Paint Brake Calipers

Brake calipers ready for paint

After disassembling, cleaning and inspecting, the next step of caliper rebuilding is a quality paint job.




Painting is all about surface preparation. To prevent chipping and peeling down the road, you need to start with immaculately clean calipers. Careful preparation is essential.


Preparation for painting brake calipers

The calipers were initially cleaned during disassembly, but more cleaning is needed before painting.


I sprayed the calipers with Brake Parts cleaner, then scrubbed them with a wire brush. For the tight spots I used scuff pads. Follow up with more brake parts cleaner. Blow-dry with compressed air. Allow to dry thoroughly.


Paint Corvette brake calipers

The piston bores and bleeder valve holes are not to be painted, and need to be covered up during the painting process. I put used old bleeder screws and stuffed rags in the bores, then reinstalled the old bore seals. After the painting is done the mating surfaces of the caliper halves will be sanded.


Brake calipers ready for painting
The brake calipers are now ready to paint.

Brake Caliper Paint

There's a dozen or more products which can be used to paint brake calipers. After doing some research online and in magazines, I chose VHT brake and caliper paint, bought at a local AutoZone store.


VHT paint for brake calipers

VHT caliper paint is heat resistant to 900 degrees. If instructions are followed, the paint will not chip, crack, fade or rust, even under extremes of operation or road and weather conditions. It is easy to apply, dries quickly and is remarkably resistant.


Several light coats of paint achieve best results. The point of spraying many light coats is to eliminate runs, and will dry completely before the next coat. For the first pass, spray lightly and aim for the hard-to-reach areas.


how to paint brake calipers

Although you could respray as soon as 15 minutes, what's the rush? Remember changes in temperature and humidity are not always known. Take your time. You're restoring a classic car, not painting your barbecue.


I put on about four coats which took me four days. Each morning, before work, I went out in the garage, changed the position of the calipers on the cardboard, and sprayed another light coat. I sprayed the last coat a little heavier to smooth out the finish.


Baking brake calipers in oven to cure paint

Heat Cures The Paint

After allowing the calipers to dry for at least day, set your kitchen oven to 200 degrees and "bake" the calipers for one hour. This cures the paint, making it rock hard and impervious to chemicals. Wait until your wife leaves the house to perform this last step.


Baking brake calipers in oven to cure paint

After painting, reassemble the calipers with new seals and gaskets.


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Classic Car Restoration, How To Paint Brake Calipers - article by Mark Trotta