How to Paint Brake Calipers Fast and Easy

How to Paint Brake Calipers Fast and Easy

Hey guys, ChrisFix here Are you rusty, old brake calipers ruining the look [of] your car? Does it mess up how your brake system or your rims look when it’s on the car? Well, today I’m gonna show you how to paint your brake calipers to make them look really nice. These rusty calipers are still in good shape, they just don’t look very good. So I’m gonna go through the process and how we’re gonna prep it, and then spray it with high-temperature spray paint, which you can pick up at any store for 5 bucks. Since we’ll be doing this on the car, so we don’t have to bleed the brakes, we’re keeping the brake line attached, we have it off to the side, I have a box on top of a bucket to kind of keep it supported, give me a nice platform, I want to cover all this stuff, because I don’t want to get high-temperature paint on this. So I’m just using a garbage bag to completely cover everything. With everything covered, we can start the prep on this. To do this job, we’re going to use some high-heat spray paint, so up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. We have some isopropyl alcohol that cleans it off when we’re done sanding and everything I have a metal wire brush some 230 grit sandpaper and then some 600 grit sandpaper. And that’s all you need — let’s get to work. Remember, when you’re sanding this and when you’re spraying this, make sure you use some type of protection for your lungs and protection for your eyes. So the first thing I’m gonna do is I’m gonna take the wire brush and just everything on here that is metal, hit it. Watch out for the rubber on these guide pins and also watch out for the rubber on the brake line and be careful of the rubber down here on these pistons. So remember to take your time doing this It’s all in the preparation The better you sand, and the better this is prepped, the better it’s gonna come out. I know you’ll be excited and you just want to start spray-painting but try to take some time to do this right. You can see all this rust and everything that got taken off with this That’s good. I forgot to mention, you’re going to need some brake clean next step is going to be to hit this with brake clean, get it all cleaned up. After this is dry, we’re going to move on to the sanding with sandpaper this is 230 grit. Depending on how rusted your calipers are, you might not need to use this, if you calipers are still really smooth and look good then you can just move up to the 600 grit. Mine are kind of rusty, so it needs this coarse sandpaper to get the rust spots out of here. Make it a little bit smoother. Okay, I sanded all the spots on this that I wanted to get to with the more coarse sandpaper so now I’m going to move to the more fine sandpaper 600 grit. Now the level that I’m going to do this for my truck will be different from the level I would do this for my Corvette. I just want to get a nice coat on here, make it look halfway decent, and prevent the rust, that’s the goal for me, rust prevention. For you it might be the looks so then you might want to be more detailed. You might want to take the caliper off and open it You might want to get the brake pad clips out of here and get the paint under there For me, that’s not super important So just remember that there [are] different levels that you could do this to. Now, take your time with this last step, and we’ll be spray-painting in no time. Okay, this is coming out real nice, it’s ready to be hit with one more thing of brake clean and then we’ll use some rubbing alcohol and clean it off completely. Now it’s time to use the alcohol. Before I touch this caliper again, I’m going to change out my gloves so that they’re clean The alcohol step is the last step before paint touches this so you want to try to be as clean as possible now. Now use a paper towel, a lint-free towel would be best and some alcohol pour it on and then just clean this off. You’re gonna get a lot of stuff off from doing this. Even after brake clean has been used. After you clean it off with the alcohol and it looks good to you, let the alcohol evaporate, After it evaporates we’ll start spray-painting. Make sure you read the instructions on the back of your can. Make sure you’re within the temperature range, make sure you’re at the right distance and stuff With this stuff, I’m going to try to use three coats I’m going to do this side first I’m gonna wait two minutes between coats and I’m gonna spray about a foot away. So just as I start painting, I forgot to mention, you should use some tape on any parts you don’t want to get paint on. In my case, I don’t want to get paint on these two rubber pieces here so I’m gonna use tape on them I already spray-painted a little bit, but I caught myself so it’s not a big deal. So now that I caught myself, I’ll continue spray-painting. Let that sit for two minutes. After a few minutes, you can see it’s basically dry so I’m gonna hit it with one last coat of paint. Okay, good, now I’ll let this dry for thirty minutes and then it’ll be dry to the touch. So then I can flip this over and do the other side. With this completely dry, let’s flip it. Now we’re gonna spray this side I’d say the only thing you’re gonna want to worry about on this side is the piston right here Probably don’t want to get too much paint on this piston cover. You want to be extra careful, and might want to tape that off. Okay, good, now we’re gonna let this sit for two minutes and do two more coats. I’m skipping forward, this is gonna be my last coat. Looks good, I’ll let it dry for half an hour and then we can put the brakes back on the car. Okay Put everything together, got new brake pads in Got the new brake rotor The painted brake caliper And even the brake rotor, I painted the hat With the spray paint that I used, I’m gonna want to bake this on here So to do that, what I’m going to do is I’m going to drive the car for 15 minutes. And I’m gonna let it cool for half an hour. And what that’s gonna do, is it’s gonna bake on this paint Not only is it gonna look good but it’s gonna function well because I’m not gonna have any rust on here. Here’s a before and after picture: On your left is before, and on your right is after. Hopefully this video was helpful! If it was, give it a thumbs-up! Also consider subscribing Up on the screen are gonna be some videos You can click on the videos on the screen, or you can find a link to those videos in the description below Also in the description below are the link to the ChrisFix Facebook and Twitter pages Check it out!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Chris, I don't get why you don't use a wire brush attachment for a drill instead of the hand held kind. Isn't it more work with less than stellar results?

