View Full Version : DIY: Black out painted Headlights

04-19-2008, 09:00 AM
<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="6" color="#000000">Black

Housing Headlights</font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="3">Tools: Phillips

Screwdriver, Screwdriver, 10mm Wrench (socket), Exacto Knife, Patience.</font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="3">Supplies:

Flat Black Spray Paint, Masking Tape, Clear Silicone Sealant.</font></p>

<p align="center">&nbsp;</p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="3">Well, lets

get started shall we? Gather your tools and supplies and get ready to give your

Si a makeover. Pop your hood and find these clips holding the top of your bumper

on. To remove them, take our flat screwdriver and pry it under one of the sides,

then twist the screwdriver to popup the clip. Do this for all the clips on top.

There are 2 screws in each wheel well, and finally 8 more clips on the bottom

of the bumper along with 2 more screws.</font></p>

<p align="center"><font size="3" face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><b><img src="/images/projt/aem/H1.gif" width="270" height="180"></b></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Take the bumper off

carefully by pulling on the sides to remove it from the groove, then set it

somewhere safe where it will not get scratched, carpet, grass, and away from


<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H2.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H3.gif" width="270" height="180"></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">You now have to remove

the headlight, there are 4 10mm bolts holding the headlight in place, #1 and

#2 are on top, #3 is on the side and #4 is underneath the headlight.</font></p>

<div align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H4.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H5.gif" width="270" height="180"><br>

<img src="/images/projt/aem/H6.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H7.gif" width="270" height="180">


<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">With these bolts removed,

you should now notice the horizontal metal bar holding the headlight in at the

bottom, this will pull out and down allowing you to remove the headlight. Do

so carefully.</font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H8.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H9.gif" width="270" height="180"></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">...There it is, very

large headlight is it not?</font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H10.gif" width="270" height="180"></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">''Tonight on the Food

Network, how to make a gourmet headlight any chef can appreciate...&quot;</font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">First take a cooking

pan and set your headlight on it, no need to grease the pan :) Set your oven

to 250&deg; and put the headlight in right away, no need to preheat. If your

oven has a preheat notifier, this is good, it will tell you when the oven has

reached 250&deg;, when the oven temperature has risen to 250&deg; you should

now remove your headlights. If you do not have a preheat notifier, the headlights

stayed in my oven for only 5 minutes then I removed them.</font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H11.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H12.gif" width="270" height="180"></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">At this point, you

will need to pull the headlight apart quickly, all I used was a flat screwdriver

and popped up the tabs around the headlight then I got a grip on it and pulled

the pieces apart, it was easier than I thought. NOTICE: Once you've removed

the two pieces do not set them down so that any hot sealant will get on anything.</font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H13.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H14.gif" width="270" height="180"></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Remove this screw

from the headlight cover and take out your housing, this is what you will be

painting. Take the clear plastic cover and set this aside on a bed sheet, pillow

and far away from where you are working, if you scratch this, or get sealant

on it you will not be enjoying yourself too much.</font></p>

<div align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H15.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H16.gif" width="270" height="180"><br>

<img src="/images/projt/aem/H18.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H19.gif" width="270" height="180">


<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Now its time to mask

the headlight, take your roll of tape and apply long straight lines to the edges

of the turnsignal. You can mask it anyway you want, I decided to go with the

Type-R look. The parking light is a little more difficult to mask but I found

a great method, apply alot of masking tape to the inside of the parking light

to the outside. Take an exacto knife and follow the groove around the outside

circle and peel away the excess, this leaves a nicely shaped circle. Before

your paint, make sure to press around all the edges, if the tape isn't adhesed

very well paint will spray underneath leaving a poor line. </font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H20.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H21.gif" width="270" height="180"></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Yes...painting this

part is really fun :) I used a can of Mr.Spray it dries really fast and looks

just as good as any other flat black, you can get it at almost any auto parts

depot. I have one thing to say though, make sure you inspect the headlight many

times look in all the cracks and make sure you touch up any light spots, there

is one spot that doesnt get sprayed you have to hold it up with your hand to

get it, its just under the main housing. So throughly inspect the housing. I

used many light coats of paint. After the housing is dry, you can remove your

masking tape and see how well it turned out.</font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H22.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H23.gif" width="270" height="180"></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Put the headlight

back together, replacing the screw and pushing the front and back pieces of

the headlight together, be sure to wipe the lens for fingerprints, dirt, dust,

grease, etc. Line both pieces up perfect so the clips line up, if they don't

line up your headlight will look funky when you re-install it. Now you can silicone

it, I used McKanica Auto Marine silicone because its automatic and has a throttle,

it makes for a cleaner job. Apply it around the edges.<font color="#000000">

NOTICE: </font><font color="#FF0000"><font color="808080"><font color="#000000">Do

