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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 F10 Technical Topics DIY Guides & Discussions DIY: Painting your brake calipers
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      04-27-2014, 09:59 PM   #1
Grumpy514
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DIY: Painting your brake calipers

So I’ve searched on the forums and was trying to find a good detailed write up on how to paint your brake calipers and didn't find one that in depth. I painted my calipers on the F10 yesterday and decided to put one together.

Any questions feel free to ask. This will probably be a bit excessive compared to most on painting the calipers, but I want to ensure a good bond that looked great and will last.


Tools Used:
-2 Cans of brake cleaner
-2 Cans of VHT Engine Enamel (Burnt Orange)
-1 Can of VHT Caliper Clear Gloss
-1 Can of VHT Flame Proof Clear Gloss (Ran out of caliper clear, recc. caliper clear for slightly higher gloss)
-Box of 30 gallon trash flexa strength bags (Flexible bags work best to keep tight fit on caliper)
-1 Roll of masking tape
-1 Exacto knife (or similar)
-1 Needle nose pliers
-2 car jacks + jack pads

Assortment of tools helpful that are not necessary but make the job easier. Flashlight, 17mm covered socket, shop air blow gun, wire brush, drip pan.




I found out after I finished doing everything that this job is EASIER to do one side at a time. The front brake calipers are hard to get an even coat without having to turn wheel outwards.

Jack the front and rear of vehicle on 1 side and turn steering wheel so caliper is facing outwards and easily accessible. Make sure the car is stable on the jacks before doing this.


I started by first putting a drip pan on rear calipers and spraying liberally with brake cleaner. In between a few second sprays I would clean the caliper with a wire brush and rags. Then I would do a second re-spray getting all the nooks and crannies with a rag. Afterwards I blew compressed air on the caliper to get everything off completely.




You then want to get a flexible stretchable bag and put it over your brake rotors and calipers. Pull it all the way in so its snug on the rotors and then tape to whatever you can. I would then start a small rip in the middle of the caliper and slowly rip it to fit around caliper. The stretchable bags help a lot with keep a snug fit, keep stretching until the area you want to be painted is completely open, tucking the bag between the calipers and rotor.



Use as many bags and newspapers as you want to completely cover everything inside the fender well and a few feet of the surrounding outside. Don't be shy to use as much tape and bags/paper as want as this is the most important step to painting your calipers. Need to ensure every nook and cranny is covered.



I then went and taped over the brake pads, brake pin sleeves and everything else you want not to be painted. Using the needle nose pliers and exacto knife really help getting in the tight areas. I pulled the bag tight against the caliper ensuring the bag covered the rotors towards center of caliper. Using a small flat head helps bring the bag close in to cover rotors.




Now you are ready for paint, the masking and prep work is 80% of the work. Really take your time to ensure everything is masked off and paint properly protected. Having a second set of eyes to check everything is masked off helps a ton!


You want to apply the paint in light coats to start off with, gradually getting a heavier until desired coverage. I wanted it to be very thick and durable so I did 5 coats of paint and 5 coats of gloss. You want to do every coat roughly 10 minutes apart. After applying all coats of paint and gloss let it stand for an hour before its dry to touch.

Picture after 2 coats (safer to go lighter on the coats than I did, the thicker the coat the better chance of a run)


4 Coats of paint. Using a flashlight pointed directly on caliper will help find areas you missed.



5 Coats of paint, 5 Coats of Clear (rear caliper has textured finish)



Front Brakes:

The front brakes are much easier to do as there is little to no masking of the brake caliper. Turn the wheel to position the caliper facing outwards, clean calipers and mask off as done with rear wheels. The only thing I masked off on the brake caliper was taking the brake bleeder nipple cover (black rubber) off and taping over the bleed nipple.


Masked off and ready for paint.



Bleed nipple shown masked off here.


5 Coats of paint, 5 Coats of clear later.





As long as you let the calipers dry for at least an hour before removing masking you will be find. I waited an hour for the fronts and rear to dry after I was done, then just carefully ripped off all the masking and blew away the paint chip flakes that came off the bag.


0 Paint on rotors, car or anywhere in wheel well.





All done, enjoy your freshly painted calipers! I parked my car after I finished putting the wheels on just to be safe and let it set for 24hrs. Drove it today with no issues, the heat from braking will cure the paint.



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Here in euro just the guys in wheel chairs and the semi retarded ones (the guys who arent allowed to drive a stick in their condition) who stick with the auto

Last edited by Grumpy514; 04-27-2014 at 10:05 PM.
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      04-28-2014, 01:42 PM   #2
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Good job man!
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      04-28-2014, 02:20 PM   #3
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Great DIY, this is my project planned for this weekend.
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      04-28-2014, 05:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCat27 View Post
Great DIY, this is my project planned for this weekend.
Wouldn't be easier to take the calipers off the rotors first then do the painting? Last time when I painted my e90 calipers, I did it when I changed the pads. With pads removed, calipers hung with bungee cords. I then did a thorough cleaning before painting.
This time, I plan to do it when it's time to do the brake fluid flush so that I can take the whole caliper and housing off the car, with nothing attached, clean then paint.
The masking prep part is way too much work. Besides, I think brush painting will be easier and have the same result if not better.
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      04-30-2014, 09:43 PM   #5
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Good job. I plan on doing this once I install my R1 concept rotors!
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      05-29-2014, 07:34 PM   #6
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Tackled this DIY today. Time consuming, but well worth the time and effort. I went with 4 coats of paint and 4 coats of clear. Hopefully that is able to hold up to the NYC winters.
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      05-29-2014, 09:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bake View Post
Tackled this DIY today. Time consuming, but well worth the time and effort. I went with 4 coats of paint and 4 coats of clear. Hopefully that is able to hold up to the NYC winters.
How long did it take you?
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      05-29-2014, 10:43 PM   #8
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I was doing a few other things around the house at the same time, but I would say about 5 hours if I was focused on just that. I did go a bit overboard and do a total of 8 coats (4 color and 4 clear) on each caliper though.
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      06-18-2014, 09:40 PM   #9
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I tackled the DIY project this weekend with the fine help and directions of Grumpy514, thanks buddy. I did mine in Flame Red VHT paint and i also PlastiDipped the rims in Dark Grey Metallic and used a light PlastiDip Clear Coat, i just need to add an ///M logo on the front calipers and i am done
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      07-15-2014, 03:52 PM   #10
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I just did the DIY project last week. I am happy with the results. Excuse the rust on the rotors...I freakin' hate it when it does that:

Front:









Rear:





Side Shot:

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      07-28-2014, 10:29 PM   #11
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Good paint job, burnt orange not my thing but they came out really good. However, it would probably grow on me, you won't see many cars with this color.

It is all in the prep like any paint job as you all know. I had to do some light sanding of the surface rust that accumulated on the flat portion facing out. I am going to repaint my F10 calipers later this year with the Duplicolor I found which is pretty close to the M caliper color I used on my 4.8is X5. That came out better as the paint is metallic.

Here is a pic of how they look now. Wheels will be replaced soon, shopping for replacements.
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      10-25-2015, 04:11 PM   #12
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Awesome job everyone! The paint is still going strong on my calipers.
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Originally Posted by Grubbe View Post
Here in euro just the guys in wheel chairs and the semi retarded ones (the guys who arent allowed to drive a stick in their condition) who stick with the auto
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      10-27-2015, 01:01 AM   #13
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love these DIY! they all came out lookin' pretty damn SWEET!
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