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Steve Q

Painting brake calipers/drums guide

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Painted brake calipers are often a common sight on various performance cars and race cars, but this doesn't stop you from doing it to your own pride and joy as we demonstrate on this Suzuki Swift.  

Walk through guide: 

1. Jack the car up and remove the wheel. We did one brake at a time but ideally using axle stands are recommended. Also I'd recommend wearing gloves as we found the paint a nightmare to get off our hands!! 

2. Clean the caliper with the use of a wire brush and brake cleaning spray and wipe off the dirt. And don't forget to mask off areas where you don't want paint reaching. 

Brake drums are pre-painted so wire brushing is not required. But brake cleaner is a must and again wipe off the dirt. Don't forget to mask off the areas which you don't want painting. 

3. Now the fun bit! We used red caliper paint which has to be applied with a paintbrush. We felt this would be easier then dismantling the brakes or running the risk of getting spray paint everywhere. We ended up applying 5 coats of caliper paint, leaving 10-15mins between each coat. Depending on your make of car you may need to apply more or less coats but just play it by ear and use your judgment. 

4. Leave the paint to touch dry before attempting to put the wheels back on. Let's face it, you don't want to chip the freshly painted calipers/drums or get wet paint on your wheels! 

5. Once the caliper paint is touch dry then refit the wheel(s) and let the paint dry for 24 hours. This obviously means you can't drive your car during that time as the brake dust and road dirt will affect the paint finish. 

6. After the 24 hour period you can now admire your work! Or if need be apply another coat of paint if need be. If that's the case then repeat stage 2 onwards. 

Have fun and thanks for reading.


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1 hour ago, The Motorists Guide said:

Thanks for the report Steve and what a difference it makes to the car for the cost of a pot of paint !

Exactly! It is amazing the difference paint can make and if people don't fancy red then they could paint their brake calipers and drums black to smarten tired looking brakes. 

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