not apply silicone to the side of the headlight where the turnsignal is, this

part does not make contact with the seal, if you put silicone in the crease

you will see it outside the car, if you make this mistake quicky wipe it off

with a paper towel, thats the good thing about clear silicone, it dries a little

slower. Instead, you may want to apply silicone to the inside groove where you

will not see it. </font></font></font></font><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font color="#FF0000"><font color="808080"><font color="#000000">After

you're done applying, run your finger along the edges to make it smooth and

invisible.</font> </font></font></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H24.gif" width="270" height="180"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H25.gif" width="270" height="180"></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Before putting your

headlight all the way back, put your bulbs back in, for H4 bulb seems to be

the hardest, just remember the bulb has 3 pins, the the side of the bulb with

1 pin points down. Re-bolt everything and remember the front support bar.</font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Repeat this process

for the second headlight (the second goes quicker). </font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Now you can re-install

your front bumper.</font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H26.gif" width="180" height="270"><img src="/images/projt/aem/H27.gif" width="270" height="180"></font></p>

<p align="center"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Not too shabby...</font></p>

04-19-2008, 09:09 AM
As a word of advice to anyone doing this DIY, when putting the headlights in the oven, if you feel the need to place the housing on a cookie sheet (I did just to be careful it didn't melt), make sure you use a hard sheet & not a foil-lined piece.

My friend made the mistake when blacking his headlights that way & the plastic fused with the foil.

Good luck!

04-19-2008, 09:12 AM
I use a cookie sheet but turn it upside down. If you have to thats good if not let the cookie sheet cool down before you put the other headlight in the oven.

04-21-2008, 07:00 AM
Is the headlights too hot to handle with bare hands after cooking for 5 miuntes?

04-21-2008, 09:13 AM
Is the headlights too hot to handle with bare hands after cooking for 5 miuntes?

i would guess so

04-21-2008, 02:52 PM
Is the headlights too hot to handle with bare hands after cooking for 5 miuntes?
I took the headlights out my oven using potholders, but within a minute, they were more than cool enough to touch.

They actually felt kind of good, much in the same way clothes feel against your skin once it's out the dryer.

04-21-2008, 02:57 PM
I take them out and put them in my pants.

you'll have to take them out with pot holders at first but they should be fine in a minute or so. Unless you have alligator hands.

04-21-2008, 03:21 PM
looks good.. i blacked out mine.... but only the =outside plastic.. with clear coating and black ink..

04-21-2008, 10:13 PM
nice write up. i think im going to do this sometime this week. i think im going to black them out and do the turn signal housing amber.

04-21-2008, 10:28 PM
http://www.ephatch.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif I might have to do this instead of buying new ones....

04-30-2008, 08:21 PM
does anyone by cchance have a picture of a white ep with this done because i really want to do it but i wanna get an idea of what it would look like before i start pulling things apart

04-30-2008, 08:23 PM
does anyone by cchance have a picture of a white ep with this done because i really want to do it but i wanna get an idea of what it would look like before i start pulling things apart
you have a PM coming

05-13-2008, 12:25 AM
So no sanding of the painted parts is necessary? Maybe it wouldn't flake anyway since it's sealed inside?

05-13-2008, 03:44 AM
I did this on my 05. VERY pleased with the results.


05-13-2008, 06:55 AM
Very nice write up, I think this is a very old write up. I did mine back in 02 and I think this was the write up I used.

05-13-2008, 05:55 PM
nice i like that black out 05 ep3 there where you get the DIY at cause this one don't seem to help me very much cause i own a 04 si

05-22-2008, 07:39 PM
people that who lives around me, can you guys help me with this please??

05-27-2008, 09:20 PM
when puting the pieces back together... I suggest turn OFF the oven and keep the door closed after the taking apart procedure... and just put the lights in the oven for 3-5min and let hte silicone melt... and then squish them together... it helped me a lot

05-27-2008, 10:00 PM
wow looks really good. great write up!

05-29-2008, 05:41 PM
I just did mine. Very nice write up. Total time is about 1.5 hours depending on how long you lets the coats of paint dry or how long i takes them to dry.

Be careful putting the inner plastic back into the outer plastic though, I chipped some of the paint after I untaped the corner lens.

And on the 04-05 tape the back of the corner lens or you will get over spray on the backside of it.

05-30-2008, 06:24 PM
great except you don't need an oven. just buy silicone for aquariums and tanks and it should work fine.

07-05-2008, 11:11 PM
Does anybody have pics of the 04/05 headlights disassembled?

07-06-2008, 08:01 AM
anybody ever used gloss black instead of flat? just curious on how it would look.

07-06-2008, 02:34 PM
might just try this.. Always scared me to open them up though

07-07-2008, 08:53 PM
i blacked my headlights out a few times i think im gonna keep it stock now.

good write up though

07-28-2008, 10:32 PM
..i might try this.

07-28-2008, 10:45 PM
NICE man

08-02-2008, 02:41 PM
Mine looks like it needs to be repainted... But i was happy with how it looked when i first did it.

