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      11-20-2010, 10:59 PM   #19
Mywifes335
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Drives: 2010 335i sport | SSTT | BMS C
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New York

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So it's done - DIY painted reflectors

Foremost, I commend OM3G@ for his help and step-by-step instruction, it was very helpful.

Mine came out OK, but not as good as his. The paint job itself was pretty good, actually, as I took the time to mask (basically the entire front of the car too), sand, and prep the reflectors. I then applied several thin coats of primer and then paint; each pass allowing for adequate time to dry per the rattle can instructions. Finally, I put down two thicker coats of paint. I'll post the pics as soon as I can get it off my camera.

Where did it go wrong? The paint match wasn't 100% perfect even though Duplicolor claimed that their paint was "Jet Black, 668". Also, the paint and primer seeped a bit onto one edge of the driver's side fender area surrounding the reflector, creating a little bit of a line. I blame either the sanding or just crappy tape (http://frogtape.com/). This stuff wasn't cheap either. Being a bit inpatient, I tried to scrape the excess edge off with my fingernail and ended up nicking the freshly painted but dry reflector as well. It's not perfect, but from a foot away, it looks pretty good.

It took basically 2 hours to mask, sand, prep, and then primer and paint the reflectors. It took another 30 minutes to clean up and nick the freshly painted reflector on the driver's side.

My advice to anyone else who wants to undertake this DIY - use a thinner width tape that is specified for automotive paint (http://www.autogeek.net/3m-auto-masking-tapes.html). I imagine this will get you a cleaner edge. Also, use two layers of that brown paper to mask off areas where you think will be in the path of the spray. I had a little hint of overspray haze too (about 1/2 sq. in).

All in all, I bought more material than I actually needed, but only used the below:

1 can Duplicolor - $7.95 + shipping (used about 1/3 of the can)
1 can Krylon primer - $5.99 (can still seems pretty full)
1 roll frog tape - $12.00
1 roll brown masking paper - $4.00
assorted sandpaper - about $2.00 worth

Grand total - about $32 and 2 hours of labor.
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