Unlike other areas of your car, the brakes produce a lot of heat under heavy braking. Therefore it’s important that you use a brake caliper paint that’s designed to cope with the heat and harsh contaminants such as brake dust.
When you are ready to begin painting your brake calipers, you will need some equipment such as:
- A wrench to remove the wheel nuts
- A trolley jack for lifting the car in the air
- Brake cleaner to fully clean the calipers before painting
- Masking tape and newspaper/plastic bag to cover exposed areas
If possible, you should also park your car in a garage or covered area just in case it begins to rain.
Painting The Brake Calipers Without Removing Them
1. Remove The Wheels And Lift The Car
Before you even begin cleaning or painting your brake calipers, you will need to loosen the wheel nuts, jack the car up and remove the wheels. Whether you remove all four calipers and keep the car on axle stands or only remove the front calipers, the choice is completely up to you.
2. Cleans The Calipers
In order to ensure the paint sticks to the caliper and the finish is smooth, they must be cleaned prior to painting. Using a mixture of brushing with a wire brush and a brake cleaner, you can proceed to remove any rust and dirt.
3. Cover Any Exposed Areas
One of the most important parts of painting your brake calipers is of course the preparation. All of the caliper’s components need to be removed and you will need to cover all other exposed areas apart from the caliper itself.
In terms of removing certain parts of the caliper, you’ll want to begin by removing the retainer clip. You can then proceed to cover the bleeder valve with masking tape to ensure that it’s completely covered.
You can then begin to cover the exposed areas around the caliper so that its just the caliper exposed (like in the below photo). It’s always best to cover more than you need rather than too little because it can be a nightmare to remove the paint.
4. Begin To Paint The Calipers
Regardless to the paint that you have chose, you’ll want to apply multiple thin coats. Applying a single thick coat can ruin the overall appearance and it can become a messy job once the paint begins to run down the caliper.
Our recommendation would be to apply multiple thin coats and allow up to 10 to 15 minutes for each coat to dry. Once you are happy with the finish, you will need to allow it to fully dry out before putting the wheels back on.
5. Leave The Paint To Dry
After you have painted the entire caliper with multiple coats, you will then need to allow it to dry out. Although many brand’s state they are dry within just a few hours, we would recommend waiting at least 24 hours. If the paint isn’t completely dried out, it may not be heat resistant and end up distorting under your car’s braking.
6. Install The Wheels And Lower The Car
Once the paint is completely dry, you can proceed to reinstall the wheels on to the car. When installing the wheels, make sure that you use a torque wrench to tighten the wheels to the correct torque specs and avoid hitting the caliper. Once installed, you can then lower the car and inspect the final finish with the calipers behind the wheel.
Painting The Brake Calipers By Removing Them
If you are capable of removing a caliper, it may be easier for you to paint the caliper with it removed from the car. This allows you to avoid the time consuming task of covering any exposed areas as well as cleaning and painting the caliper in a comfortable location i.e. a work’s table. If you haven’t removed a brake caliper before, Haynes have a great guide.
What Are The Most Popular Colours?
When it comes to deciding between the different colours, there are many popular options that include red, yellow, green or silver. However, one of the latest trends is a blue caliper paint on electric cars.
Learning how to paint your brake calipers is relatively straightforward and the majority of people don’t remove the calipers to paint them. However, it’s vital that you take your time to prepare the calipers and cover any exposed areas. The painting part is the exciting part but for the best finish, you will want to ensure its completely dry before going for a drive.