How to Paint Brake Calipers With a Brush

How to Paint Brake Calipers With a Brush

If you have rusted brake calipers, there is every tendency that it is going to ruin the look of how your tire rims and brake system looks.

Changing them is not the only solution, after all, going this way will be expensive and you just can’t go on changing them as often as it gets corroded.

Painting your brake calipers will be the best and affordable way to get back those stunning wheel appearance.

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Should I Paint My Brake Calipers?

How to Paint Brake Calipers With a Brush

So here comes the big question! Is painting brake calipers bad?

Painting brake calipers is not a bad idea. However, there is a right way to do this to avoid complications or future failure of your calipers.

You should not paint the entire calipers. Paints on some sensitive parts of the calipers can cause it to seize.

Also, brake calipers are usually very hot, so you should not use just any paint for this purpose. The best paint for calipers is high heat paints.

Best Paint For Painting Brake Calipers

1. POR-15 High-Temperature Heat Resistant Paint

When painting brake calipers, it is recommended to use high heat paints or engine paints. There is a lot to choose from on Amazon or your local auto shop.

This paint will be suitable if you want to paint using brushes.  With a temperature capacity of up to 1200F, your job will last long because typically, a good working caliper will not exceed 300F. However, in some very rare cases, it can get to 1000F.

Not only will this paint work for calipers, but it can also be used on almost anything requiring high heat paint.

It is available in 3 colors which include Flat Black, Manifold Gray, and Aluminum.

If you decide to spray paint your brake calipers as against brush, use the paint below:

2. VHT SP730 Gloss Clear Brake Caliper Paint Can

Rustoleum has one of the best high heat paints in this category and this is suitable for this painting job.

This product is available in a 12 oz spray paint container and offers good coverage. A single container can be sufficient to spray the entire calipers of your car.

It gives you an elegant design and a smooth finish. With a heat capacity of 900F, this paint will work just fine for the job, not forgetting to mention that it is specially designed for brake calipers.

Apart from beautifying your calipers, it is formulated to resist brake dust and high temperatures that can be produced from harsh braking conditions.

The paints further stop rust while giving your brake calipers longevity. It is also easy and comfortable to spray, thanks to its “Any angle spray technology.”

It is available in black and red color which happens to be the best choice for painting car brake calipers.

That said, below are the things you will need to paint brake calipers with a brush:

  • Set of brushes
  • Recommended high heat paint
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Metal wire brush
  • 230 grit sandpaper
  • 600 grit sandpaper

How to Paint Brake Calipers With a Brush

There are two ways you can apply paint on your calipers. You can do this when the calipers are still on the rims, or you can after you have removed it from the position.

We will discuss how to do this using both methods.

How to Paint Brake Calipers by Removing Them

This will be the best way to paint the calipers. However, you should have a prior idea of how to dismantle and couple them before and after painting respectively.

There are no much differences in the process between painting them when still on the rims and when they are removed.

Removing the calipers for painting will make it easy to maneuver your way to reach all the areas that will require paint to get on.

If you have successfully removed the calipers from the position, then follow the same steps highlighted in the next section.

Read Also: Best Spray Paints for Rims

How to Paint Brake Calipers Without Removing Them

How to Paint Brake Calipers

cleaning brake calipers for painting

The first thing you want to do is clean the calipers. Use the wire brush to scrub around the calipers to remove every rust flakes and dust that cleaves to it.

You should notice that these flakes drop off the body of the caliper. Take time and brush around thoroughly because the better you do this, the better prepped it will be.

Apply the brake cleaner

The brake cleaner comes in a spray can. Apply it around the brake caliper by spraying through it.

This is useful in removing any brake fluid, grease, oil, and other contaminants from the brake calipers.

This will dry quickly so you just need to prepare for the next step.


You will need to use two types of sandpapers. But this will be dependent on the level of rust.

If the calipers are deeply rusted, you will start with a more coarse sandpaper like the 230 grit sandpaper.

Use it to sand the surface of the calipers until it becomes a bit smoother. Then to get a smoother surface, use the 600 grit sandpaper on the surface to get a fine finish.

