Brake caliper refinishing

This page descibes the process which i used to refinish/repaint my black s4 brake caliper to red. The task is VERY easy , very cheap to perform and looks like a million bucks when done.

Basic items you will need.

  1. Gloves to keep the hands somewhat clean especially when applying ZIP STRIP
  2. Saftey glasses
  3. Mask to eliminate breathing brake dust
  4. C Clamp
  5. Wire brush
  6. Drill with a wire wheel
  7. Wet n dry sand paper
  8. Masking and duct tape
  9. Some carboard boxes to place the calipers in as you zip strip them
  10. ZIP STRIP paint remover and a brush to apply it
  11. Caliper paint of your choice of color/brand...and some clear coat. I used engine paint "clear coat"
  12. Brake cleaner.
  13. Wooden dowl rod..i think i used 3/8" to plug the hole where the brake line came out of the calipers


The steps are very basic

  1. jack and support the car... i did all 4 calipers at the same time
  2. remove the wheels
  3. remove the calipers and brake well as the pads , the sensors and also the springloaded clips that retain the pads
  4. Using a wooden dowel, plug the hole where the brake line entered the caliper. This prevents dirt entering.
  5. Clean as much as possible the crud from the calipers with brake cleaner and the wire brush
  6. Using a C clamp i pressed the pistons back into the calipers as i didnt want paint on the side of the may have to remove the bleeder screws to let fluid out.
  7. With a brush, apply a liberal amount of ZIP STRIP to the calipers. Just cake it on. In a few minutes the old clear coat will bubble and seperate from the surface of the caliper. WEAR GLOVES AND GLASSES..this stuff burns when on your skin!
  8. I then took my calipers to a high pressure car wash and hosed them off. The old clear coat came off effortlessley. In the spots it didnt i just applied more ZIP STRIP and repeated the process.
  9. Once dry, i scrubbed the calipers with a wire brush and the wire wheel on my drill to prep the surface...i also took the wire wheel to the retaining springs to clean them up.
  10. I masked off the bolts and the metal lines with masking tape. This is optional but gives you more of a professional look when done.
  11. I inspected the surface and made sure it was clear of dirt, lint and brake fluid
  12. I sprayed appx 4-5 coats of caliper paint to the brakes, each coat was fairly thin. The brakes are black so it will take several coats to get a nice RED finish.
  13. I allowed each coat to thoroughly dry before applying the next one...
  14. Once i was satisfied with the finish i applied a light layer of engine enamel clear coat and allowed it to thoroughly dry.
  15. I masked off the area around the PORSCHE lettering with 2 layers of duct tape and then sanded the raised lettering with some wet and dry sandpaper on my vibrating sander...this exposed the bare aluminum finish for the lettering
  16. Remove the masking tape and your done!!!

Below are some pictures of the process.....not particularly in order.

the rear brakes require a 19mm wrench on 2 bolts to remove the caliper

ABOVE: removing front brake line

squeezing the retaining spring for the front pads

front brake retaining spring removed to access pads

the front calipers are held on by 2 rather large allen bolts. You may need a cheater to aid in loosening the bolts.

using a flat blade screw driver to gentley pry the pads back and off the rotors

after the bolts are out, brake line removed and the pads are pushed back the caliper comes right off!

a good view of the brake pad sensor

the sensor and clip removed.


pad removed...and cleaned with brake cleaner

squeezing the pistons into the calipers to keep paint off the sides of the may have to open the bleeder valves to let fluid out

caliper covered in ZIP STRIP..clear coat is bubbling off.

all clear coat removed after a HIGH PRESSURE WASH...note the wooden dowel rods in the brake line holes to keep dirt and water out.( a good tip from a fellow Rennlister...thanks)

calipers prepped and ready to paint...lines and bolts masked off and the caliper suspended via wire.....and a Corona in the corner


This is after the paint was applied and FULLY CURED.....using a vibrating sander to expose the aluminum finish of the calipers to show off the PORSCHE lettering. I used 2 layers of duct tape to protect the area around the letters as i sanded....i used some 400 wet/dry paper..wet.

the results below speak for themselves!!

these are the products i used to achive the results above!!! Its ALL in the PREP. that gets the good results

All in all, this was a very easy project and as you can see visually worth while! A nice set of wheels will show of the calipers nicely!


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