What Products are Best for Painting Exhaust Parts?

Tags: Exhaust

Be Sociable, Share!

http://www.howtopaintcars.com/wp-content/gallery/engine-parts/ehaust-headers.jpg?i=169721985Whenever someone starts asking about painting their exhaust the first question I have is WHY?

There are times when painting exhaust parts is a reasonable thing to do but in most instances the work is really not worth the results.

Sure you can pay tons of money and have a mandrel bent system custom painted but this is normally done only for trailer cars that don’t see any street time. If you are investing in a $100k custom vehicle and want everything the way you want it rather then a stock or performance solution then this is the way to go.

Custom exhausts can be ceramic coated which requires baking in ovens that the average shop or hobbyist does not have access to. Basically you get your pipes bent at a shop and they send it out. You can expect at least a week turn around so you will be without your vehicle for some time.

The one thing I would not shy away from is sending out a custom welded turbo pipe. The cost will be minimal and this part is in your face every time you open the hood so it is a good investment for ceramic paint.

The drawbacks to a ceramic coated exhaust is that it can not take a beating. If you are off roading you would never do this, if you are a street enthusiast you are going to end up destroying the paint after you have pulled the engine a few times.

To be honest Ceramic Coating is said to be a durable product with approximately 3 mills of product that is baked on the metal and then polished.  It can withstand from 1000F to 2000F for an extended period without failure.

It is a much better solution then any other painting method and if you can afford to do it right you may find it is what you want.

If you are building a custom motorcycle with exposed pipes or a T Bucket with custom exhaust then this is a solution that may be better then standard dip chrome.

What is a better solution then a full custom exhaust paint job?

For Street Enthusiasts whether you like to race or drive around and show your vehicle in local events you want something that will last for many years and something you get done once and don’t think about again.

Although there are spray paints in cans that say they can be used for exhaust you will find yourself quickly disappointed in the results you get. The problem is not the initial finish but the length of time that the paint will stay on hot exhaust parts without chipping.

For headers I would suggest that you spend a few extra dollars and get a coated pair from the manufacturer. The color selection may not include florescent hot pink but the coating will last for at least two to three years with moderate street use meaning 10k to 15k miles.

For the rest of your system if you want something that will last a long time and not get ugly or rust you want to go with stainless steel. A heavy gauge stainless exhaust that is either bright or brushed to look soft is a really good solution. The cost can be many more times then a standard flange bolt or weld up system but with moderate use you will probably never have to replace it.

Final Note

Ceramic Painting is not something you want to do at home. The process is toxic and requires that you invest in a good oven that is able to sustain 500F for an extended period of time. A standard home electric oven may be able to reach this temperature but it is at its very high end of performance.

Even if you do dedicate a $500 oven to baking your parts you have the problem of out gassing during the baking process.

For this reason if you are willing to pay the money you should get the parts painted by a professional.

If you are a professional then you should send this work out to be done by someone that only does powder coating or deals in custom paint of this type on a weekly basis at the minimum.

You need to make sure the parts are evenly painted with paint that does not reveal its color until baked and you need to make sure everything is done right so .. no its not a home or local shop service unless you live local to a shop that does this work all the time.

But basically stay away from high temp spray paint its not going to last.

Be Sociable, Share!