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Clean the surface with Isopropyl alcohol

Use a paper towel or any cloth to apply the alcohol on the surface of the caliper. After application, if it looks good to you, then leave it for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate and you are ready for the next stage.

Painting the brake calipers

Before painting, you’d want to use a painter’s tape to cover areas around the calipers you don’t want to get paint on.

Open the paint container and use your brush to apply around the surface. It will be better to use a foam brush because it will give you a neater job by limiting the number of paints that might spill around.

You can apply multiple coats until you get your desired finish and texture. Allow it dry for at least an hour or the time indicated on the paint’s description.

Safety Precaution to Observe

When doing any painting job, you need to observe some precautions to stay safe.

Handling calipers can be dangerous because of the rust on them. Put on hand gloves.  This will also protect your hands from getting stained with the paint.

Even if you will be using spray paint or brushes, you should wear a respirator mask.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of paint do you use on brake calipers?

High heat paints are the best type of paint to use on brake calipers.

Can you paint brake calipers without removing them?

You can paint them without removing them. We understand the stress that comes with dismantling. But using this method may not be comfortable and you may not get to reach out to all parts on the calipers in tight corners.

How long does caliper paint last?

This depends on the quality of the job. If you perform a quality job, you should expect it to last for three or four years.

Can you paint brake calipers with regular paint?

You should not use regular paint for brake calipers or any auto parts that get heated. Rustoleum has a spray-on paint specifically designed for brake calipers. You can choose to use that or use any high heat paint.

Read Also: Best Epoxy Spray Paints

Is it better to spray or brush paint calipers?

Only one way is right

Spray-painting and wrapping are the common procedures. If the budget is tight and the car is merely a mode of transport, the roller brush can be used. For a brake caliper there is only one right way to upgrade it: with the paint brush.

What is the right way to paint brake calipers?

Paint the calipers the right way: The best instruction for proper painting is to do one side of each caliper at a time. It takes about a half hour (roughly) for the paint to dry, then apply a second coat. After another 30 minutes of dry time, apply two coats of paint to the other side.

Can you paint brake calipers without removing the wheel?

As long as you are careful about protecting the other areas of the brakes, there is no need to remove the brake callipers from the car in order to paint them.

Is it bad to paint brake calipers?

DON’T paint the entire caliper on the car. Paint on some surfaces can cause the caliper to seize. DON’T paint the areas of the rotor/disc that make contact with the pads. Paint contains components that can contaminate the brake pad and change the friction levels.

How hot do calipers get?

During normal street use, brake rotors and pads normally won’t see temperatures climb past 200 degrees Celsius, or 392 degrees Fahrenheit. However, track days are a different story, with temperatures potentially reaching 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit as the brakes are called upon more often and more aggressively.

How long does caliper paint last?

A quality caliper paint job can reasonably be expected to last for three or four years, whereas a set of high-quality aluminum caliper covers can be expected to last seven to ten years.

Can you paint calipers with Rustoleum?

Rust-Oleum® Caliper Paint is a durable coating that allows you to customize your car or truck’s brake calipers, drums, rotors and springs. Caliper Paint is formulated to resist brake dust and high temperatures that can be produced from harsh braking conditions.

Can you paint brake calipers yourself?

You can paint your brake calipers whatever colour you like, however you must be careful not to get any paint on the brake discs. In order to avoid splashing paint on other areas, you can either apply tape to cover these parts or remove the brake calipers altogether.

What is the best caliper color for white car?

Actually – silver is the best color for a white Jetta’s calipers.

Are painted calipers a modification?

It is classed as a mod, and you need to inform the insurance company by all accounts according to the guy from Flux. Most insurance companies won’t care, but some do apparently, and you can invalidate insurance if you don’t tell them.


These are all you need to know on how to paint brake calipers with a brush. If you do not have a good DIY skill, you should consider paying for a professional service to avoid messing up the process.

The key to a quality job lies in the prepping. If you focus more on preparing the surface, the painting will be a walkover.