How to PROPERLY Spray Paint (Valve Covers and Engine Parts)

How to PROPERLY Spray Paint (Valve Covers and Engine Parts)

Hey guys ChrisFix here, and today i’m gonna show you how to paint your valve covers and other engine parts so you’re gonna get amazing results. And i’m gonna show you how to do this properly so your paint isn’t gonna chip, It’s not gonna fade, It’s not gonna peel and you’re gonna be able to be proud of your results and they’re gonna last a long time But I mean check this out. Here’s the before and here’s the after now one more time Here’s a before and here’s an after and the best part is after watching this video You’ll be able to get the same exact quality results all this is is a rattle-can paint job There’s no special tools or equipment required So let me go show you how to do this and here are all the tools and the products We’re going to be using to get this job done right and we’re going to keep this real simple there are three main steps that We’re going to be doing the first step is to remove the valve covers or whatever engine parts that you want to paint the second Step and probably the most important step is to prepare the parts for paint. I’m going to be using a paint stripper to remove the old paint from my valve covers You could use some sandpaper or I really like using the abrasive end on a sponge and any parts that you don’t want to get paint on you could mask off using some tape and then Finally we’re going to be using some Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol to clean all the parts and get it ready for the final step And that is the painting step. And this is the step you could have some fun with use whatever color you want and be as creative as you want. The only Requirement when picking out paint that paint has to be high temperature, or it has to be heat-resistant And you’ll find that information right on the can also no matter what you’re painting You never only want to spray a color coat to get the best results you want to start with a primer or adhesion promoter then spray your color coat and finish off with a protective clear coat that’s gonna get you the long-lasting result you’re looking for and Finally although this seems like common sense turn that paint can over and read those instructions the paint company who makes the paint is gonna know the best way to apply their paint so follow the Instructions and you’re gonna get great results now. You know how to pick the right paint let’s get started and remove the parts we want to paint and Usually the parts that you want to remove such as the valve covers or the heat shield here are visible parts And they’re easy to access with the valve cover. This is real simple There’s four spark plug wires that need to come out and then there’s four fasteners holding this in and that’s it. So we’re going to Start by removing the spark plug wires, but a little tip Plug wires have to go back in the same holes they came from otherwise the engine won’t run right so grab some tape and just put the tape right on the wire and Clearly label it do this for each one so you know which wire goes to which spark plug Now the wires could come right out and then we could remove the four fasteners holding the cover on Now the valve cover should lift up and off the head I also want to remove this rusty old heat shield It’s held in by two bolts And I think I could clean this up and make it look a lot better and finally I’m also gonna remove the fuel rail and clean this up as well so remove the four connectors and a couple of bolts and this Should pop right out and with everything removed from the engine bay that we want to paint we can move on to our second step And that is the prep step and what we’re gonna be doing here is we’re gonna be removing all the old paint all the dirt And grease and grind that’s on this we’re gonna bring it down to bare metal Because that’s what the paint is going to adhere best to so the better you clean this up the better and longer-lasting your paint job Is gonna be and since we’re gonna be sanding and using chemicals like this paint stripper. It’s important that you wear gloves use Eye protection and wear a respirator, so you don’t breathe this stuff in this respirator protects against dust and against paint That’s what you want to use you don’t want to use something like a dust mask which only protects against the dust and I’ll be sure to link this in the Description so you can find the right one all right the first thing we’re gonna Do is remove all of this old paint using a chemical paint stripper and notice I removed anything plastic that was on the valve cover The only thing here is a metal valve cover because this will damage that plastic so now all you have to do is spray on A light coat make sure you cover the whole valve cover And it’s that simple the paint stripper is gonna do all the work for you in about five to ten minutes It’s gonna bubble up the old paint and make it really easy to remove Then grab a metal wire brush and brush away all the bubbled up paint look at how easily this old paint is coming off Perfect and a little bit of Soapy Wooder will help clean off the paint and the paint stripper so wipe it down until it’s all cleaned off and With that paint stripper removed you can see it does a pretty good job at removing most of the paint But there’s still a little bit of paint leftover. You could go over it again with some more paint stripper Or you could grab a metal wire brush or some 180 grit sandpaper and remove the rest of the paint Once the paint’s completely removed do a final wipe down with some Soapy Wooder to clean it off And we have one last thing we need to do for a preparation step, and that is Degrease this whole thing make sure there’s no grease or oils anywhere on here and since our base right here is a mess I’m gonna get some new cardboard so the valve cover doesn’t get contaminated And we’re ready to degrease and also my gloves are all oily and greasy, and I have some paint stripper on it So I’m gonna remove these and get some new gloves on so we could properly clean this now to degrease the valve cover I like using isopropyl alcohol. It’s easy to find the higher the percentage the better It just cleans better and also it evaporates quicker. So we’ll get some