10 Best Brake Caliper Paint 2023 | Expert’s Guide
If you’ve seen oddly satisfying videos on YouTube, you already know how pleasant a visual treat can be. While most of us are in love with our cars and it only grows day by day, why not try something like that with our vehicles?
Caliper paints can be used for both protective and aesthetic purpose. Wheels running with uniquely painted calipers is the best way of tweaking a car’s appearance in an unexpected way. The flash of color when you’re driving will draw people’s attention to your prized car.
But for that, of course, you need the best brake caliper paint. When you’re dealing with large calipers and something as discernable as caliper paint, you cannot stoop to mediocrity.
This is where we can help you. So those with performance cars, grab a coffee and take the journey with us.
What Are The Best Brake Caliper Paint Choices in 2023?
Earlier, the trend was hiding the mechanical parts of the car. But as trends change, we can see more and more glimpses of the wheels, with spokes and other components.
Calipers can get rusty and dirty as they age, thanks to the dirt, road salt, moisture and grime they face on a daily basis. So you need something to conceal the scums. No one needs to see dirty calipers behind your gleaming rims, right?
Brake caliper paints will enhance the look of your wheels and the car. Also, they give you a little bit of breather when it comes to cleaning the wheels. So your ideal choice will be the ones that can fight against both damages and discoloration.
Expert’s Guide: What To Look For When Choosing The Best Caliper Paint?
You can always do the paintwork without removing the calipers. You have to mask the surrounding area and paint it. It’s an easier method, but there is a high risk that the paint will spread to the surrounding area.
That’s why it’s always better to remove the calipers and paint them to the heart’s content. To be able to do so, you have to remove the calipers first.
This is why the type of caliper your vehicle has is important. Usually, vehicles come with two types of calipers, fixed and floating.
Floating calipers work as the name suggests. They are mounted to slides or bushings. The can move sideways in synchronization with your pressing and releasing of the brake.
Fixed calipers, on the other hand, don’t move. They come with two or four pistons residing in opposite directions. They use their pads and force each other against the rotor when you apply the hydraulic pressure.
If you must remove the calipers, removing the floating ones is slightly easier than the fixed ones. Then again, it also depends on the level of rust, mud and other contaminants.
Heat is connected to speed. Thus, during driving, your calipers can reach temperatures of 200-400 degree Fahrenheit. For higher-end vehicles, the temperature can reach as high as 1000 degree Fahrenheit.
Since the brakes and calipers are exposed to high heat, any cheap paint will deteriorate and peel off within no time. So you need something that can stand up to such high temperatures.
Usually, manufacturers provide temperature resistance data with the product. Best rated brake caliper paints usually come with 500-900 degrees Fahrenheit, which is enough for most vehicles.
There are premium products that can withstand 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and more. But that’ll be overkill for most cars. So take a note of how much heat your calipers usually reach.
Also, not all products perform as they advertised. So it’s a wise decision to keep a little room for under performing while you buy the paint.
Heat isn’t the only enemy your calipers have to face. It’s completely natural for your brakes to come in contact with road salt, dirt, moisture, oil or grease. All of them can slowly deteriorate the paint or cause rusting. Thus you have to make sure the one you choose is resistant to water, oil, and chemicals.
The level of density is also important. It determines how much the paint can protect the brakes from chemicals. But remember, too dense paints also give a somewhat muddy finish. If you’re looking for brightness, find a middle point.
Polymer-based paints are known to be durable. They don’t peel or crack easily. Also, they are high heat resistant and provide an enamel coating unmatched to others.
Usually, caliper paints are applied by two methods, brush and spray. The difference between them lies in control and application time.
Brushes provide more control while applying your paint. You can resist the paint from getting scattered and ruining the adjacent areas. Brush paints usually avail thicker coats than spray paints. You can even apply additional layers easily.
The downsides with brush paints are, they take a longer time to apply. Then again, you shouldn’t do such a job in a hurry. Also, lethargic brush works can leave streak marks, even bristles on your paint job.
Spray on paints offer different kinds of conveniences. You can apply them easily, and won’t need heavy tools or expertise. They are usually smoother than paint jobs.
But you have to be really careful and mask the adjacent areas properly. There is always a chance that you might lose your control.
The most used colors for brake calipers are yellow and red. But it’s not uncommon for vehicle owners to look for other color options as well. Thus, manufacturers try to leave no boxes unticked when it comes to color options.
Not everyone though. Some brands have fewer options than others. Since appearance is a vital issue for brake calipers, users might find themselves compromising quality for their desired caliper paint color. As long as you don’t settle for run-of-the-mill products, you should be fine.
Brake is an important part of your driving. We don’t have to remind you about what happens if your brakes malfunction. Thus, you shouldn’t compromise about the safety standard of your caliper paint.
