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DIY: Model Y Painted Calipers

Midnightsun

Member
Nov 29, 2020
462
544
Canada
Did mine a couple days ago. Took them off and lightly beed blasted them, 1 coat of 2 part primer, 1 coat of red polyurethane, some stickers from eBay and a sealing coat of clear gloss varnish.



 
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Alankevis

Member
Oct 5, 2020
41
15
San Jose, California
I brushed mine while still mounted. Decent enough with the wheels on.
IMG_20201122_100524.jpg
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,102
2,789
USA
How has durability and/or touch up been for those that have DIY’d their calipers?
easy keys that have worked well for me for years, regardless of brand of car.

- Clean, clean, clean. I end up usually using two cans of brake cleaner. One can=two calipers. (If your Tesla is new, cut in half as the calipers will be only slightly dirty). Also brake cleaner can be nasty to your lungs. Use a mask or use the brake cleaner that's green).
- After using the brake cleaner, I get a few damp rags and wipe wipe wipe to scrub off any remaining dirt.
- Let fully dry
- Mask well
- Ensuring that the can of paint is shaken well and that the temps are 70f or higher or whatever it says on the can(too cold and the spray will be too thick), I apply several thin layers of paint, letting it dry well between each coat. Can speed this up with a heat gun or hair dryer used cautiously. Not too close, not excessively hot.
- After painting is done, I usually wait an hour to apply the ebay-purchased decal, pressing firmly on the letter area of the decal.
- I then wait a few more mins before slowly/carefully peeling back the clear protective film from the decal.
- I thin spray 2-3 this coats of clear over the finished product/painted caliper/decal.


Now here comes the key to longevity:
I NEVER use wheel cleaner of any type. I simply use my car wash soap on my wheels. I also avoid using any form of high pressure wand aimed at or near the caliper. Wheel cleaners are designed to remove dirt with no or minimal scrubbing. Thus, they are going to contain some level of chemical that will (over time) negatively impact the paint on the caliper and make nice, rich red caliper (for example) turn to an almost faded pink color.

My painted calipers have never had any issues at all for years after painting when I've followed the steps above. I've used VHT Caliper Paint and any random clear in the can. But Im sure most any type of spray can paint will work just fine.
 
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2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,102
2,789
USA
These are coming out surprisingly good... what are the options if you want to revert back to stock silver color?
Use some sort of paint remover (acetone or the like) to strip off all of the paint. Would need to use extreme caution as anything strong enough to remove the paint easily? Most likely can harm rubber components at or near the caliper. Another option (which is what I'd do) is to clean the caliper, rough it up a bit with some 2000 grit sandpaper, then do a respray in the OEM silver color, then reapply new decals.
 
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Corningjeff

New Member
May 24, 2021
1
0
Corning
Hi all, first post here. This past week I painted my calipers using Duplicolor paint, VHT clear coat (spray) and decals from eBay. I originally intended them to be all red, however a near-disaster occurred when I sprayed the clear coat on the passenger front caliper - the paint started bubbling up! I guess I needed to let the Duplicolor fully cure; I only waited 24hrs. So, I scraped the bubbled-up paint off and cleaned the surface with lacquer thinner. I liked the look, so I placed the decal on the bare metal and brushed clear coat only on the bare metal & decals. I left the back fully red. I think the result blends well with the Gemini rims and center cover. Only wish I had used black lettering, the white gets a bit lost with the bare metal background.
 

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Jdmoto

Member
Jul 6, 2021
21
15
Chicago
Work in Progress....

Doing a LR to Performance rear swap, might as well paint the calipers. Sanded the calipers and prep for paint, the rears are pain in the ass to paint. Useless holes on the front face of the caliper and the back has too many valleys and random pits.

Couldn't decide which color I wanted so I did some test samples. ended up with Burnt Copper keep its a little more low key, but different.

VHT White Primer
VHT Burnt Copper
High Temp Stickers
SprayMax 2K High Gloss Clear.

PXL-20210820-204218554-MP.jpg


PXL-20210828-153312396-MP.jpg


PXL-20210831-212042951-MP.jpg


PXL-20210906-153114648-MP.jpg


Spraymax 2K High Gloss has insane gloss! 2 part gloss with hardener, the real automotive gloss. chemical resistant and chip resistant. Also High Temp resistant. 2K clear is hands down better than VHT clear.

Pro tip on 2K clear: Shoot the first layer closer and wet. Don't shoot it far and tack dry. this will leave bumps.
 
Last edited:

Stoots

New Member
Jul 19, 2021
2
0
Libertyville,Il
Work in Progress....

Doing a LR to Performance rear swap, might as well paint the calipers. Sanded the calipers and prep for paint, the rears are pain in the ass to paint. Useless holes on the front face of the caliper and the back has too many valleys and random pits.

Couldn't decide which color I wanted so I did some test samples. ended up with Burnt Copper keep its a little more low key, but different.

VHT White Primer
VHT Burnt Copper
High Temp Stickers
SprayMax 2K High Gloss Clear.

PXL-20210820-204218554-MP.jpg


PXL-20210828-153312396-MP.jpg


PXL-20210831-212042951-MP.jpg


PXL-20210906-153114648-MP.jpg


Spraymax 2K High Gloss has insane gloss! 2 part gloss with hardener, the real automotive gloss. chemical resistant and chip resistant. Also High Temp resistant. 2K clear is hands down better than VHT clear.

Pro tip on 2K clear: Shoot the first layer closer and wet. Don't shoot it far and tack dry. this will leave bumps.
What color is that gold?
 

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