If you’re the type of person that likes to keep their car looking clean and pristine, it would be a shame to bring down the overall polished appearance of it by allowing the brake calipers to become rusty, There’s only one thing to do, and that’s to paint them.
Perhaps you’re a self-professed car person and want to give it a go yourself, or maybe DIY projects aren’t your thing and you’d prefer a professional to do the job for you. Whatever your circumstances might be, we’re here to help you make the painting process as smooth as possible.
In this guide, we’re going to be talking you through how much it will cost you to paint them yourself, how much it will cost you to hire a professional, as well as multiple ways that you can help to drive the total cost down, regardless of which method you choose. Ready? Read on!
How Much Does It Cost To Paint Brake Calipers Yourself?
If you are planning on painting your brake calipers by yourself, then the good news is that this route is the most affordable out of all of them.
However, as you’re going to be doing it yourself, it means that you’ll have to take some preparatory steps in order to access the brake calipers to paint them, including disassembling the wheel and preparing the surrounding area ready for paint.
For this reason, we recommend only trying this method if you are confident with disassembling and assembling car parts, and if you’re sure that you’ll be able to paint the brake calipers correctly, as getting paint in the wrong area may cause parts of your car to become damaged.
With all that being said, our next section will talk you clearly through how to paint your brake calipers yourself.
How to Paint Brake Calipers Yourself:
If you don’t want to hire a professional car service to paint your brake calipers for you, then this section is going to guide you through how to correctly paint the calipers yourself.
What’s more, this method is going to show you how to paint them without actually removing them from your car so, even if you don’t have much experience working with cars, you should find this method a breeze! Let’s take a look at the steps required:
What you’ll need:
- A car jack
- Plastic carrier bags
- A toothbrush
- Masking tape
- Can of brake cleaner
- 1 piece of cardboard
- Enamel paint
- Prepare your workspace ready to paint your paint calipers by making sure that you have all of the necessary equipment nearby and laid out ready to work with.
- After you have done this, carefully begin by loosening all of the nuts across all four wheels. Keep in mind, the purpose of this step is to loosen all of the nuts, you should at no point remove them from the wheels at this point.
- Once this has been done, you will then need to take the car jack and life the front of the car up. Jack the car upwards until both of the front wheels have been successfully lifted up and off of the ground. Side note: if you need help with this step, we recommend that you ask a car friend to assist you.
- After you have successfully jacked the car and the front wheels are off of the ground, you will then need to remove the nuts on the front two wheels, which will allow you to then remove both wheels completely from the car. Once you have removed the nuts, be sure to store them somewhere safe, because you’ll need to use them to reattach the wheels back on the car once you have finished painting the calipers, so you cannot lose them.
- As soon as you have successfully removed the wheels from the car, make sure that you place them somewhere safe so you won’t lose them, or potentially cause any damage to them. Then, you should be able to clearly see the brake calipers – which are likely to be rusty and in need of a freshen up!
- After you have exposed the brake calipers, the next thing you’ll need to do is to spray some of the brake cleaners you have at hand onto the toothbrush. Then, take the toothbrush and begin scrubbing the brake calipers until all of the excess dirt, debris and rust have all been removed. Keep in mind that this can be a lengthy process, and may take you multiple rounds of brake cleaner applications to ensure that the calipers have been completely cleaned. If possible, we recommend avoiding spraying the brake caliper cleaners directly onto the calipers as this may cause damage due to the oversaturation of the product. It is best to spray the brake cleaner onto the toothbrush instead.
- Spend some time scrubbing and cleaning the calipers until you are satisfied that there is no dirt, debris or rust left.
- Once you have finished scrubbing the brake calipers, now it will be time to remove the front retainer clip and then proceed to cover the bleeder valve with the masking tape. When doing this step, try to ensure that the valve has been completely covered with tape, as unwanted paint getting into this area may cause damage. In addition to this, once you have covered the valve, you should also ensure that you have taped the brake hose fittings, too. This is because if paint gets on them, it may cause them to become damaged and in need of repair/replacement.
- Armed with the large piece of cardboard, the next thing you will need to do is cut an ‘L’ like shape into it. This will allow you to place it directly over the bracket that holds the caliper securely in place, which will ensure that when you begin to paint it, the surrounding areas of the car will be kept protected from and non-exposed to the paint. In addition to this, it will also ensure that all of the car parts directly behind the brake calipers are protected from the paint, too.
- After you have done this, you will then need to take the plastic carrier bags and cover up the rotor, as this will help to keep it protected from the paint. While doing this, you’re likely going to find that you need to spin the rotor around in order to effectively wrap the plastic bag around the rotor, as this will help to ensure that the plastic bag is able to get between the brake pads and rotor wheel. As a side note, if you do not spin the rotor while covering it with the plastic bag or sheet, then there will be areas of the rotor left exposed, which means that there will be a risk of getting paint accidentally into the seal of the brake pads, which would cause the rotor to stop working. If you are struggling with this step, we recommend that you take some masking tape and use it alongside the plastic bag, as this will help to ensure that it is securely fastened into place.
- Spray the calipers in slow strokes, taking your time to apply the paint in thin layers.
- Once you are happy with the results and do not wish to apply any more paint layers, you can then leave the paint to dry for a few hours until removing all of the plastic and cardboard used to protect the surrounding areas of the car.
- Continue this same process with every other wheel, until all of the brake calipers of your car have been painted. Keep in mind, when you have completed the front wheels, you will then need to move on to the back wheels. This process will require you to remove the jacks from the front of the car, in order to be able to raise the back of the car. Ensure that you only do this once you are confident that the paint on the front wheel brake calipers is dry, otherwise, the paint might get onto other parts of the car that are now exposed.
- Once you have painted all of the brake calipers and re-assembled your car, we then recommend taking it out for a test drive to ensure that everything is working correctly and that there are no problems.
How Much Does It Cost To Paint Brake Calipers Professionally?
If you intend to go the professional route, then you can expect to pay anywhere from $200-$500, depending on the quality of the service you receive, as well as the fees of the company you have chosen to go with.
Though this may seem pricey (given the fact that it would cost you less than $50 to do it yourself) there are benefits to choosing to get your brake calipers painted done professionally.
For starters, the professional mechanic would be able to properly disassemble and reassemble all of the parts correctly, which means that you won’t have to worry about making a mistake if you were to do them yourself. In addition to that, the mechanic would do all of the work for you (including jacking the car and taking the necessary steps to protect the surrounding areas of the brakes) which offers plenty of conveniences.
What’s more, the process should only take around 1 hour, which means that you’ll be back driving in no time at all.
How to Get the Best Value For Money Painting Brake Calipers:
If you want to go the professional route, then we recommend using the internet as a tool for finding the best services in your area.
You will be able to compare prices, get quotes, and even check out reviews to see how good the service is, and whether or not it is worth your hard-earned money.
Obtain paint supplies from family and friends
If you don’t have any paint supplies or suspect you will need more, why not ask your friends and family if they have any paint supplies that they no longer need?
Not only will this help to save money, but it will also mean that you will be able to sell any leftover paint online after you have completed your paint caliper project.
This point ties closely to doing your research beforehand. Though not always the case, sometimes professional services may provide you with a quote that is entirely too expensive for the job.
By making sure that you are aware of the average cost of how much it will be to paint calipers, you will be able to properly negotiate the quote you are given, as you will already have an estimate in mind. This will help to ensure that you are not incorrectly charged or made to pay more than you need to.