In the past, calipers were gold, silver, or black. Basically, the color of the calipers was determined by the material.
In the early 1990s, high performance vehicles, such as Porsche, Lamborghini, and Ferrari painted their brake calipers silver or black.
Over the years, vehicles have been spotted with uniquely painted calipers, such as red powder coated calipers on the Ferrari 355.
If your calipers don’t already have an attractive finish, such as paint, powder coating, or polishing, you can use the best caliper paint to tint them.
However, there are many caliper paint brands in the market. But choosing the best brake caliper paint is all about personal preference.
Here is our roundup of top 5 paint calipers that will meet your expectations.
5 Best Caliper Paint Reviews in 2020
1. G2 High Temperature Brake Caliper Paint
Are you in search for the best two-part brake caliper paint that does not necessarily need caliper removal? G2 High Temperature Brake caliper Paint Kit is what you should look for.
This is a complete system that comes with the following: brake cleaner, brake reactor, and brake caliper paint.
The caliper paint is available in 14 different colors, including: red, black, silver, blue, white, purple, pink, green, yellow, lime green, mustang redfire, mustang vista blue, and mustang wind veil blue.
Not only is the paint attractive in the fourteen different colors, it also provides exceptional physical and chemical protection for your brake calipers.
The non-chlorinated brake cleaner is very effective at removing grease, brake fluid, oil, along with any other contaminants when prepping the surface.
The kit comes with roughly 1/2 liquid ounce of reactor, and roughly 3 1/2 liquid ounce of paint. The recommended mixing ratio is eight parts paint to one part reactor.
You would most likely need more than one kit, if you have large front brake calipers or if you want to paint other parts of the brake system, such as rotor caps and brackets.
One of the unique things about this kit over some conventional ones is that it comes with a brush on caliper paint. So, you don’t have to worry about over spraying the paint.
The available 14 standard colors are highly wear and heat resistant. They also provide your calipers with a beautiful gloss finish.
Things We Didn’t Like
Some of the paint varieties may not turn out as advertised after application. For example, the blue paint may end up being light purple after application.
2. Rust Oleum Specialty Caliper Spray Paint
If you are in the market for the best brake caliper paint that doesn’t chip easily, look no further than the Rust Oleum Specialty Caliper Spray Paint.
Rust Oleum doesn’t provide you with a complete kit, you only get the spray paint in three varieties, including black, blue, and red.
This is a durable paint for customizing your brake calipers, rotors, and brake drums. The aerosolized mist delivered by this product offers a black, blue, or red gloss finish.
This coating has proven to be very effective at withstanding high temperatures generated by braking conditions. It can resist heat for up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
The liquid has a 3% lower flammability limit and 18% upper flammability limit. The liquid is insoluble in hot and cold water.
You stand to get the best results if you prep the surface. For example, you can use a non-chlorinated brake cleaner to get rid of grease, oil, and any other contaminants.
After prepping the surface, you can choose to use a primer or not. Apply two to four coats of the Rust Oleum Specialty Caliper Spray Paint.
Give plenty of time for the paint to dry properly between coats. After applying two coats, the calipers should look stunning in either black, blue, or red gloss finish.
Things We Didn’t Like
One of the contentious issues is surface preparation. You might not achieve positive outcomes if you fail to properly prep the surface. In fact, the paint may chip after application.
3. POR 15 Caliper Paint
POR 15 is well-known in the automotive industry. One of the finest product from this brand is the high performance POR 15 Caliper Paint.
This paint is created for high heat applications, making it highly resourceful for braking conditions. It is available in red, silver, blue, black, and yellow.
Unlike most ordinary caliper coatings on the market, this brush on caliper paint is not formulated using highly flammable solvents.
Highly flammable solvents have a tendency of leaving residues on your brake calipers. This normally makes it hard for you to obtain a good glossy coat.
Like with most paints, we advise you to prep the caliper surface before painting. You should preferably use a caliper cleaner from the same brand.
After applying the first coat, you should take about four hours before you apply the second coat. The final result should be a ceramic-like finish in one of the five available finishes.
The paint has a remarkable heat resistance rating of up to 500°F. So, it will hold up pretty well under high temperatures.
Things We Didn’t Like
According to our findings, there seem to be issued with the silver version of the paint. The coating has high metal suspensions, which makes application quite annoying.
You may have to wait for more than four hours before you can apply the second coat, or else, the second application may end up chipping the first one.
4. VHT High Temperature Caliper Paint
The VHT High Temperature Caliper Paint is one of the most versatile caliper coatings in the market with remarkable chemical resistance.