Some paints might contain harmful ingredients that can damage your brake pads. Some others can peel off under high temperatures and muddle with the brake system.
While it’s unlikely for your brakes to completely malfunction due to that reason, we recommend you to research properly and buy paints that meet the safety standards.
Top Brake Caliper Paint Comparison Chart
|Hycote Caliper Paint
|KBS Coatings 65506
||Brush On, Spray
Our 10 Picks For The Best Caliper Paint
Not every caliper paint would suit your car and preferred application method. Depending on the requirement, you might need spray-on paints instead of brush paints. You might need a bright color that lures attention. You might need a paint that won’t take all the time in the world to dry.
Surely, your choices might vary depending on the situation. Thus, we’ve reviewed several top models on the market that meet the standards in their own unique ways. Let’s check them out-
1. G2 High-Temperature Paint | Overall Best Paint For Brake Calipers
G2 High-Temperature Kit broke into every top list of Brake Caliper Paints. The reason is simple, it brings a nice balance between medium price and high performance. In fact, this is one of the most heat resistant paint out there, with the capability to withstand 980 Fahrenheit temperature.
This is a brush-on paint, which gives you complete control over your paint job. You can easily determine the layer numbers and level of thickness. Since it comes with 14 high-sheen, wear resistant color options, chances are high that you will find your desired color here.
Not just color options. G2 intends to ease your job by providing the complete kit. That includes the paint, a brake cleaner and of course, a brush. The brake cleaner is vital for prep work, removing grease, oil, brake fluid, and other contaminants.
The kit contains 3.5 ounces of paint with 0.5 ounces of reactors. The ideal mixing ratio will be 8:1. It should be enough for regular brakes. However, for bigger calipers, or covering other parts such as rotors, you might need more than one kit.
The paints are chemical and wear resistant as well as glossy. The brush holds its end, although it might leave streaks if you’re not careful. If you want a finer touch, an additional foam brush will suffice.
This is a full kit with a very high gloss finish and equally impressive heat and wear-resistance. Also, the cleaner helps with the prep work. The brush on application method makes the job of DIY users easy. Also, this professional caliper paint dries pretty quickly.
2. POR-15 42806 Caliper Paint | Brush On Caliper Paint Kit
Despite being a brush-on paint, POR-15 delivers a somewhat even and smooth application. The product comes with five color options, black, red, blue, yellow, and silver. Once those vibrant colors dry, you’ll get a glossy finish that’ll look great on your brake calipers.
As for the heat resistance, the POR can withstand about 500 degrees Fahrenheit of heat, which should cover most of the standard calipers. It isn’t much like G2, but when you consider the price is 4 times lower than G2, the performance is truly impressive and cost-effective.
The product is a standalone paint. The canister can hold 8 fluid ounces of paint. Since it doesn’t come with cleaners and brushes, you have to purchase them separately. But that also gives you the freedom to choose the right kind of brush.
Make sure you clean the surface with cleaner before applying the paint. The paint is mostly self-leveling, so you don’t have to lose sleep over streak marks. The paint is quite dense, and you’ll love the ceramic-like, glossy finish. Just like the heat resistance, the paint also guards the brake chemicals and road salts.
Overall, this is a great choice for people with a limited budget. It might not prove powerful enough for hard pushed vehicles, but for most cars, it’ll suffice. The paint takes quite some time to dry. Since it’s vulnerable during the curing phase, avoid touching it and going for a drive in that time.
3. VHT SP731 Brake Caliper Paint Can | Best For Color Variations
You must already think that you need to go deeper into your pocket if you want higher heat resistance. That’s not always true. Take VHT SP731 for example. When cure properly, it can deliver 900 degrees Fahrenheit heat resistance. But the price, a fraction of its counterpart’s prices.
Just not the caliper, this paint is equally suitable for brake, rotor, and drum. This is a spray on paint. So it’s easier and faster to coat your caliper with vibrant colors. Speaking of colors, this one comes with 10 color options, including the popular ‘Real Red’.
The aerosol mist paint has a subtle solvent odor. It has an upper flammable limit of 9.5%, while the lower limit is 0.9%. In other words, it’s safe to use. It’s heavier than air and vanishes quicker than ether.
Application is a piece of cake. You don’t need special tools or training to apply it. Use the VHT cleaner, which can be purchased separately to prep the surface. Mask the surrounding areas and just spray. The 11-ounce bottle should last for a while.
You should start with two light coats, followed by a medium and a final top coat. This paint has a very short curing time of 30 minutes. Since it provides decent chemical and wear-resistance, it’s a catch for the price.
