Can I paint my brake calipers with red paint to improve the look of my car?
ANSWER: If you want to. This is mostly only done on import cars. This is to emulate the "look" of Brembo racing brakes which are bright red in color. Some argue that if a thick glossy paint is used, this paint may act as a heat insulator and prevent your calipers from cooling off properly. We have no data to prove this is true. Folks that have painted their calipers red don't report any problems.
If you are going to do this, make sure you don't put paint where it's not supposed to go (like into the piston or rotors). If you don't want to paint the whole caliper, next time you change your brake pads, you can just paint the backs of your new brake pads red (and leave the calipers stock), this may add an exotic look to your brakes if that is what you are trying to go for.
Doing this does not give you extra performance, it only changes the looks.
...Paint Brake Calipers
June 12, 2001 - By vnomura
I finally finished taking pictures of myself painting the brake calipers and wheel hub. They started to discolor and fade after 1.5 years. I decided to repaint them and take pictures.
Jack up the car and take the wheel off.
Clean the brake caliper with a stiff old brush to remove brake dust and dirt. Use any brand of brake cleaner that claims to remove brake dust. You're going to have to try to remove as much as possible. If you don't clean it good enough, the paint may start to flake off.
By now everything is wet and the brake dust is off and you need to get everything dry so you can paint. Go get a big bucket of HOT water. Pour the hot water over everything wet to rinse off the cleaner and dirt slowly. Keep doing this until everything gets nice and hot. Everything should dry in about 15 minutes or faster. You can see from the picture that after I cleaned my calipers, they look OK from the first time I painted almost 2 years ago. It is of utmost importance that everything is as clean as possible.
The surface should be dry by now and clean now. Get your paint ready if haven't done so yet. I used high temp aluminum engine manifold paint. I used this paint not too much because of the high temp properties but because it's self priming. This means you don't have to apply a primer coat first to the bare metal.
I sprayed the paint into the cap and used a brush to paint it on. You could mask off all areas you don't want paint to stick and just spray it on.
Start painting! I brushed it on because it was the easier way to go. You don't need to take the calipers off to do this. The paint is thin so you can't tell that it's been brushed on. Don't forget to paint the center hub area. This area usually gets a bit rusty. Don't worry too much if you get paint on the rotor area. It will be scraped off when you drive and use your brake. Try to avoid painting the rotor if you can. I also applied a bit of grease to the very center. That's why it looks messy. This makes taking the rim off easier next time.
Step #6 let dry for about 30 minutes and put the wheels back on. I used about 5 coats and let each coat dry for 15 minutes before the next coat. I had extra tire jacks so I did all 4 calipers at once. I just move from one caliper to the next allow each to dry a bit
Hope this has been helpful to you.