Tutorial: Painting callipers and discs

This is a short tutorial on how to paint your callipers and discs should you want to. On the Honda S2000 for some reason when new discs and callipers are fitted they aren’t well treated or coated much especially the discs, the centre where the wheel meets the disc and the inner parts are exposed and not used and so rust very quickly.

As a result a while back I took all the wheels off and rubbed down these parts before painting them. Recently the rear discs and callipers had to be replaced due to wear so I needed to do it again. This time I took a few photos for this tutorial.

First of all you need some supplies. Very basic stuff really. The main thing you need is some calliper paint (high heat resistance stuff) that you can get on eBay. There are various colours available but I wanted mine to fade away and disappear (they aren’t nice big brakes after all) so I went for black. Here’s a picture of the supplies needed. Paint, brush, wire wool, surface cleaner. The wet and dry paper I thought I might need but didn’t use in the end. Also some rubber gloves – so much easier to throw away then spend ages cleaning your nails and so on.

Supplies for painting

Now, when you take the wheels off, make sure you of course jack the car up correctly on the right jack points and then in my opinion you should lower this onto an axle stand at the least for good stability. As I was doing the rear wheels and the S2000 has a limited slip differential, I need to also jack up the other side a bit to allow both wheels to be free and easy to rotate. Looks a bit like this:

Honda S2000 jacked up

Now down to business. The discs and callipers have only been on for 2-3 days now and it hasn’t rained properly either, so the rust that’s on this now is childs play compared what was on before. Normally you would spend a lot of time now preparing the surfaces for paint – making sure you get as much rust and debris off as possible. Different grades of wire wool for example. This is how the disc looks before:

The before shotUsing the wire wool you can see that due to the recency and poor adhesion of the rust, it comes off pretty quickly:

The rust comes off

Once the surface is prepared, it’s off course time to paint. Now for each corner I do, I use a new brush. I know that sounds excessive, but for reasons you’ll see in a bit, I need the brush to be accurate and not clogged up. Generally by waiting for the paint to dry, changing wheels and so on, the brush becomes clogged and that calliper paint is hard to get off. At £2.48 a brush at B&Q – I go the easy route.

Painting around the main disc and calliper is pretty easy – standard painting. What’s odd about the S2000 is that there’s a band around the disc that is ever used by the brake pad. This is a pain because if you just paint the inner disc, you will still get a 5-6mm ring of rust which of course would seem silly after all this work. As a result you need to paint a nice straight curve on top of this part of the disc so that we make sure paint occupies all non working space. Hence the need for an accurate brush.

Painting a nice curve

Having said this though, if you do go over into the working area of the disc, just wipe it off quickly. Any remnants will get burnt away over use so nothing to worry about too much. After a coat or two and making sure you get the calliper as well, all is done, just wait a while for it to dry and then bang the wheel back on. Job done. Now they won’t turn into rust buckets under my sparkly wheels but fade away and give the wheels the full attention they deserve.

Finished calliper and disc

About Rob

I'm an average petrolhead - I love cars and get as much driving experiences as I can out in the world from test drives to track days.