For the price, there is nothing a user can want more than what VHT provides. It’s long lasting, protects against wear and chemical, and most importantly, looks stunning on the calipers. Since the paint is a spray on and has a high spray rate, be careful while spraying. Otherwise, you might end up spraying it everywhere.
4. Dupli-Color BCP400 Brake Caliper Kit | Best Brake Caliper Paint Kit
Dupli-Color BCP400 is probably the most complete caliper paint kit on the market. By complete, we mean it comes with everything you might need. The kit contains 11-ounce caliper cleaner, 8 fluid-ounce caliper paint, brush, mixing stick and masking tape.
With this kit, you can clean and paint 4 brake calipers. Once painted and dried, DC will provide you a temperature resistance of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Being a brush paint, you can apply several layers to increase its chemical and wear resistance.
Also, despite being a brush paint, this one has a really short drying time. It’ll dry within half hours of application, and you can handle with after one hour. Convenient for those who don’t want to spend all day waiting.
The application process is explained in the detailed instruction manual provided by the manufacturers. Clean and decrease the calipers with cleaner. Use masking tape to conceal adjacent areas. Apply the paint with the brush. With 7 color options in this ceramic induced enamel paint, you’ll have a hard time determining the most favorite.
It’s incredible that you’re getting a complete it at such a bargaining price. The paint isn’t the glossiest out there, but it’ll hold its end. With a moderate heat, chemical and wear resistance, it’s great for regular uses. As for the brush, it’s better to purchase a foam brush separately, it shouldn’t cost you much.
5. Rust-Oleum Specialty Rust Preventive | Best Brake Caliper Spray Paint
As the name suggests, Rust-Oleum is known for their rust preventive paints and coats. Rust-Oleum Specialty Paint is no different. It is made to maintain its form despite high temperature and other challenges. You can use this for different brake parts i.e. rotor, drums, and calipers.
This is one of the high-end products that come with 900 degrees F heat resistance. You won’t find many products with this resistance at the same price range. Being a spray on paint, Rust-Oleum made the job of painting extremely convenient for DIY enthusiasts.
The liquid doesn’t dissolve in water, be it hot or cold. This means it was amazing water and chemical resistance. The product comes in three color options. Yes, that might sound inferior comparing to other brands, but the paints are durable and highly glossy.
The application method is a no-brainer. Use a cleaner to de-grease the brake parts. Mask the area and spray on the targeted surface. You can use primers if you want. The package doesn’t include cleaner or tape, so you have to purchase them separately. This 12-ounce aerosol can provide you enough ammunition for 4 calipers.
This is a product coming from a reputed company and made especially to prevent rust and other damages. The application is easy, but you have to be careful about not spraying in unwanted areas. Mask the surrounding area very securely. The colors might come a bit darker, but many users seem to like them.
6. Dupli-Color BCP104 Single Brake Caliper | Best Quick Drying Caliper Paint
If you’ve been planning to customize your brake calipers for a long time, Dupli-Color BCP104 is the fastest way you can get yourself started. This is an aerosol spray, comes with EZ touch conical nozzle, and avails very easy application.
Just like the application, the drying process is also done in a zippy. Curing would take roughly 30 minutes, while you can start handling it after 1 hour. Don’t think the finish will be bad because it dries fast. It will be glossy, and it will last around for a long time.
This is a complete kit. You’ll get the paint spray can, aerosol cleaner, mixing stick, masking tape, and paintbrush. You’ll also get a detailed instruction manual, courtesy of the manufacturers.
The nozzle is very sensitive, it avails high paint rate during the application. While it’s extremely helpful for an even finish, be careful about precision. The nozzle also helps the user reach difficult angles and paint them.
The paint itself comes in a 12-ounce bottle. Once applied, it can resist 500 degrees Fahrenheit of temperature while maintaining its form. It also protects the brake parts from dust, chemicals, and chippings.
This is one of the cheapest products you’ll find on the market. But it doesn’t disappoint with the performance. For regular uses, the heat and chemical resistance it provides should be enough. Being a spray on product, you might need to apply several coats on the surface to get a darker shade.
7. Hycote Caliper Paint | Cheap Caliper Paint
If you want your calipers to look gorgeous and sporty, Hycote can be a great option for you. It isn’t something that’ll blow your mind, but compared to the price, it has a pretty decent performance.
For starters, it can withstand temperatures as high as 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, when you compare this to other products we reviewed, it’ll look inferior. But it’s still enough for most vehicles.
Why you would settle for less? Because it provides an eye-catching finish and dazzling color. The spray paint avails easy and even application and the high gloss finish will comfort your mind and eyes.
This product is available in 400 ML size. Which is equivalent to 13.5 American fluid ounces. This should provide you enough coat for at least 4 calipers. Being fairly resistant to sunlight and other contaminants, this one won’t fade away easily.