It is available in nine different colors/finishes, and they include gloss clear, bright blue, bright yellow, gloss black, gold, cast aluminum, satin black, real red, and real orange.
It is available in aerosol mist form with a solvent odor. It can withstand high temperatures up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, and has a vapor pressure of 52 +/-5 psi @ 21°C.
Also, the paint has a lower flammable limit of 0.9% and an upper flammable limit of 9.5%. It is also heavier than air, and evaporates faster than ether.
Application is easy than you would have expected. Instead of bleeding the brake lines, all you have to do is leave the calipers in place and paint it on the rotor.
To do that, you will have to use the VHT Caliper Cleaner. The cleaner will help to get rid of grease, oils, debris, and other unwanted elements.
For the paint, you should apply two light coats, followed by a medium coat, and a final top coat for the best results.
Things We Didn’t Like
You might not achieve excellent results with the gold version of the paint. It doesn’t seem to be very durable. May chip after a few weeks or so.
5. Dupli-Color Brake Caliper Paint Kit
The Dupli-Color Brake Caliper Paint Kit is one of the best caliper paint kits you should consider buying.
It is available in seven different colors, including red, black, gloss black, yellow, blue, matte black, and silver.
Unlike most ordinary caliper paint kits, the Dupli-Color kit has everything you need to transform a dirty, rusty caliper into a sleek one.
The kit contains the caliper paint, caliper cleaner, paint stir stick, an application brush, masking tape, and an instruction sheet.
The Dupli-Color caliper paint is available in a liquid form with an evaporation rate of 5.6. Its vapor pressure is 760 mm Hg at 20°C.
The lower flammable limit of the paint is 1%, while the upper flammable limit is 12.8%. The paint also has a vapor density of 1.55, which is higher than the air.
Prepping the surface is easy with the help of the Dupli-Color caliper cleaner. It will remove grease, oil, rust, and debris. You can go ahead and paint after removing all the elements.
One of the most unique features of the Dupli-Color caliper paint is the application method. You can get the brush on caliper paint kit or the aerosol can, depending on your preference.
You can apply a minimum of two coats and a maximum of four coats. The final coat should be able to resist heat up to 500°F.
Things We Didn’t Like
You might not get the most desirable outcome with the silver version of the Dupli-Color caliper paint. It seems to give a grayish finish instead of silver.
Best Brake Caliper Paint Buying Guide
Painting brake calipers don’t have to be a difficult proposition. You can easily achieve the finest coat or finish if you use the best caliper paint.
However, not all brake caliper paints will give you what you are looking for. Here are a few factors that we considered when searching for the best products.
Brake calipers come in two basic varieties: fixed and floating.
Floating calipers are mounted on bushings or slides that allow the caliper to move sideways when you apply and release the brakes.
Fixed calipers don’t move; so, they have two or four opposing pistons that force each pad against the rotor simultaneously when hydraulic pressure is applied.
Knowing what type of calipers you have helps you choose a caliper paint kit that will be easy to use. This is important when you want to do the paintwork without removing the calipers.
Removing the calipers (fixed or floating) might not be that simple, but removing floating calipers seem to be easier, depending on rust and other contaminants.
Heat and Chemical Resistance
Braking conditions are usually hotter. So, all brake parts, particularly calipers are exposed high temperatures, which can easily melt and peel cheap paints.
The best brake caliper paint should have a high heat resistance rate in order to cope with the high temperature braking conditions.
The best products we could find have a temperature resistance rating of up to 500°F and up to 900°F. However, not all the products will perform as advertised.
Chemical resistance is also important, you don’t want to settle for a caliper paint that gets easily damaged by brake fluid, oil, grease, or rust.
Available Color Options
This is one of the most important considerations when shopping for brake caliper paints. Almost all brands offer their paints in different colors for preference.
For example, G2 offers more than ten colors, VHT offers more than nine colors, and Dupli-Color offers more than seven.
Only a few brands offer a few color options. For example, Rust Oleum provides three color choices, while POR 15 offers five color options.
We also came across a number of complaints from the automotive community concerning certain color options.
Some people seem to complain about the silver caliper paint, which they claim gives more of a grayish finish instead of silver. You may want to avoid silver paints.
You must consider the safety standard of the caliper paint you are about to buy. Some products contain harmful chemicals that may prove to be fatal for you and your car.
High temperature braking conditions may wear off the paint, which may end up in the braking system. If the paint is extremely hazardous, you may end up with serious performance issues.
Brake Caliper Paint Alternatives
Brake Caliper Paint Spray or Brush
There are two forms of caliper paints sold in the market: brush on (available in a can) and spray (available in a spray bottle).
