How to paint your brake calipers

This is a simple change to the look of my car I did that I absolutely loved- and it was fairly cheap. All you need is:

1.) Brake Parts Cleaner/Degreaser (I used CRC Brakleen)
2.) 320 grit sandpaper (I got some from WalMart)
3.) Caliper Paint (I used Dupli-color Brake Caliper Paint)
4.) Masking tape (Got some a Home Depo)
5.) Newspapers/plastic covers. (So as to not get paint on your car.)

You will also need the necessary equipment to remove your lug nuts and raise your car. (Lug wrench, jack[s])

Here’s a picture of the cans that I used:

Please note that this is my first tutorial and really my first serious painting project. After doing quite a bit of research, I found that there were two ways to do this- either removing the caliper or keeping it on the car. Me being rather cautious decided to go with keeping it on the car.

Step 1: Prepare to paint.

Start by getting ready to lift the car but do not begin until you have loosened the lug nuts, once you have done so, you can lift the car. Optimally lift the car generously and place some jack stands underneath. I did not have any jack stands so I used 3 jacks and wheel stops in the rear.

Whatever you do when lifting your car, be safe and use common sense!

Here is the car lifted:

Wheels off and ready to begin preparation:

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Step 2: Masking

Begin by masking everything you do not want to get painted. Be METICULOUS. I took special care in this step because my car paint is red- and I was glad I did!

There is not much I can say here, other than the fact this took the longest and is one of the most important steps. Here’s a picture:

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I masked half of the disk and then rotated the half masked so that the caliper was over the masked area. This keeps the paint of the disk.

Here’s an important note for anyone who has never removed a caliper or replaced your brake pads:

As I mentioned above, I made sure to mask 1/2 of my disk and then I was going to rotate it so that the caliper would be over the part of the disk that was masked. After I finished masking I realized this was not possible without some disassembling, because the caliper grips the disk VERY close to where it is hard to slide even a piece of paper in there- so I had to remove part of the caliper to loosen the grip.

You will find two smaller screws behind the caliper. The you will remove this part of the caliper and will be able to open up the brake pads a to rotate in the masked half of the disk.

If that explanation doesn’t make much sense, don’t worry, it’s not very difficult to figure out, just unscrew the two smaller screws in the back of your caliper, (there’s 4 in total)- and just keep in mind that when you remove your brake caliper you need to be careful- the caliper is a little heavy and if it drops and snaps your brake line you are screwed! You’ll be fine so long as your are careful.

Step 3: Clean your brake calipers.

Use your brake cleaner/degreaser to clean the calipers. I personally sprayed the brake cleaner and then used a cloth to wipe off the grease and then repeated the process about 5-6 times. There may be quite a bit of grease and you need to make sure you remove as much as possible in order for the paint to adhere properly to the caliper. Take your time. Make sure not to get your brake cleaner on any rubber parts. (There’s a few on your caliper)

Step 4: Sanding

Use 300 grid sandpaper to sand your calipers- you will notice a lot of the time you are really using the sandpaper to do even more cleaning and are simply removing grease- that’s okay, sand it some and repeat step 3. I found I had to do this on my right caliper because I didn’t take the time to be as throughral as I was with my left caliper. You will notice the caliper texture and even color seems to change a bit and get gray instead of just black from the grease- then you can wipe it with a cloth and you’ll be ready.

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Step 5: Painting!

Finally! It’s about time! Even though this is the funnest part it honestly is very defendant on how well you do the previous steps. I did about 5 coats, with 10 mins in between each. When you are spraying, begin spraying BEFORE you ever spray on your caliper and use a sweeping motion to go back and forth over the caliper. Don’t worry if after the first coat it seems like you need more, you will do some more coats.

Take it easy when you paint, if you put too much it will drip. Here’s after the first coat:

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After your last coat, wait about 25 min and you should be able to start taking off the newspaper and masking tape. However, do not touch the caliper as the paint is still drying!

Here’s after I’ve done that:

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Removing final pieces from the disk:

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Step 6: Finishing

Now you can add your wheels and just wait for it to dry! Here are the before and afters:

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All in all, I am very, very pleased!

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