Caliper paint is used for both protective and aesthetic reasons. They have to be durable and aesthetically pleasing to meet the consumer’s requirements.
In this article, we are going to discuss the nature of caliper paint: what it is, what is it used for, what are the advantages of using the caliper paint, and so forth. We will present five products, of which some come with surface preparation equipment too, but’ we will discuss this later.
We will describe the products, and then provide you with concise buyer’s guide, where we’ll discuss caliper paint in general. The purpose of this article is to present the product as it is, with its advantages and disadvantages, thus helping you decide whether or not a specific product is for you.
Rust-Oleum Aerosol – easy to use, cost-effective and highly durable and resistant; colors are too light
POR-15 – beautiful finish, focus on aesthetics, self-leveling paint; not as durable as others on the list
VHT Aerosol – value for money, highly durable and resistant; requires a lot of patience upon applying
G2 kit – most resistant (temperature-wise, up to 980 degrees F), easy to apply and decent durability; you have to apply several coats
Dupli-Color Aerosol – comes in spray form, easy to use, durable, near-professional finish; expensive.
Rust-Oleum Caliper Paint Spray is resistant (900 degrees F), made for maintaining its form despite the conditions. This paint is made especially for brakes, and integral parts of the braking system (caliper, drum, rotor, etc.)
This is the first product on our list that comes in spray form. There are some benefits to spraying, mostly regarding the spraying angle. In essence, spray allows you to reach areas that would otherwise be difficult to reach.
Rust-Oleum Caliper Paint Spray comes in four different colors: black, blue, silver and red. The silver color is the cheapest one, and the blue is the most expensive (very expensive if you ask me). However, despite being the most expensive, the blue is also the most beautiful one. Obviously, this is a preference thing, so choose the color of your liking (if you decide to purchase this paint).
When it comes to the paint, it is very durable. The coating is decent, penetrates deeply and provides excellent sealing, meaning it will stop the oxidation and rust occurrence. The Rust-Oleum also offers Caliper Paint Kit.
Caliper Paint Kit contains everything you need to efficiently and adequately paint the braking system in your vehicle. If purchased, you will receive Caliper Paint, cleaner, stick (for stirring), painting brush and painters tape.
Why go for the kit? Well, convenience and comfort. Kit contains everything you need, in one place, so you don’t have to run around the town searching for each of these tools. One kit contains enough material to clean and paint four calipers.
Though we didn’t talk about it, cleaning the caliper before applying the paint is as important as applying the paint. Not only that the paint, in this case, the Rust-Oleum Caliper Paint Spray won’t adhere to the surface, it also won’t stop the rust from reoccurring.
The can’s cap will spray thick layers of paint, so I guess that is a downside. It will take some time before you get used to it; simply don’t pressure the cap too hard. Also, the colors should have been a bit darker.
Paint is reasonably easy to apply and provides excellent coverage when used on the prepared surface. Do not apply this paint on the unprepared surface because of the adhesion.
The coloring is very interesting, glowy, ceramic-like. Those looking for shine and glory should consider using the POR-15 Caliper Paint. We do not recommend this paint to amateurs. Moreover, the POR-15 doesn’t recommend it.
Painting caliper isn’t easy, but is highly delicate; if you know your business, then definitely go for this color. We do commend the paint’s durability and beautiful finish. It is also very inexpensive because you will receive 8 ounces of this paint (roughly 240 ml).
What I do like the most is the paint’s density, the thickness of it. It is also a self-leveling paint and is very smooth to work with. If you are using a brush, the strokes won’t show, mostly because of the paint’s density. The POR-15 also offers Caliper Paint Kit.
How to use
When it comes to using, you will have to apply two layers of this paint. Apply first coat and let it a dry couple of hours. Then apply the second coat and let it dry, preferably overnight. That is one downside of this paint: it takes a lot to dry.
Also, if you do want that glossy finish, you’ll probably have to apply more layers. When it comes to resistance to rain, salt, oil and other toxins, the POR-15 Caliper Paint does an excellent job. It penetrates deep into the pores of the dedicated surface and seals off any pores. Thus, this paint prevents the oxidation process and the occurrence of rust.
While thickness is this paint’s upside, it is also the product’s downside. It will take a lot of time before this paint dries. Also, this paint isn’t as robust as other ones on the list. It is recommendable to those who are focused more on the aesthetics, than on the functionality of the paint.
VHT stands for Very High Temperature; why? Well, the company made a name for themselves thanks to the paints that can withstand very high temperatures. The VHT paint is no different; it is a paint designed specifically for the brake.
Moreover, it is also used for calipers, drums, rotors, and so forth. In essence, this paint can withstand up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it a valuable option for calipers. Apart from being resistant to high temperatures, this paint will not rust or chip and is also resistant to chemicals.
