How to Paint Brake Calipers

Reattaching Brake Calipers after Painting

As the saying goes, it's pretty boring to watch paint dry. But you don't have much of a choice about it. This is one part of the job where you might want to just go inside and read or watch a movie. Resist the temptation to touch that shiny new pretty color. Don't remove the masking yet either. If you're applying a clear topcoat, you can do that now.

How much time the paint will need to dry depends on the temperature and humidity, as well as how many coats you put on. Don't expe­ct it to be completely dry before a full 24 hours have lapsed. Don't reassemble the brakes before that time has passed. The paint might not look wet, and it might even feel dry to the touch, but you can still scar it with tools.

Once the required time has passed, you can remove the masking. Look for drips and clumps of thick paint. You may want to sand these down, scrape them off or thin them with acetone. If you do, be sure to clean up the resulting dust or solution. Then, reattach the brake calipers to the brake discs. You'll need to top off the brake fluid.

Reattach the wheels. Lower the car safely to the ground and remove the jacks.

Now, the fun step: let's ride. Let the brakes warm up slowly -- no sudden, screeching halts -- so the heat helps the paint set. And don't forget the most important part: walk up to the car, jingle the keys confidently and step back and admire the coordination of your exterior paint with your brake caliper paint. Doesn't that look great?

To learn more, visit the links below.


Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Franker, Brent. "Painting Brake Calipers on a 1996 Z28 SS Camaro."
  • G2 Brake Caliper Paint Set product description. (Accessed November 4, 2008)
  • "How to Paint Brake Calipers." CarSpace. March 22, 2008. (Accessed November 4, 2008)
  • "How To Paint Brake Calipers." Dub Films/Wheel and Torque.
  • Neal, Jason M. "Painting the Brake Calipers."
  • "Painting Brake Calipers." Forum, TurboBricks. (Accessed November 4, 2008)