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DIY: The Poorman's Blacklines (Tail Light Tinting DIY)
Published by Arktis_Conviction
07-27-2014
DIY: The Poorman's Blacklines (Tail Light Tinting DIY)

Hey guys, I recently picked up an '06 330i that came with tinted tail lights. As I'm not a fan of tinted tail lights on any car, one of the first things I did when purchasing the car was ordered some red tail light tint. My initial goal was to remove all the smoked tint and cover the white portion red, in order to mimic the lci e90's. However, I then became interested in doing a blacklines DIY of some sort. Thought I'd try it, and if it looked bad, could just peel off the smoked portion. I just want to state that I am not responsible for anything you do to your car. Please proceed with this DIY at your own caution. Thank you.
The required tools are the same for any tinting process
Tools you'll need:
- Red tail light tint
- Smoked tail light tint
- hairdryer
- microfiber towel
- Painter's tape
- X-acto knife (or any blade to cut excess tint)
- A spray bottle of water with a drop of soap
- Alcohol
- Scissors
- Squidgy/ credit card

Since my car came with the full tail light already tinted, I just had to cut off the top portion. As for anyone trying this DIY, you'd begin the process by cleaning the tail light and first smoking the bottom portion. However, my first step will be removing the top portion of the tint, since it came installed on my car.
I'm new to the forum and can't figure out how to add pictures after text, so this DIY would look better once I do. Any help on how to do this would be greatly appreciated. For the time being, please refer to the pictures at the bottom of the thread.

Step 1: Removing tint.
I started off by placing down painter's tape, so that I'd be able to trace my cut alongside the tape. This allowed me to get a clean cut, and remove the tint from the clear portion of my tail light. For this DIY, I was really just experimenting with what looks nice; this is the reason I did not yet remove the entire top portion of tint. My next step will be to clean and add red tint to the clear portion of the tail light.

Step 2: Prepare the red tint
I'd like to give credit for this part of the DIY to Chrismac. Here's his DIY that I used as a reference guide when doing my project: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...highlight=tail
I cut out a little rectangle in the red tint so that my reverse light would shine better. I taped my two pieces of tint together to get symmetrical dimensions. The size of the cut really doesn't matter all that much, IMO, as long as it's there.

Step 3: Clean the surface
I added water to an empty spray bottle and added a couple drops of soap. I sprayed the mixture onto the lens and just cleaned. Be sure to get inside all of the creases and edges. After I did that, I cleaned the lens with rubbing alcohol. This is important to ensure a long lasting stick.

Step 4: Install the red tint
Spray some of the soapy water onto the tail light. Remove the tint's backing, spray the sticky side, and place it onto the tail light. The soapy water will give you the ability to move the tint around until you get it in place. Once you have it in place, you can use your squidgy and move in an outward motion. This is where the blowdryer might come in handy; heat the tint to allow it to better conform to the light, and squidgy the excess tint beneath the cracks/edges of the lights. Use a lot of heat to get the excess to conform to the edges, and also to remove excess water that the squidgy can't get out from under the tint.

Step 5: Remove top portion of smoked tint
As I didn't like how the lights looked with just the clear portion red, and all else smoked. So I therefore decided to continue removing the top portion of smoked tint. Again, I laid down the painter's tape to get an even cut alongside the tape.

Step 6: Enjoy!
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  #1  
By Arktis_Conviction on 08-01-2014, 10:31 PM
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Yay or nay? Any input from anyone?
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  #2  
By StevenY. on 08-01-2014, 11:07 PM
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I think you did a good job though I think it would have looked better if you went with the smoke on top and red on bottom like the real black line tail lights. Also, good call on getting rid of the tinted tail lights.
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  #3  
By Arktis_Conviction on 08-02-2014, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenY. View Post
I think you did a good job though I think it would have looked better if you went with the smoke on top and red on bottom like the real black line tail lights. Also, good call on getting rid of the tinted tail lights.
I thought about that. However, I didn't really want to black out the reverse light. Also, there would have been a contrast between blacking out the red portion and the white portion.
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  #4  
By Central-torque on 08-03-2014, 08:50 AM
They look ok I would have wrapped them in all round myself give it the full lci style look
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  #5  
By Arktis_Conviction on 08-03-2014, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Central-torque View Post
They look ok I would have wrapped them in all round myself give it the full lci style look
That was my original plan. To go that route, I'd just need to take off the smoked portion
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  #6  
By Central-torque on 08-03-2014, 09:50 PM
Ok if you do the full lights think it will make it stand out more what paper you used?
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  #7  
By Arktis_Conviction on 08-03-2014, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Central-torque View Post
Ok if you do the full lights think it will make it stand out more what paper you used?
Paper? Or tints; I don't remember. Cheap eBay tints.
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  #8  
By Fantastico on 08-30-2014, 12:11 PM
Nice write up
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  #9  
By Arktis_Conviction on 10-13-2014, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fantastico View Post
Nice write up
Thank you
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