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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the longest time, I've been admiring the look of painted calipers, but hesitant to do it because I'm not particularly handy as a "do-it-yourselfer". Recently, however, I won a set of red (w/silver TRD lettering) air valve caps at the recent ClubLexus/SELOC "Dragon" meet. This is what spurred me to "take the plunge" and paint & decal my calipers to match the air valve caps.

After printing out a bunch of "Caliper Painting" threads, taking in their sometimes contradictory advice, highlighting the important stuff, and then actually painting my calipers, here's what I've come up with:

Cleaning: Simple Green vs Brake Cleaner: wHiTeDrAgOnIS and Mryuen favored Simple Green as a cleaner. Most other people, it seems, went with brake cleaner. I tried both on the first brake. First, I used a single "shot" of Simple Green. Then I tried CRC Brakleen. Frankly, the brake cleaner didn't clean out any extraordinary amounts of grease & grime that the Simple Green didn't get the first time. Plus, the brake cleaner had all sorts of ominous "dispose of at a recycling place or else you'll damage the environment'-type warnings, while the Simple Green didn't. Thus, I only used Simple Green for the other calipers.

Primer-Yes or No? It seems most people used primer as a "base coat". NorcalIS300 & DJPoop didn't, and the guy at AutoZone (where I bought my stuff) didn't seem to think it was necessary,either. So, I got "lazy" and didn't bother with the primer.

Foam or Bristle Brush? I went the VHT Caliper Spray route, but spraying it into a cup & applying it. I started with a foam brush, per Thaiboxer & Hoss' recommendations. I don't know how you guys did it, though. I tried 3 different foam brushes and, after a couple of "dips & paints", they starting bending & breaking apart. I finally gave up & drove to the nearest art store and bought a couple of brushes. Then the problem became hairs shed from the larger brush, but I actually found this more tolerable than the bending & "cracking" foam brush.

How many coats of paint? The answers here were all over the place, with the highest being Thaiboxer's 6 coats! The consensus, though, seems to be 3 coats. That's what I went with.

Clearcoat: Yes or No? Although a good majority went with a clearcoat, I noticed that Thaiboxer & Wing Zero didn't. Wing Zero's "troubles" with the decals and the paint running after applying the clearcoat struck a nerve with me, so I skipped the clearcoat as well.

Important note: DON'T FORGET TO WEAR RUBBER GLOVES.

I guess that's it, in a nutshell. I am far from an authority on this. I'm just sharing my thoughts & experience. Feel free to disagree or correct me.

As for the final obvious question: Yes, I am very happy with the results of my caliper painting "project", and I'd like to thank all the .neters who did this first & shared their experience & wisdom with the rest of us...
 

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Nice write up.

The reason lots of people use the brake cleaner is that a can of that comes with the G2 caliper paint kit.

I agree that you don't need the clear coat. Either VHT or G2 has a nice gloss already. If you wait fot the paint to dry and apply the decals, they really don't need a coating on them. My decals have been on for over 4 months and show no signs of coming loose.
 

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Astr0LuX said:
yea..when i put clear coat on mine..the paint ran onto the sticker..looks so stupid..i have to fix it tonight before the meet tomorrow.
after you but the sticker, just spray a light coat of clearcoat...and after that spray another 3-4 coats lightly..just don't overdo it to avoid pealing of the sticker
 

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here's my silver decals on black VHT paint 3 months after and no clear coat...i like it so far (no peeling or anything weird) and i like how people really notice it! Sets you apart from the crowd for sure...

 

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jruhi, thanks for this thread! i'm going to paint my calipers in the next month, so this "refresher" of the major points is greatly appreciated. :D

if i had any dots, i'd give you some... :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the dots, DonCorleone.(I'm sure glad I'm in "The Godfather's" good graces. I wouldn't want a dead horse head on my bed... :wink: )

BTW, I remembered one other piece of advice. I noticed a number of you used "engine enamel" to paint your calipers. That paint, however, is only "rated" to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas VHT caliper paint is "rated" to 900 degrees F. Sure, a can of VHT caliper paint is about $4-$5 more than the engine enamel, but I think that's a small price to pay for almost twice the "heat resistance".
 

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any opinion on the different brands of caliper paint? i know G2 is good, but if i don't use G2, how is that VHT brand that was mentioned in an earlier post? i'm either going to order (or win :D ) something online, and if not, then i'll go buy something at a car parts store...

also, color suggestions for a TCM? i've narrowed it down to 3: red, blue or black...i bought white and silver caliper stickers, so i'll use whichever one looks better once the paint is on...i'm leaning towards black with silver stickers, but someone said black ones show dirt more than red or blue would...true? untrue?

thanks in advance for your help... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thundercloud080903 said:
any opinion on the different brands of caliper paint? i know G2 is good, but if i don't use G2, how is that VHT brand that was mentioned in an earlier post?
3 of the major auto parts chains have stores in South FL. Pep Boys & Advanced/Discount Auto Parts carry Plasti-Kote caliper paint, and AutoZone sells VHT. Here's how I'd compare the 2:

Plasti-Kote
Pros:
Less expensive ($4.99 or $5.99 per can)
Cons:
Nobody on IS300.net has mentioned it or used it (thus, quality is more of an unknown). More restrictive about weather conditions during application (60-80 degree temp w/60% humidity or less. This is NOT happening in South FL in mid-October).

VHT
Pros:
Good reviews from several users here on .net. Less restrictive about weather conditions (70 degrees & over is all it says on the can).
Cons:
Slightly more expensive ($7.99 per can).

I'll add the fact that AuburnIS and Wdskuk used Rustoleum paint on their calipers. AuburnIS was happy with the results. No word from Wdskuk.
 

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jruhi4 said:
thundercloud080903 said:
any opinion on the different brands of caliper paint? i know G2 is good, but if i don't use G2, how is that VHT brand that was mentioned in an earlier post?
3 of the major auto parts chains have stores in South FL. Pep Boys & Advanced/Discount Auto Parts carry Plasti-Kote caliper paint, and AutoZone sells VHT. Here's how I'd compare the 2:

Plasti-Kote
Pros:
Less expensive ($4.99 or $5.99 per can)
Cons:
Nobody on IS300.net has mentioned it or used it (thus, quality is more of an unknown). More restrictive about weather conditions during application (60-80 degree temp w/60% humidity or less. This is NOT happening in South FL in mid-October).

VHT
Pros:
Good reviews from several users here on .net. Less restrictive about weather conditions (70 degrees & over is all it says on the can).
Cons:
Slightly more expensive ($7.99 per can).

I'll add the fact that AuburnIS and Wdskuk used Rustoleum paint on their calipers. AuburnIS was happy with the results. No word from Wdskuk.
jruhi4, thanks for the info! if i don't win some G2 on ebay, then i'll get some VHT from autozone. with the whole so cal situation right now, i don't have to worry about humidity... :-? i'm painting my calipers in 2 weeks, so i'll keep y'all posted... :D
 
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