How to Paint Brake Calipers

by Alexander McMillin

It has become popular in recent years for car enthusiasts to paint their brake calipers. This gives the car a sportier, more aggressive look and allows the car owners to express themselves. Some people opt for a professional job, but it is easy to paint your own brake calipers and get an excellent result. To do the job correctly, it's important to follow the proper steps.

Items you will need

  • Tire Iron

  • Jack

  • Water

  • Wire brush

  • Cleaning Solvent

  • Newspaper

  • Painter's tape

  • Temperature-resistant paint

Removing the Wheels

Some people choose to leave their wheels on when painting their calipers, but this may lead to poor results. It'll certainly make it more difficult to access the sides of the caliper. It only takes a few minutes to remove the wheels from a car.

Park the Car

Ensure that the surface is even, with as little slope as possible. Put the car in first gear if it's a stick shift.

Take the Wheel Off

Locate the wheel diagonal from the one you are taking off, and put a wheel chock behind it if you are on an upslope, or in front of it if you are on a downslope. This will prevent the car from rolling.

Loosen the Lug Nuts

Fit a tire iron over the lug nuts and turn them counterclockwise several times. Work on the lug nuts in a diagonal pattern. Make sure they are only a little loose.

Place the Jack

Check your owner's manual for the correct location to place the jack and for instructions on how to operate the jack -- they are all slightly different. Remove the lug nuts completely using the same method you used to loosen them. Once the lug nuts have been removed, the wheel will slide right off.

Cleaning, Painting and Replacing

Cover everything in the immediate vicinity with newspaper, and secure the newspaper with painter's tape.

Clean the Calipers

Use a wire brush and a strong solvent to clean the calipers thoroughly. Any dirt or grime left on the calipers will prevent the paint from adhering to the metal properly. Wash the calipers with water, and wipe the calipers dry when you are finished.

Paint the Calipers

Carefully paint the calipers. You can find the paint in home supply stores. Use a brush to paint the calipers, but spray will work as long as you are careful.

Tip

  • You don't need to use special brake-caliper paint, but do use paint that is made to resist high temperatures. You can find the paint at home-supply or auto parts stores but make sure the package specifies that the paint is made to withstand extreme heat.

Apply at least three coats. Brake calipers go through a lot of wear and tear, and some paint will inevitably wear off. Let the paint dry completely.

Replace the Wheels

Use the tire iron to replace the wheels. Again, make sure the car is secure on the jack and jack stands. Screw in the lug nuts and you're ready to go.

Items you will need

About the Author

Alexander McMillin is a writer and longtime gearhead living in the automotive mecca of Los Angeles. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida Gulf Coast University. McMillin's blog on cars, Los Angeles, and millennial angst can be found on his website, alexandermcmillin.com.