car with orange brake caliper

Painting your brake calipers a different color can really jazz up your car and set it apart from all the others.

Photo courtesy Brain Sullivan/­

You love your car. Oh, do you­ love your car. But maybe it's time for a change. Nothing drastic; nothing expensive. Just the car equivalent of a manicure -- a new flash of color for your faithful friend. You're going to paint the brake calipers.

There are a few different ways to paint brake calipers. You can purchase a kit, which includes a can or two of paint, reactor, spray-on cleaner and an applicator brush. If your brakes have large calipers, or if you want to create a custom hue by mixing colors, you'll probably want to buy two kits (which will still run less than $100 total) [ source: G2].

Some people use spray-on paint rather than brush-on paint. That can work too, but make sure it's paint designed to endure high temperatures, such as engine block paint. Don't use normal spray paint, which will flake off. You may also want to buy a can of clear, high-temperature finishing spray.

Finally, you must answer this question: Where will the calipers be when you paint them? The hard-core method entails removing the calipers from the car. Because this approach is more complicated, some people opt not to do it -- that is, they paint the calipers while they're still attached to the brake discs. However, this raises the risk of getting paint on other parts of the brake -- or on the car's body. If you leave the calipers on, remember that in every project a little paint winds up where you don't expect it. Allow extra time and materials for masking.

In this article, we'll take a look at how to take out the old brake lines and put in the new ones. But first, how do you prepare for this procedure? And which tools will you need? Read on -- if you can tear yourself away from the paint samples.