on a lint-free towel and just make sure you wipe Everywhere you want to touch every surface and make sure it’s clean if you have any grease or oil on this valve cover the paints Gonna get messed up And you just did all this work for nothing if you have any lettering clean that out a lot of times oil gets trapped in There and as long as your towel comes up clean after you’re done You’re ready to paint and with the valve cover degreased, now You just have to let it drive for a minute or two and we can start on the next step as we let that dry A lot of cars today have this plastic covering the engine bay So this might be what you’re painting if that’s the case DONT USE paint stripper on this plastic it will ruin it Instead, skip that step and go straight to the alcohol step Where you clean off the plastic and make sure you clean off real good this plastic has pores in it it collects oils very easily And if there’s any oil, dirt or grease on here your paint jobs not gonna come out right I just wanted to mention this real quick and With our valve covers stripped down to the bare metal. It’s cleaned. Its degreased. It’s dry. It’s ready to go for our final step, which is the painting step, and I just want to show you guys real quick How I’m doing this I’m on the side of my house. I’m outside. I’m using boxes for my workstation. xD It’s very simple It’s very easy DIY Friendly, and I am working outside Which poses a problem of flies, dust debris falling onto your work as you paint, and it won’t look good Here’s an example of that you can see there’s all specks over here And those specks are from just dust and dirt and debris falling on it now to prevent that What I like to do, is I like to grab one of these containers and anytime my work is drying when I’m not spray-painting I’ll put it in the container so then it’s sealed off you can make a Canopy or something anything like that will prevent stuff from falling on it and messing up your work while you’re outside. So this is completely doable at home It’s really easy to get great results so let me show you how and let’s get started with our final step the Paint Step And one last thing to consider before you start painting is if you want to tape anything off for example I want the letters and the logo here to be silver when I’m done painting so to do that you could tape this off cut Out each of the letters peel it away And all the letters will be taped off now doing that for all these letters could be tedious it could take a while so I have a trick we don’t have to do that since we could just sand these off when we’re Done and get down to the silver color But if you just have one logo that you want to tape off or it’s just a couple letters Or you want to put a stripe or something tapes a good way to go I’m actually gonna be doing something with my logo. I t fits nicely right here, and it’s gonna look awesome And you could do this with any logo or any decal you want just stick it on and that area won’t get any paint on It so then when we’re done painting We’re just gonna carefully peel that off, and it’s gonna reveal this nice silver color, and it’s also gonna Go really well with the silver lettering when we sand off that paint now real quick. This is super important I just want to show you no matter what you’re spraying whether it’s primer base coat or clear coat I have four quick tips to get good consistent results with a rattle can and the first tip is to start and stop spraying off Of the part that you’re painting so if we want to spray this cardboard Start spraying off the cardboard then move across and after you pass the end of the cardboard That’s when you stop and you do this so that the spray pattern is consistent each time Now the second tip is to overlap each pass that you make so as you go back and forth the next pass is going to overlap the last pass about half this will make sure that you get complete coverage and the third tip is the distance you hold your Can away from the object read the back of your can this says eight to ten inches and make sure the whole time you’re Spray-painting it stays 8 to 10 inches away. If you’re too close. It’ll go on way too thick if you’re too far It’ll go on way too thin. Also if you change distance It’s gonna make the coats uneven and that leads me to the fourth and final tip and that is the speed you don’t want to go too fast back and Forth and you don’t want to go too slow back and forth so at the proper distance if you go too fast your coats are Gonna be too light and then if you go too slow Your coats are gonna be way too thick so find that sweet spot where you get light but complete coverage and maintain that speed so those are four quick tips that I wanted to show you before we go paint the valve cover so you get Great results every time with a rattle can. All right now Let’s apply that information to our valve covers starting with the primer the primer is designed to form a strong bond to unpainted Surfaces like this bare metal, and then the colored spray sticks really well to the primer Which is why we use primer first and since the valve covers three-dimensional (3D) make sure you’re spraying at different angles to cover it completely When you’re done cover your work, so bugs and dirt Don’t fly onto the wet paint a couple of minutes later, and we’re ready for our second coat and finally a couple minutes later We can lay down the last coat of primer. Now within a couple of minutes while the primer is still tacky We want to spray our color coat again. It’s the same exact process I think you get it by now make sure you don’t try to cover the whole valve cover and silver paint with one coat use light even coats a few minutes apart and By the end of the third coat it’ll be completely covered. (I have to clean the camera after spraying xD) Alright ten minutes later we could spray the tint coat and for this you want to spray extra light coats a Tint coat is like a clear coat with color in it and if it runs Or doesn’t go on evenly it’s gonna look real bad Avoid the temptation to try to put on thick coats to get full coverage. Just spray light even coats, and three coats later They’ll be complete coverage (AGAIN!) And I think that was a really cool way to see how that blue tint coat worked It’s like a clear coat with a