Brush on caliper paints is normally sold in liquid form. You would need a brush to apply the paint on your calipers.
On the other hand, the aerosol spray is available in a mist form and comes in a spray bottle. All you have to do is spray to apply.
Brush on the application is suitable when the calipers aren’t removed, while the aerosol spray is suitable when the calipers are removed.
You can choose to buy an aerosol spray for painting the calipers on the rotor, but you will have to use masking tape to cover the rotor.
The aerosol spray seems like the easiest option, but you can easily overspray between coats. The brush on the application may be time-consuming, but it offers cleaner and precise coats.
Brake Caliper Paint vs. Powder Coat
Both techniques will improve the looks of your brake calipers. However, caliper painting seems to be the easier and cheaper option.
Powder coated brake calipers stay cleaner longer and the powder coating ads a more durable heat resistant finish to the calipers than painting.
Brake Caliper Paint vs. Covers
Brake caliper paint is more of a coating that is applied on the calipers for aesthetic purposes. There are different paint colors you can apply, depending on your preference.
Caliper covers; on the other hand, are engineered to mount over your original brake calipers. They are a more suitable alternative to caliper paints.
Unlike paint, caliper covers can effectively reduce brake dust. This helps to keep your wheels cleaner for longer.
With caliper covers, you don’t have to worry about the paint chipping off and getting into the brake system. They hardly succumb to chipping or chemical damage.
Brake Caliper Paint vs. Engine Paint
We already know what brake caliper paint is. Now, engine paint refers to a coating formulated and labeled exclusively to coat engines and their components.
While caliper paints can withstand very high temperatures, engine paints must be able to withstand high temperatures and have extremely high chemical resistance.
Some people in the automotive community have used engine paint to coat their brake calipers, and they were able to achieve excellent coats.
FAQs (Brake Caliper Paint)
Q1. How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Caliper?
Ans. A DIY may cost less than $100. However, you can incur a cost of about $200 to $400 when you outsource the job to a professional mechanic.
Do it yourself seems to be the cheaper option. In fact, most of the high performance and easy to use caliper paint kits cost as little as $60.
Q2. Is Painting Brake Calipers Bad?
Ans. Caliper painting is a trend that has been embraced by most people in the automotive community.
While most people may paint their calipers for aesthetic purpose, others do so to prevent rusting. So, it isn’t bad to paint your brake calipers.
However, you must choose a paint that meets the minimum safety standards. Caliper paints with harsh solvents may damage the brake pads.
Q3. How Long Does Caliper Paint Take to Dry?
Ans. Caliper paint drying time depends on the temperature and relative humidity, but it should take roughly 2 to 4 hours for a coat to dry before applying the next one.
The drying time also depends on surface preparation. A poorly prepped surface may take longer for the paint to dry between coats.
You can achieve a complete cure after about 24 hours, and then you can reinstall the wheels.
Q4. Do Caliper Painting Void Warranty?
Ans. Caliper painting is mainly cosmetic. So, you will hardly void your warranty by doing so. Just make sure that it is all about painting the calipers and not interfering with the entire brake system.
Q5. How Long Does Brake Caliper Paint Last?
Ans. The coating should last as long as possible before a repaint is needed. However, there are some factors that may shorten the duration of the coating.
For example, a caliper paint with a lower heat resistance rate may chip off easily when exposed to extreme braking conditions.
Also, a poorly prepped surface may not bond properly with the paint.
Q6. Can I Use The Paint Spray If The Calipers Are Still On The Car?
Ans. You can use paint spray to coat your calipers while they are still connected to the rotors. However, you will have to cover the rotors with newspaper and tape.
Q7. Would These Paints Work Well Painting Rotors to Prevent Rust?
Ans. They should work well on rotors, because they have high temperature resistant rating, and they are also capable of resisting chemicals.
Just make sure you don’t paint the friction surface of the rotors, since you will be wasting your paint. You can also opt to use engine paint on the rotors.
Q8. Do I Need to Prime/Clean Brand New Calipers? Or Can I Apply Paint Directly?
Ans. We don’t see why you shouldn’t prime or clean your brand new calipers before caliper paint application. Priming helps the paint to bond well with the surface.
There are two main reasons for painting or repainting your brake calipers: cosmetics purposes or rust prevention.
Regardless of what your reasons are, it is important that you choose the best caliper paint that will not deteriorate the performance of your car in case it chips off and get into the brake system.
Most brake caliper paints are advertised as high temperature caliper coatings. Make sure you confirm the rating in order to ensure it will survive the extreme braking conditions.
You should also never forget to prep the surface of your calipers, especially when they are rusty. Prepping helps to improve the bond between the paint and the surface.