How to Color Match Headlights

Headlights are an essential part of any vehicle. They not only help you see clearly in low light conditions but also make your car visible to others on the road. However, if you’re someone who likes to customize their vehicle, then having mismatched headlights can ruin the overall look.

How to Color Match Headlights

The main  advantage of color matching headlights is that it gives your vehicle a sleek and uniform appearance. When the color of your headlights matches the body of your car, it creates a seamless look that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your vehicle. Color matching also makes your car look well-maintained and cared for, which can increase its resale value. In this blog post, You will learn in detail how to color match headlights.

Step by Step Processes for How to Color Match Headlights

Step 1: Inspect  Your Headlights

Before starting the color matching process, it is important to inspect your headlights thoroughly. Make sure there are no cracks or damages that could affect the outcome of the color matching. If you notice any issues, it is best to address them before proceeding.

Step 2: Clean Your Headlights

To ensure proper adhesion of paint, it is crucial to clean your headlights thoroughly. Use a degreaser or rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt, grime, or residue from the surface. Using sandpaper with a grit of 400-600, gently sand down the surface of your headlights. This will help the new paint adhere better and create a smooth surface for the color matching process. Make sure to wipe off any dust or debris after sanding.

Step 3: Choose Your Paint

Select a paint color that matches the exact shade of your car’s body. You can either purchase touch-up paint from your car manufacturer or have it custom-made at a paint shop. To avoid getting paint on other areas of your car, use masking tape to cover the surrounding areas of your headlights. This will ensure a clean and precise color match.

Step 4: Apply Primer

Primer helps the paint adhere better to the surface and also provides an even base for the color. Use light and even coats of primer on your headlights, allowing it to dry between each coat. Using a small paintbrush or a touch-up pen, carefully apply the paint onto your headlights in thin and even coats. It is best to use multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat to avoid drips and unevenness.

Coats of Primer on Your Headlights

Step 5: Let it Dry

Allow the paint to dry completely before handling or moving your car. This can take anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on the type of paint used. To protect the paint and give it a glossy finish, apply a clear coat over the color-matched area. This will also help blend in any imperfections and make the headlights look like new.

Step 6: Remove Masking Tape and Polish

Once the clear coat has dried, carefully remove the masking tape from the surrounding areas. Then, use a polishing compound to buff and blend in the newly painted area with the rest of your headlights.

With these easy steps, you can give your car a fresh and uniform look without breaking the bank. Remember to take your time and be patient, as a rushed job can result in an uneven color match.

Safety Tips for How to Color Match Headlights

  1. Wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles to avoid any contact with chemicals or paint.
  2. Work in a well-ventilated area to prevent inhaling harmful fumes from the paint and primer.
  3. Test the color match on a small inconspicuous area before applying it all over your headlights. This will ensure you have the correct shade and also give you practice for the real thing.
  4. Avoid painting in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as it can affect the drying process and result in an uneven finish.
  5. Keep a damp cloth nearby to clean up any spills or mistakes immediately.
  6. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the paint can or touch-up pen for proper application techniques and drying times.
  7. If you are unsure about the color matching process, seek professional help to avoid any potential damages to your headlights.
Professional Help to Avoid Any Potential Damages

By following these safety tips, you can ensure a smooth and successful color match for your car’s headlights.

Are There Any Common Mistakes to Avoid When Attempting to Color Match Headlights?

When it comes to color matching headlights, there are a few common mistakes that people often make. These can result in mismatched or unsatisfactory results. To ensure you get the best possible outcome when attempting to color match your headlights, here are some common mistakes to avoid.

1. Using The Wrong Type of Paint

One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to color match their headlights is using the wrong type of paint. It’s important to use the correct type of paint that is specifically designed for automotive use. Spray paints or general purpose paints may not adhere properly to your headlights, resulting in a patchy or uneven finish.

2. Not Properly Preparing The Headlights

Another mistake people make is not properly preparing their headlights before painting. This step is crucial for achieving a smooth and long-lasting finish. Before painting, make sure to thoroughly clean and sand the surface of your headlights to remove any dirt, grime, or old paint. This will ensure that the new paint adheres properly and gives you a professional-looking result.

3. Skipping The Primer

Priming your headlights is an essential step in the color matching process. The primer acts as a base layer and helps the paint to adhere better to the surface of your headlights. Skipping this step can result in an uneven or splotchy finish. Be sure to use a high-quality automotive primer before painting.

High-quality Automotive Primer

4. Not Using Enough Coats

To achieve a consistent and long-lasting color match, it’s important to apply multiple coats of paint. Many people make the mistake of only applying one or two coats, which can result in a dull or faded appearance. It’s recommended to apply at least three coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

5. Not Letting The Paint Fully Cure

Allowing the paint to fully cure is essential for achieving a durable and long-lasting finish. Many people make the mistake of handling or using their headlights too soon after painting, which can damage the paint and ruin the color match. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying and curing times, as these may vary depending on the type of paint used.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a successful color match for your headlights. Remember to use the correct type of paint, properly prepare the surface, use a primer, apply enough coats, and let the paint fully cure.

Are There Different Methods or Techniques for Color Matching Headlights?

Yes, there are different methods and techniques for color matching headlights. The most common method is using spray paint specifically designed for automotive use. This involves cleaning and sanding the surface of the headlights, applying a primer, and then spraying multiple coats of paint to achieve the desired color match.

Another technique is using vinyl wrap or film to cover the headlights. This involves carefully cutting and applying the vinyl to the surface of the headlights, creating a seamless and durable color match. This method is often preferred for its ease of use and ability to be easily removed if desired.

Additionally, some people choose to have their headlights professionally painted by a body shop or automotive specialist. This can ensure a high-quality and precise color match, but may be more expensive than DIY methods. Ultimately, the best method for color matching headlights will depend on personal preference and skill level. It’s important to research and consider all options before deciding on the best approach for your specific headlights. 

Approach for Your Specific Headlights

Overall, taking the time and effort to properly color match your headlights can greatly improve the appearance of your vehicle and give it a customized look.

How Long Does the Color Matching Process Typically Take?

The process of color matching headlights can vary depending on the method used and the condition of your vehicle’s headlight lenses. In many cases, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to complete. If you are using a DIY kit or spray paint for color matching, the process may take longer as it involves several steps such as sanding, priming, and applying multiple coats of paint. This is a more time-intensive process but can also be more cost-effective.

On the other hand, professional color matching services can typically be completed in a shorter amount of time as they have access to specialized tools and equipment that allow for a quicker and more precise color match. Additionally, professionals are trained and experienced in the color matching process, allowing them to complete the job efficiently.


In conclusion,  color matching your headlights is a simple and effective way to give your vehicle a customized look. Whether you’re aiming for a sleek and modern monochromatic style or want to add a pop of color, this process allows you to choose the perfect hue for your headlights.

One of the key things to keep in mind when color matching your headlights is to use paint that is specifically designed for automotive use. This ensures that the paint will withstand the wear and tear of driving and maintain its color over time. I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to color match headlights. Make Sure the precautionary measures are followed chronologically.

You Can Check It Out to Fix Led Light Remote Wrong Colors

Photo of author

Jennifer Branett

Leave a Comment