little bit of blue in it It’s translucent and it allows that silver underneath to come up and just create this awesome color. So now we have to wait about 10 minutes to let that last coat dry then we could peel up that chrisfix logo and then Spray our clear coat over that. One thing I want to mention check this out look at all the dirt and debris That’s just fallen on this from the trees and just being outside. This is a life saver It’s definitely suggest doing this so you don’t get stuff falling on your paintwork ten minutes later The paint’s dry enough to remove my logo I’m using a small blade to carefully pick the vinyl and then peel off each letter with my fingers You don’t want the paint to dry Completely when removing tape or vinyl, because then it could cause the surrounding paint to chip or pull up as you pull it off so Make sure you do this when the paint’s still soft, then it’ll come off. Just like this without affecting the surrounding paint Perfect and would you look at how good that looks against that blue that silver contrast is so nice so now that we’re done with My logo now let’s go do the lettering I’m using a sharp razor to scrape the off the surface of the raised letters just like that This is actually really easy Just make sure that you take your time and don’t slip and damage the surrounding paint and this process is a lot faster than trying to tape each letter Then when you’re done blow up all the scrape paint and dust off the valve cover and look at those results that came out so good I am super happy with this now We have one last thing to do and that Is spray our clear coat just double check that all the dust is off the valve cover So it doesn’t get trapped in the clear coat and just like the rest of the paint you want to spray light even coats We’re doing three coats with ten minutes in between each coat and for the last coat you want to slow down your spray just a little bit so it goes on slightly thicker this will help reduce the orange peel and give you a real good glossy finish and With that third and final layer of clear coat we are done painting look at that that looks so good so now we’re gonna let It dry and as we let it dry I want to show you something since I was in painting mode you guys know I can’t just make one thing like the valve covers look good. I have to go all out 🙂 I decided to paint parts that were well. They’re a rusty They didn’t look good, and I did all this off-camera, and there’s one more thing I wanted to show you guys because it’s super important I get that not everybody’s gonna be able to remove all the parts from their Car so you might have to spray the part like this intake in your car so what I want to point out is make sure You cover everything that you can’t get paint on you’d actually see I use tin foil to clog the holes that go into the engine Very easy it forms very nicely But anything that you don’t want painted make sure you cover super-important also watch for overspray got my cars on the side here So I have a nice shield right here plus the winds blowing that way and there’s nothing over there 🙂 So just pay attention to those things and painting This is exactly the same as the valve cover use a wire brush or sand it down Degrease and clean it with the alcohol once. It’s dry. We’re gonna spray our primer on here Then we could put our base coat down And this is gonna be painted silver then finally finish it off with a clear coat then you can remove all the tape and tinfoil you use to cover everything and clog all the holes and What a difference a little bit of paint does to make that engine bay? Whoo look amazing just look at that and our valve cover isn’t even on yet We’re still waiting for that to dry, but in the meantime We do have all these other bits that I painted might as well go and install those Let’s start with the heat shield from the exhaust manifold What is held on by two bolts then we can install the fuel injectors and fuel rail tighten down the fuel line Connect the wiring harness and secure the fuel rails by tightening it down and finally after over an hour of drying We are ready to install our valve cover notice. I’m not trying to touch the paint although It’s dry on the surface the paint is still soft and could easily get damaged so just keep that in mind Also, since we have the cover off now is a good time to replace the valve cover gasket. It’s super cheap It’s easy to do and this is gonna prevent oil leaks the new gasket Just goes right into the gasket channel And it really is that simple This kit also includes the four spark plug hole Gaskets and these will prevent oil from filling the spark plug wells They just fit right in and we are good to go and ready to install this so carefully mount the valve cover And then we could tighten down the four fasteners that hold it in place Finally match up each of the four spark plug wires into the correct holes And HOLY SMOKES that is how you properly paint a valve cover and other engine parts now It’s not just about the painting It’s the attention to detail for example the oil cap outlined the Honda and Oil in silver and it’s little things like that That’s gonna set your engine bay apart. I also clean the engine bay Just a little bit as I waited for the paint to dry it just overall it looks so good I love it, and this blue is GORGEOUS I am definitely gonna be painting the car this color, this if you can’t tell I’m super stoked about this this engine bay looks Amazing now It’s something to be proud of whereas before it was really bad I mean check out this before and then here’s the after Now that is the proper way to paint your valve covers or any engine bay parts Hopefully the video was helpful if it was remember to give it a thumbs up also All the products and tools I used in this video are linked in the description below and finally if you’re not a subscriber Definitely consider subscribing we have a lot of cool videos coming up to fix up the Del Sol as a daily driver I cannot wait so STAY TUNED!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Hey Chris, just wanted to let you know how much of an impact you've had on my life. I didn't know what I wanted to do as a career and you have shown me the basics of being a mechanic so I'm going to college in the fall to learn more 🙂

