DIY Smoked Headlight Lenses


Giving your headlights a smoked effect is an easy and affordable do-it-yourself project that will improve the look of most any car. The examples given below describe how to achieve the smoked headlight appearance on a Honda Civic built from 1992 to 1995.

The Procedure

  • The lenses on a Civic are glass, so you will not need extra sheets for the oven to put them on. Start by removing all five metal clips around each headlight, along with all of the outside screws that were removed when removing the headlights from the car. After the metal pieces are removed from the headlight, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Heat the headlights for about 5 minutes, then pull them out of the oven and use a flathead screwdriver to gently pry the lens off of the headlight assembly. If the pieces feel difficult to pry apart, place the assembly back in the oven for a few more minutes until the glue has loosened up.
    There is one reflector on the inside of the assembly that is held on by two screws. The reflector will need to be unscrewed and removed before going any further.

The Painting Process

  • Start by masking off the other reflectors on the inside that cannot be removed. Failure to do so will leave you unable to see in the dark after you are finished. After you have completed masking the remaining reflectors, you can begin painting. The preferred paint to perform this job is a black, high-gloss spray paint, however, any color in a high gloss will work. Begin by spraying one even layer over the entire interior of the headlight and continue to go over it until you have a nice, thick paint job.


  • After letting the paint on the headlights dry (usually 2 to 3 hours), apply silicone on the outside of the lens where the glue previously held it to the headlight interior. Once again pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and place the assembly in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until the silicone softens. Letting the silicone soften will allow it to spread out more. After letting both headlights sit in a cool place for 5 to 6 hours, the silicone will harden and more easily lock the two pieces back together.
    Reattach the five clips to their spots on the outside of the headlight assembly.
    When you are done reinstalling your headlights, you will have modified them to a thing of beauty. Congratulations.

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