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      03-12-2020, 09:32 PM   #1
edub370
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Brake Caliper Painting DIY

So I've had enough people ask me about this, that I figured I'd do a write-up on how to properly paint your own calipers (short of sending them off for powder coating or to a painter). Its not hard, just takes some patience!

So lets start with things you'll need.

1) Wire brushes
2) Sand paper (120 grit should work)
3) brake cleaner
4) High temp primer. I used Rust-Oleums high heat primer
5) A 2 component or 2K base coat. I had mine mixed at a local auto paint supplier, but you can order various colors online. Its a bit pricier than standard paint, about $40 a can, but the 2k paint dries much stronger than standard spray paint.
6) Decal, if desired
7) High temp clear. I chose Dupli-color's high gloss clear with ceramic.
8) painters plastic & painters tape


step 1) car in the air!




So to start off I removed the pads and one of the caliper bolts, keeping the other to hold it in place.

Next I began scrubbing off the caliper with the wire brushes to remove any built up brake dust. This is the point where you can sand to smooth the surface as desired. After I had removed any unwanted imperfections, I used brake cleaner & shop towels to remove any residue.

At this point, remove the caliper to cover everything with painters plastic and painters tape. You'll have to remove the bolt you have holding the caliper in place, but you can put it back shortly.




I really wanted to prevent any overspray from getting on my paint, so I went a bit overboard with the plastic, but there's really no downside to doing this.




After everything is prepped, we are ready to spray a couple coats of primer. Remember, go pretty light on coats at this point, to avoid any runs. You should have pretty good access to the rear of the rotor to get decent coverage back there as well.




After that dried for about a half hour or so, It was time to hit it with the base coat. These 2k paints have 2 separate areas inside the can to prevent the hardener and paint from mixing before you puncture through them to start painting. Its critical to note, that these 2k paints only have about a 4-8 hour working window before the hardener activates inside the can, causing it to become useless. So prep both sides before starting!




Again, start with light coats and dont apply a heavier coat until your final pass. I applied about 3 coats on the calipers for this process.




Now, here's where my inexperience with 2k paint caught me off guard. I was expecting this to dry and get tacky within about 30-45 minutes so I could apply the decal. HOWEVER, the lack off thinners to suspend the paint/hardener in 2K paint, means that drying time is slowed down tremendously. So be patient! I had to wait about 4-5 hours for the paint to get tacky enough to apply the decal.


Essentially at this point, you are wanting to still have a BIT of tack to the paint when you apply the decal, but not so much that you affect the paint by applying it. This tackiness will help your clear coat stick after you apply it, so make sure you don't let it dry until its fully hardened.

(not sure why this image rotated)



After you apply whatever decal you chose, its time to clear. Same rules for light coats until the final coat apply here.




So the above pic is the finished product (forgive the dirt smudge). I let mine sit for approx. 2 days before driving, just because I was waiting on tires to get installed on my new wheels. Typically you would want to wait at least a full 24 hours before driving.

And here is how it sits currently!




I plan on letting the paint fully cure for the next couple weeks before I apply industrial grade ceramic over them to allow for easier cleaning and maintenance.

Hopefully you guys find this helpful, and find this as an alternative for spending hundreds on powder coating, as well as the long downtime. Total project time was about 6 hours for the front 2 calipers.

Last edited by edub370; 03-16-2020 at 09:01 AM..
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      03-12-2020, 11:39 PM   #2
Bimmadrae
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Amazing job and write up man. The color by itself pops and against ur car... .I took on a caliper paint job recently that kicked my butt because I took them off to paint and scuffed em on the reinstall.
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      03-13-2020, 08:38 AM   #3
edub370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmadrae View Post
Amazing job and write up man. The color by itself pops and against ur car... .I took on a caliper paint job recently that kicked my butt because I took them off to paint and scuffed em on the reinstall.
I considered taking them off, but realized i could get great coverage without doing that. Even installing the pads back in without scuffing it is tricky
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      03-15-2020, 10:44 AM   #4
ECTO1
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Awesome job, and great write up might have to try this when the weather get better. Great color choice btw.
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      03-15-2020, 10:58 AM   #5
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Exceptionally well written instructions. Great job. Thanks for sharing.
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