Don't hate the white bumper on SSM body...lol... I was just testing it with my old CF Mugen lip.

04-02-2010, 03:12 PM
RJEP... you have the 99-2000 civic si wheels or ex.. anyways i would like to see how they look on your car.. pm me some side shots of your car.. loving the lip.. i just cant do that here in colorado, streets are bad..
I think im ganna try this DIY... but im thinking more of lighter black instead of flat black so it gives it the typer headlight look..

04-26-2010, 01:58 PM
anyone ever try this with that spray on tinting that people use to black out their taillights? I think if you only use a coat or two, you could prob get a really good gunmetal/chrome look. might try that this summer when my car is out of commission for the hondata reflash.

04-27-2010, 01:03 PM
Did this last night since I had a leaky seal for years I finally fixed it. Painted the silver insert and looks pretty good actually. No masking of any sort for my headlights (2005) guess they must be different inside.

06-16-2010, 04:17 AM
I did mine as well, :)


06-17-2010, 01:09 AM
You have a picture of this on a white ep?

11-04-2010, 05:02 PM
I'm seriously considering this, but I'd like to know how well the silicone sealant lasts over time. Assuming it's done right, will it ever loosen or break down and allow leaks?

11-06-2010, 09:28 AM
since silicone is a gasketing material it shouldnt ever allow leaks or break down from daily driving, however I never applied any when I did my headlights and they still didnt leak and the silverstars that I use haven't burnt out. there shouldnt be much risk when doing this if done correctly.

11-07-2010, 09:43 AM
Jpax, you should edit your post to reflect the following:

You only need to remove 4 of the clips at the top of the bumper, not all 8.
There is 1 screw under the wheel well on each side, not 2.

Also, here's a video of bumper removal for us newbs:


11-07-2010, 02:43 PM
I did mine today, and they turned out pretty good. Lighting outside is crappy, so I'll get pics later. Anyway, I still think someone is better of buying JDM or knock-off headlights for a few reasons.

1. When you cook your headlight, it will yellow it more than it already may have been. That's probably easy to fix with a headlight buffing kit, but that just means more cost and labor.

2. Swapping headlights is super easy, while this project will take a good part of your day. Peeling the lens off the body takes time, putting it back on takes time, painting takes perfect weather and a clean place to paint, taping it tedious, etc. If time is money, or you have other things to do, what's an extra $140 for new lights?

I like how mine turned out, but I think I'll still buy new ones, just so I have brand-new lenses, and no worries about leaks or anything.

11-12-2010, 05:53 PM
Any one know where you can Find OEM headlights with black housings for a 04 si? ...that are under $150

11-19-2010, 05:02 PM
What a great DIY. I am about to do this on my car right now.

11-19-2010, 07:46 PM
i am trying to sell my black housing headlights

11-22-2010, 10:06 AM
There is 1 screw under the wheel well on each side, not 2.

there are 2 on each side. One set connects the fender to the bumper, and ther is one set that connects the fender lining to the bumper

11-22-2010, 11:24 AM
I was thinking of doing this, the only concern I have is that it may leak.
I've done this before on my old civic, and found that no matter how well I sealed the headlights a bit of humidity always got inside.
I ended up having to reseal it once in a while.
Maybe the design of the headlight actually make a difference.

After you guys did this, have you had any issues?

11-22-2010, 02:52 PM
there are 2 on each side. One set connects the fender to the bumper, and ther is one set that connects the fender lining to the bumper

I see what you mean now. Actually, it's still only one screw under there--a Phillips head--which connects the bumper to the fender. A clip (not a screw)--which requires a flat driver--connects the lining to the fender.

11-22-2010, 04:45 PM
great DIY i tried this a few days ago and results were perfect!

11-23-2010, 10:04 PM
These look great. Just wanted to add that if anyone is afraid of baking the headlamp assembly, I was too. I opened my S2000s headlamps using a heatgun. While everyone on the forum promised it was alright I decided to go with a more controllable approach. As a sidenote, they haven't leaked since being re-sealed with silicone.

03-20-2011, 03:34 PM
I did mine today as well, great write up on this have done a few sets in the past,have done the new tundra headlights body color and black and have done a few sets of the new tacoma body color and black also, turned out pretty good and i started last night and just finished putting them back in just about a hour ago got everything ready last night and painted them this morning had to go get a tube of silicone to seal it back up then put eberything back together.

03-28-2011, 01:19 PM
I'd do mine but here they are very strict with tints.. I got pulled over for having a lightly tinted license plate cover.. :/

03-28-2011, 02:01 PM
I'd do mine but here they are very strict with tints.. I got pulled over for having a lightly tinted license plate cover.. :/

I'd agree if we were talking about tinting the headlight lenses, but painting the housing looks very OEM. Wether sporty or not, almost every 06+ make and model come with darker headlight housing...