet sanded in between. I know this now but didnít during the project.

I then sprayed 2-3 coats of clear.

The result? Pretty decent I would rate it a 7. Color is a bit more opaque than the stock lens but it matched some of the areas around the edges. The finish is a bit irregular which Iím going to try to wet sand when itís not so cold and I feel like tackling it again. Total cost? About $15.

Here's a crappy cell picture. I'll take some better ones later.