These chemicals could damage the caliper (not initially, but if exposed to them over time), so it is a good idea to cover the caliper in custom made paint. The paint is fairly easy to apply, dries quickly. Once completely cured, it can withstand 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to use
It is important to say that you shouldn’t directly apply this paint on the caliper, brake, or any other part. You should always prepare the dedicated surface to ensure optimal adhesion as well as curing. VT also offers primers and clear coats, and together with the caliper paint, they act like a complete paint kit. But, we will recommend our surface preparation tools in the Buyer’s guide.
Once applied, leave the VHT paint at least 30 minutes to dry before touching it. It is best to leave the paint dry overnight to get the most out of it. Proper curing is very important if you plan on using this paint. This can be achieved naturally and over time, through the use of your brake system.
Or, you can heat the parts up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve maximum value. The good news is that the instructions are printed on each can, so you’ll be able to go through them thoroughly. Paint comes in 9 different colors.
We do recommend this product, mostly because of its durability and resistance to harsh conditions. It is also very cost-effective. The only downside is that this paint requires a lot of patience. You’ll have to apply it with care. We also don’t recommend this paint to beginners.
G2 hires professional engineers to test and come up with new paint formulas. It is no surprise that the G2 High-Temperature Paint is the most heat-resistant paint on our list, with the ability to withhold 980 degrees F.
You have the option to select between 11 different colors, all of which are water and rust resistant. The paint is applied via brush, easily. This paint is very forgiving and is as such suitable for beginners who are in need of high quality and easy to use caliper paint.
Once dried and cured, the color looks very stylish and attractive. Still, it protects the calipers from harmful conditions and chemicals, which is the most important thing. Dust, fluids, salt and other similar elements won’t harm this paint.
Every kit contains cleaner (aerosol), stirrer, brush, can for mixing the liquids, and the instruction manual that will help you set everything right. You will also receive the paint, as well as the color decal. The kit is quite amazing, and it will allow you to paint four calipers with it.
It is also worth mentioning that each G2 Brake Caliper Paint System kit is made and packaged in the USA. The paint is quite durable, won’t chip or fade even after months of use. The brush you receive via this package is cheap, but it will do the job.
You will have enough paint to finish four calipers, so do apply several thin coats of this pain. It isn’t too dense, and you will be able to level it evenly across the dedicated surface. It drys pretty fast, and the result is aesthetically pleasing. It isn’t powder coating but looks very professional.
The downside is the price. We suggest obtaining the G2 Brake Caliper Paint kit to get the all-in-one product. Also, you will have to apply several coats if you want beautiful finish; otherwise, it will look pale and cheap.
Drying is rapid and lasts roughly around 30 minutes, so it won’t take too long to complete the job. It is a paint spray, the nozzle being very sensitive, so do press it gently if you decide to buy it. As we already said it while reviewing Rust-Oleum Caliper Paint Spray, spray allows you to reach those hard to get areas. Also, it allows you to spray from all angles, giving you more maneuverability when you use it.
The coating is durable and protective, resistant to rust and dust, and will protect the braking system from chemicals (such as oil, battery acid, salt, etc.) Dupli-Color also grants you the option to purchase The Dupli-Color Caliper Paint Kit.
This kit contains one pint of caliper paint (color of your choosing), cleaner (for surface preparation, also aerosol), stirring stick, brush ( if you decide to remove the calipers of the vehicle, use brush), instructions and masking tape.
Dupli-Color Brake Caliper Aerosol grants you a lot of control and maneuverability, and also a lot of room for error (so to speak). If you decide to obtain the kit, you don’t have to unmount the calipers of the vehicle. Use the masking tape and spray evenly across the surface (naturally, do the necessary surface preparation before painting).
This special paint grants almost factory-like results, mostly thanks to the resin-based color formula. The paint is protective and somewhat resistant to high temperatures (not the highest, but it will do the job). If you decide to remove the calipers, you should probably use the provided brush for maximum efficiency and precision.
If you are looking for easy to use, durable and near-professional finish, then Dupli-Color Brake Caliper isn’t a bad option. However, this particular color is expensive. Also, be aware of the fact that you will have to apply multiple coats to achieve the wanting results.
In this section, we will touch more on the caliper paint (in general, not product-oriented), and the surface preparation. Firstly, we will discuss surface preparation methods and tools. Then, we will discuss the factors you should pay attention to if you do decide to purchase the caliper paint.
Why Surface Preparation?
Reasons are fairly simple. The braking system is an integral part of any vehicle, so you need to make sure that you did everything in your power to assist the system, thus prolong its durability and efficiency.
Specifically, if you ever paid attention to calipers, you will probably notice dust, oil, dirt, maybe even rust; all of this has to be removed. Why? Adhesion. The paint is protective, but it won’t clean up the place, it won’t remove dust nor rust from the dedicated surface.