  2. "We'll have a lot of cool videos coming up to fix the Del Sol as daily driver I cannot wait so stay tuuuuuned!"

    -ChrisFix, May 3, 2018

    Famous last words? Come on man. Ive fallen for the Del Sol. I need those cool videos!

  3. Next video: "Hey Guys, it's ChrisFix and today I'm gonna show you how to heatshield a space shuttle without any specialized tools!"

    And it's gonna work

  4. 0:15 You can see some rust on the frame on the right side of the engine and in the end 14:48 it's also painted. This man really goes all out…

  5. Tips for when you’re about to start/ starting to do this number 1 it would probably be better if you didn’t expose your rod caps, so like close your hood maybe if any of y’all are gonna do this, or be careful, and number 2 USE AIRPLANE PAINT STRIPPER ITS THE BEST STUFF EVER

  6. Well done on painting the manifold, iv been thinking of doing it was scared because can’t get under it but that looks good bro

  7. Hey Chris! By any chance do you have a video of you showing us how to do an underbody cleaning, and spray protection. If you don't, could you? 🙂

  8. Chris I want to let you know that I am an experience mechanic and an experienced mechanical/aerospace engineer and I learn something new every time I watch one of your videos, it's absolutely awesome and I really appreciate the effort you put into these videos and the clarity of your explanations. I have a channel as well and watching your videos helps me improve every time I watch. So thank you and keep them coming.

  9. OMG Chris, using that upturned plastic tub as protection for dust and bugs is just genius – I have never seen that before. Like all ur vids, full of great info. Thank you. 😊 Oh, and the blue and silver looks fabulous!!

  10. Just a tip for those of you who plan to mask off anything that is going to have a direct edge to what you're painting. When you're demasking pull the tape to the side and kind of flat towards your paint instead of up and away because you'll have a chance of getting this thing called sawtoothing which can ruining the look of your paintjob and it will leave a jagged edge from where you masked off. I hope that made sense but goodluck painting 👋

  11. 14:54 Well.. it's not the "proper" way to paint it, is it? It's "a" way to paint it. The proper way would be to lightly media blast it, then as it's aluminium, etch prime it, and then powder coat it. Still… covers the basics and gives even the most, errr… challenged person a fair old chance of not making too much of a mess.

  12. Would you want to plug the underside of the valve cover to be safe? I'm planning on painting mine too, and wondering if it's a good idea to mask off the underside.

  13. good idea with the rubber tote but don't forget to account for the fact that it will take longer to dry witch in most situations wont matter

  14. Very informative & with great results. What I couldn't understand though is why you left the exposed valve gear uncovered: especially when you were also preparing & spraying the manifold.

    There's a specific product you can use that strips paint off of plastic without damaging it. I forget the name but I do own a bottle.

  16. You really don’t want to remove your fuel real unless you really really have to. You are asking for serious problems and fuel leaks.

  17. Keep in mind that there is engine specific degreaser too guys, and I find that it works a little better than rubbing alcohol, in case there is some really tough grime.

  18. I have Nissan dayz 660c and in this car have ac off and on problem when i press break. Otherwise on running condition is good proper working ac . Please give me suggestion what the problem in the ac

  19. Holy crap. That's all I have to say. All of your vids are well-narrated, informative and to the point. Many thanks for the many excellent vids, man. I'm now a Chris Fix addict. Did I mention holy crap?

  20. Gah damn, so happy I found this video that clearly explains how to use Metalcast. I had no idea I could do Primer, Paint, Clear all in the same day!

  21. Hey man I have a quick question for you, hope you can help me. So my engine valve cover is metal and part plastic, and my 1st question is my valve cover is already a metallic silver, do I still have to strip the paint off to bare metal? or can i start spraying my base coat on the silver paint on it and then clear coat my 2nd question is the plastic part has some lettering and I want those to be silver but since it's plastic I can't sand off the letters like you did cuz it's plastic, what would you recommend me to do if I want me letters to be silver like yours. Thanks I appreciate it

  22. Hey Chris. Like a lot of your videos. For the primer, is there a special heat sensitive primer, or is it just the base cost and clearcoat that need to be heat sensitive?

  23. Nice video – Very good tips. Where do you get a custom decal like that made though – a link to that would be nice!

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