How to paint brake calipers

Author Name – Jack Underwood

    43 people

Painting your brake calipers is a great way to freshen up your car and make it stand out by personalising it to your specification. Getting the brake calipers painted can seem like a daunting task, especially if you want to do this by yourself.

However, it is a task that can be worthwhile if your brake calipers are looking worn and rusty. In this article, we are going to explain the ins and outs of how to paint your brake calipers and any additional information that you need before painting your brake calipers. 

painting brake calipers

What are brake calipers?

Brake calipers are an integral part of the braking system. They are located with the disc brake system which are commonly found in the front of the car. The purpose of the brake calipers is to create friction with the brake pads, causing the car to slow down. The calipers are fixed onto the disc brake and can be seen through the front wheels, often in a range of different colours.

Related: The complete guide to car brakes

Brake Caliper Paint

Before you paint your brake calipers, you need to take the important step of deciding what colour paint you would like. If you are looking for brake caliper paint, then this can be purchased online via Halfords.

How to paint brake calipers

Step 1

The first step you need to take when painting brake calipers is to loosen the wheel nuts on the front wheels. Ensure that these nuts are kept safe. After the wheel nuts have been loosened, you need to raise the front wheels of your car off the ground. This is done with a car jack and an axle stand.

Step 2

Once you have exposed the brake calipers, it is essential that the disc brakes and the calipers themselves are thoroughly cleaned. This is important because if you spray the new paint over the rusty and dirty calipers it will cause an uneven finish.

The best way to clean the caliper is to get some brake cleaner, spray it on to a toothbrush and scrub the disc brakes and calipers. This process may need to be repeated a few times to get a deep clean. It is not recommended that you spray the brake cleaner directly onto the disc brakes and calipers, instead apply to the toothbrush.

Step 3

Now the disc brakes and calipers have been cleaned, the next step is to prepare the calipers to be painted. It is essential that certain preparations are met before you start the painting, such as:

  • Remove the front retainer clip
  • Cover the bleeder valve with tape
  • Tape the brake hose fittings
  • Use a plastic sheet to cover the brake rotor

You do not want to want the paint to get onto these parts so this is an important step.

Step 4

After all of this preparation is complete it's finally time to paint your brake calipers! Choose your desired paint colour and paint the brake calipers with a thin coat of paint at a time using slow and accurate strokes to achieve a clean even finish. Make sure to use heat resistant paint, as calipers can become very hot when in use.

Step 5

It is recommended that you wait for at least 5 to 9 hours before you start to reassemble the wheel. If the paint has not had time to completely dry it will not be able to withstand the temperature exerted from the brakes. As a precaution do not drive the car for 24 hours as this can affect the paint job.

If you experience any problems with your brakes whilst painting your brake calipers it is important that it is addressed and sorted out as soon as possible. At National Tyres and Autocare, we have a number of branches across the UK, providing a brake safety check to ensure that you are driving safe. You can also book in for a FREE vehicle safety check.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to prime brake calipers before painting?

Yes - As mentioned in Step 2, it is crucial to ensure that your brake calipers are thoroughly cleaned before applying any paint.

How long do painted calipers last?

Depending on the quality of paint you use on your calpiers, they should last around 3 to 4 years before needing to be re-painted.

Can I paint my calipers without removing them?

Yes - Ensure that your brakes are protected, as mentioned in Step 2. If any paint gets on the brakes they may stop working.

How hot can brake calipers get?

Brake calipers can reach temperatures of over 250 degrees celsius, so make sure any paint you buy can withstand those hot temperatures.

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