  2. @ChrisFix I have brand new rotors and calipers that I'd like to paint. Should I sand with a fine grit even though it's new and clean before painting? Or can I just go ahead and clean with alcohol and paint? Btw, love your videos, I've done several repairs myself thanks to you.

  3. Great DIY, but I’d recommend one more step below. I used this to re-do calipers on an old but great condition car of mine. I had removed them to rebuild since the parts are closing in on 40 years.

    That Rust Oleum high temp paint is a great choice, especially because of the matte color.

    What I did after cleaning and scrubbing was to use ospho. This product (you can link from amazon if you wish) converts surface rust and better prepares for paint adhesion. The end result is a better bond and longer, better rust resistance in the long run.

    Great video!!

  4. That paper mask isn't lung or brain protection (paint fumes cause serious brain damage as well as lung damage). You need to use a paint / pesticide mask. They are ~20 bucks at hardware stores and have replaceable filter cartridges.

  5. I would just take them off and put them in water mixed with viniger to remove all the rust, then paint them.

  6. WHY wouldn't you remove the bracket from the caliper?? It's 2 fucking bolts! And everything will be more accessible, to prep & paint. Also sand blasting is the easiest, and more thorough way to prep the surface. Especially in tight spots.
    80% of painting is in the preparation!

  7. I prime mine with liquid paper, then use a dollar store marker to colour. From 3 feet away, it looks fine. Saves money, and you can play with the colours if you get bored 🙂

  8. What do you feel is the benefit of 600 grit on rusted metal? I would recommend beginning 40 or 80 and ending with 100 or 120 for what you’re doing. 600 is a final primer sand before paint, all you did was wear out the 600 on that rusted calliper.

  9. I always use matching spray can caps to prevent the piston grommets from being painted. And always cover the rubber brake lines very carefully!

  10. Waste of time I did mine with duplicolor and no prep I didn't even clean it just power wash dry and paint this is crap

  11. IF YOU WANNA. For those that dont want to keep the caliper on but still dont want to bleed the brakes (or at least not have the system leak while its off) just take a rag and a long nose locking pliers and crimp the hose. The rag will keep the pliers from doing damage to the rubber of the hose. I dont advise leaving them on for too long (no more then a few hours) as it could cause the hose to collapse.

  12. Not bad, for the large surfaces I use a electric wire wheel then metal brush for smaller areas. I also like a good primer.

  13. You absolutely need to remove the brake hardware, or “pad clips” as you called them. They allow the pads to move smoothly and getting paint on them doesn’t allow proper movement and could cause premature pad wear along with rotor overheating.

  14. No offense but i understand doing this for the look of the nice painted caliper you can see threw the wheel, but as far as functionality.. Lol, that rust doesn't hurt a thing! therefore if not for the look, it's a complete waste of time

  15. Im pretty sure red makes you slower. You wanna go faster just take them off and toss em in the garbage! Nascar fast!

  16. Hey cris can you make a video on rust removal by electroplating or esle electrode Or just search how to remove rust by relecto then see it could you make an video for that..

  17. You can do it faster by getting a brush and Rust-Oleum paint in the can and you brush it on in between the spokes of your rims and you just rock the car back and forth to get the spots that you missed in between your rims is that simple

  18. Nice job. But I'm sorry, I'm not going to go through all that and not paint them red! If I'm doing all that, they will be red!

  19. I love everything you do man, I'm not great at car stuff but you make it all look very easy. Thanks heaps Chris 👍

  20. I should've done it when I put new calipers on. Not sure why I didn't. Too big a hurry I guess.
    I plan on doing this though…but I'm going to use high heat exhaust manifold "cast iron" paint. I think it will look nice and factory new!

  21. No point mincing about under the wheel arch like that, clamp the flexible brake line off ( with the proper tool ) then crack the bleed nipple to make sure it’s not seized, crack the banjo nut and undo it then remove the flexible brake line from the Caliper. Now you can remove the caliper to a work bench and do the job properly

  22. I know this video is old, but some advice…this is a LOT easier if you wait to do it to a new caliper or are rebuilding the old one.

  23. I have a question
    If i use only heat resistive primer and normal paint will it work or will the paint destroy with use?

  24. Hi Cris. I know this is a older video. I’m fixing up a 2012 Ford Escape. It is a grey blue. What color do you think I should paint the brakes. I think red is overrated but can not figure out what would compliment the greyblue color

  25. My 16 year old Toyota Avalon has zero rust on the calipers. Just a little corrosion. It has been outside most of those years. The amount of rust on these is shocking. I wonder if they're original or aftermarket?

  26. I just removed the wheel and spray painted the front that is the only part anyone can see.
    took me 5 minutes per wheel!

  27. Hey Chris, I’d really appreciate a reply for help, I’ve read a bunch of things about doing this and am probably going to this weekend, I’ve read lots of things about bleeder valves, bleeder nipples, etc, and that you got paint in them? What are those specifically and do you ahve a link and how to prevent it? To prevent the brakes from seizing? Thanks Chris!

  28. Btw, painting the calipers is for cars with nice rims, where you can see the calipers with the wheels on, and on nice cars!

  29. Thanks Chris. I learn a lot from your videos. I have started doing my own maintenance lately thanks to your videos. They are very detailed and simple. God bless!

  30. By the time you've messed about, it would be quicker and easier to take the Caliper off the car and do them in the garage/shed.

  31. My mom said she doesn’t like the look of red calipers. You don’t even know how close I was to grabbing my headlight fluid and pouring it in her eyes.

  32. I got a gray with back exterior on my 2014 mustang. And I want red calibers , your way is cheaper then getting covers for it. I will paint them. Thanks for the video.

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