How To Prepare The Surface?
Three of the products we reviewed come in painting kits:
- Rust-Oleum Caliper Paint
- G2 Brake Caliper Paint System Set
If you plan on painting the calipers, do it properly. Each of this kits contains cleaners. We suggest using these break cleaners, for they are chemically designed to deal with dust, oil, rust, dirt, and so forth.
To prepare the surface, firstly use the provided cleaner. You can also obtain it additionally, but if you like the paints, you will probably like the manufacturer’s cleaners too. Once you clean the surface with brake cleaner, use sandpaper to remove hard materials. You can swap between cleaner and sandpaper until the surface is clean.
If you purchase the kit, you will also get the painters mask. Use it to cover the parts you don’t want to paint. After the surface is spotless, dust and rust-free, oil-free, apply the paint according to the instructions.
Spray Or Brush?
When it comes to selecting the paint, firstly consider the painting method. In general, brush and paint is the best method if you decide to remove the calipers. It will grant you precision, and more control over the coating.
The spray helps you reach those hard to get areas, and doesn’t require that you remove the calipers. Use the masking tape to protect the areas you don’t want to spray and use it. It is worth mentioning that spraying gives you less control while coating.
You can’t control the nozzle size nor sensitivity, so you’ll have to be gentle if you decide to use the spray. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Personally, I prefer sprays merely because they are more convenient and easier to use.
Some of the products we reviewed feature amazing heat resistance. For example, the G2 High-Temperature Brake Caliper Paint System can withstand up to 980 degrees F. On the other hand, and the Dupli-Color Brake Caliper Aerosol can withhold up to 500 degrees.
Is there any difference, other than the capacity to resist heat? Not really. For instance, just because the paint is more resistant to heat, it doesn’t make it more resistant to salt, or that it will deliver beautiful finish once cured.
If you feel that 980 is overkill, don’t go for the paint. Obviously, go for it if you also like its other features, but don’t judge based on this one factor. If you think you’ll need the 900 degrees resistant paint, then sure, do obtain it.
Durability includes several factors. Firstly, there is the paint’s resistance to chemicals and other elements, such as rust or salt. All of the products we presented are top-quality products, and all deliver in that segment.
Density also plays a role in paint’s durability, but it affects coating, drying and finish. In short, manufacturers will either try very hard to produce robust and durable paint, resistant to heat, rust, dust and so forth, and they will often neglect the paint’s aesthetic nature.
The best paints are the ones that are both durable and deliver beautiful finish. I believe Dupli-Color Brake Caliper Aerosol is the most durable one (will talk more about it in conclusion).
As we already said it, you probably want both healthy and beautiful paint job. Moreover, you should decide whether you want light, dark, or moderate colors. Are you looking for particular, non-generic colors?
For example, the Rust-Oleum Caliper Paint Spray gives you the option to choose between 4 different colors, while the G2 High-Temperature Brake Caliper Paint System offers 11 different colors.
And it is not only about the different spectrum, but it is also about the quality finish. Be aware of the fact that most people don’t prepare the calipers, and thus they end up with the poor paint job. Furthermore, apply several coats if needed to achieve the desired hue. Don’t overkill it though, for that would be counterproductive.
Also, give the paint some time, let it dry and cure. VHT suggest heating their paint (once applied, of course) up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve the maximum potency.
Naturally, you can’t go over your budget. In this section, we would like to point out the products volume. For instance, the Dupli-Color Aerosol comes in a spray can of 12 ounces, while the POR-15 comes in an 8 oz bucket.
However, just because you get more paint, that doesn’t mean you will be able to finish more calipers. Some paints require that you apply three layers, while others require only one or two. What I’m trying to say is that, just because you get more product for the same price, that doesn’t mean you got a better deal.
Furthermore, if you purchase paint only, you will have to obtain the surface preparation tools, such as brake cleaners, masking tape, brush, etc. You don’t have to, but if you are paying for high-quality paint, you probably want the paint job to go as smoothly as possible. This is another reason why we suggest obtaining full kits, for they contain more paint and necessary tools, for a favorable price.
All the products we suggested are truly high-quality products. They differ in small things, but those small things can make a difference between happy and unhappy customers.
If you want to be a happy customer, pay attention to those details. Mind the heat-resistance, durability, difficulty, price, and so forth. More importantly, prepare the surface. It is not expensive nor hard, but it will ensure that the paint job goes well.
Personally, I like the Dupli-Color EBCP10000 Brake Caliper Aerosol the most, mostly because it is easy to use and delivers beautiful finish once cured. However, it is highly expensive, and the finish is somewhat light, which is cool if you like light color hue.
In essence, find out what you want, from color to price, and narrow your choices until you end up with one product. And remember; if you want to be a happy customer, pay attention to small things.