This is a medium performance product that’ll deliver less protection but more aesthetic looks. Since it’s a spray can, the application is easy. Too bad it comes in only 2 color options, but you’ll love the final shades. The gloss won’t go away with continuous sunlight exposure.
8. KBS Xtreme Temperature Coating | High Temperature Brake Caliper Paint
The product we’re reviewing now is slightly different from others. For starters, you’ll find the price significantly higher than other products. Also, this product comes in a wide variety of sizes, from 8-ounce bottle to 5-gallon containers.
Why is that? Because this isn’t just a caliper paint. This is a professional grade vehicle paint that can be used in other parts apart from the brake calipers. You can even use it for vehicle body and chassis. With 10 color options, this one definitely has enough varieties to choose from.
KBS comes in two forms, brush and spray. It outruns every other paint in terms of heat resistance. The brush-on model has 1500 degrees F heat resistance, while the spray model can withstand 1200 degrees F.
It doesn’t peel, or blister or gets discolored easily. Being a professional grade paint, it has excellent weather and corrosion resistance. Also, this product dries within minutes of application. Basically, your surface will be ready for re-coating within 5 minutes of the first application.
The other products we reviewed were specifically made and tailored for brake calipers. KBS has a wider range of uses. In times, it might be overkill for your brake calipers. But since you can use it for other parts, it a great investment. Also, it provides chemical and wear-resistance a very few products can.
The product is volatile. So have ample ventilation when applying this. We suggest you keep your windows open while applying this.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Caliper?
Answer: Usually, calipers paints come within 10$-100$ price. Even high-end paint usually stays within this range. So if you want to do the job yourself, which the cheaper option, it shouldn’t cost you more than a mere 100$.
The safer but pricier option will be hiring professionals to do the job. Depending on the job, it may cost between 200$ to 400$.
2. How To Clean Brake Calipers?
Answer: Or more precisely, how to do that without damaging the paint. Always clean the wheel after it has been cooled off after a drive. Otherwise, the caliper paint might peel off with the dust. You can use a wheel cleaner for the job, but a safer option will be just soap water.
3. How Long Does It Take Caliper Paints To Dry?
Answer: That depends on the temperature and relative humidity. Low humidity allows for faster curing time. Usually, it’ll take 2-4 hours for the paint to cure and be ready for the next coat. Poor prepping can linger that time. However, your calipers should be completely dry and ready to reinstall within 24 hours.
4. How Long Does Brake Caliper Paint Last?
Answer: Combination of fine prep work and a quality caliper paint should last at least 3-4 years. That’s assuming you purchase a paint that can withstand the heat your calipers generate. The lifetime might be shorter in case of poor prepping, poor paintwork and lower heat resistance.
5. Should I Paint Brake Calipers Without Priming?
Answer: Well, new calipers might look clean and all. But it’s always better to clean and prime the caliper regardless of its condition. Priming enables better bonding between the surface and the paint.
6. Do Caliper Painting Void Warranty?
Answer: No, it shouldn’t. Because painting calipers merely is a cosmetic job. It doesn’t usually muddle with the braking system. So the warranty shouldn’t be void. Just make sure you’re painting the calipers, not making any alterations with the braking system.
7. Should I Use Spray Paint Or Brush Paint?
Answer: Depends on your preference. Brush paints are thicker, more precise and controllable. You can also add extra layers.
Spray Paints are quicker, smoother but also challenging to control. Also, you can spray paint your calipers with them still attached to the rotors.
8. Do These Paints Work On Rotors Too?
Answer: If you’re referring to rust and chemical prevention, yes they can. Just avoid painting on friction areas, because that’ll be a waste. Engine paints are another alternative for rotors.
9. Are The Brake Caliper Paints Harmful?
Answer: Well, they can be harmful to your body, since they might contain volatile organic compounds. Always use mask and gloves while applying them. Also, they might contain harsh ingredients that can damage brake pads. Make sure you choose a paint that meets safety standards.
10. How To Remove Brake Caliper Paints?
Answer: Many suggest using brake cleaner, but that might prove ineffective against powdered coats. We suggest you disassemble the calipers, use brake cleaner, and then sand it with 400-grit sandpaper.
You might need sandblasting for powder coated calipers. Make sure you don’t strip the caliper finish, just remove the painted surface. Repaint if necessary with your chosen color.
Brake caliper paints are used for many reasons. Although the primary reason can be its aesthetic value, it also effectively prevents rusting, chemical damages, and deterioration of the brake calipers.
Make sure you choose the best brake caliper paint. Unlike many products, the price difference between the top and low tier products isn’t huge for caliper paints. If you know what you’re looking for, you can get it at a pretty cheap price with a little research.
Hopefully, this article, with its buying guide and detailed reviews will help you with the research. Take Care.