Can You Tint Headlights With Spray Paint? Know The Legalities!


Headlight tinting is a popular modification for cars, as it can give a unique and customized look to a vehicle. There are a few different methods for tinting headlights, but one question that often comes up is whether or not you can use spray paint for this purpose.

In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of using spray paint for headlight tinting, as well as alternative methods and the legalities of headlight tinting. We will also provide step-by-step instructions for properly tinting headlights with spray paint, and discuss the maintenance and durability of this type of headlight tinting.

Advantages of using spray paint for headlight tinting

One of the main advantages of using spray paint for headlight tinting is that it is a relatively inexpensive option. Spray paint is widely available and affordable, making it a convenient choice for those on a budget. It is also relatively easy to use, as it can be sprayed onto the headlight surface in a thin and even layer.

Can You Tint Headlights With Spray Paint
[azonpress template=”box” asin=”B0070S7ZXA”]

Disadvantages of using spray paint for headlight tinting

While spray paint may be a cheap and easy option for headlight tinting, it is not the most durable choice. Spray paint is prone to chipping, peeling, and fading over time, especially when exposed to the elements. This can result in an uneven and unsightly appearance, and may require frequent touch-ups to maintain a smooth and consistent look.

Another disadvantage of using spray paint for headlight tinting is that it is not very resistant to heat. The headlights on a car can get very hot when in use, and the heat can cause the spray paint to bubble or peel. This can significantly reduce the lifespan of the tinted headlights and may even compromise the safety of the vehicle.

Alternative methods of headlight tinting

If you are not convinced that spray paint is the best option for headlight tinting, there are a few other methods to consider. One alternative is to use adhesive-backed tinting film, which is a thin plastic sheet with a layer of adhesive on one side. This film can be cut to fit the shape of the headlights and applied to the surface, creating a smooth and seamless finish. Tinting film is more durable and heat-resistant than spray paint, and it can be removed easily if needed.

Another option is to use a tinting spray or wrap, which is a specialized product designed specifically for headlight tinting. These tinting sprays or wraps are applied in a similar manner to spray paint, but they are formulated to be more durable and resistant to heat and fading. Some of these products are even backed by a manufacturer’s warranty, offering a bit of extra protection for your investment.

The legalities of headlight tinting

Before you decide on a method of headlight tinting, it is important to consider the legalities of this modification. In the United States, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) regulate the visibility and performance of vehicle lighting, including headlights. According to these standards, headlights must be white or yellow in color and must be able to provide sufficient illumination for the driver to see the roadway and any potential hazards.

In addition to federal laws, many states have their own laws regarding headlight tinting. Some states, such as California, have stricter laws that prohibit any type of headlight tinting. In other states, headlight tinting may be allowed as long as it does not obstruct the beam of light or reduce visibility. It is important to check the laws in your state before tinting your headlights, as violating these laws can result in fines and other consequences.

How properly Can You Tint Headlights With Spray Paint?

If you decide to use spray paint for headlight tinting, it is important to follow proper techniques to achieve the best results. Here is a step-by-step guide for properly tinting headlights with spray paint:

  1. Gather the materials you will need, including spray paint specifically designed for automotive use, masking tape, newspaper or plastic sheeting, and a clean work area.
  2. Clean the headlights thoroughly with soap and water to remove any dirt or debris. Allow the headlights to dry completely.
  3. Use masking tape and newspaper or plastic sheeting to cover any areas of the car that you do not want to paint, such as the body or trim.
  4. Shake the spray paint can well and test the paint on a scrap piece of cardboard or paper to ensure that it is flowing properly.
  5. Hold the spray paint can about 6-8 inches away from the headlight and apply the paint in thin, even layers. Allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next one.
  6. Continue applying layers of paint until you have achieved the desired level of tint.
  7. Allow the paint to dry completely before removing the masking tape and newspaper or plastic sheeting.

Maintenance and durability of headlight tinting

The durability of headlight tinting will depend on the specific method and materials used. Spray paint is generally not as durable as other options, such as tinting film or specialized tinting sprays or wraps.

To help extend the lifespan of your tinted headlights, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper care and maintenance. This may include avoiding harsh chemicals, washing the headlights regularly, and applying touch-ups as needed.


In conclusion, it is possible to tint headlights with spray paint, but it may not be the most durable or reliable option. While spray paint is inexpensive and easy to use, it is prone to chipping, peeling, and fading, and it is not very resistant to heat.

If you are looking for a more durable and long-lasting solution, consider using adhesive-backed tinting film or a specialized tinting spray or wrap. It is also important to be aware of the legalities of headlight tinting and to follow proper techniques when using spray paint to ensure the best results and the safety of your vehicle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like