A relatively cheap and easy way to increase the aesthetic appeal of your vehicle while also preventing corrosion and rust is to paint or powder coat your brake calipers.
No one wants to look at their gleaming rims, then spot rust directly behind them on their brake calipers. One of the first things people think about when trying to find the best car customization in Los Angeles is the expected price.
This article will lay out the standard price ranges for this area so you can have a better idea of what to expect when making your decision.
Cost of Having Your Brake Calipers Painted Professionally
If you want to spice up your vehicle while adding some protection without going as far as getting a celebrity quality car wrap, having your brake calipers painted may be an option for you.
As I’m sure you can imagine, your brake calipers can not be painted with them still attached to the wheel.
When you pay for a professional to paint your brake calipers, you are not only paying for the paint, but also for the labor for the technician to remove the brake calipers, thoroughly clean them of any oil and brake dust, paint them, then reinstall them. After removing the brake calipers from the wheels, without removing them from the brake line, the technician must take special care to cover everything around the caliper so that it doesn’t get hit with overspray.
The first coat is a primer that makes the paint stick better and creates a smooth surface, then the paint is applied.
Prices are generally between $250 and $450 to have your brake calipers painted by a professional, and can go up to 200$ per caliper for specialty paint and when putting decals on your brake calipers.
Cost of Painting Your Brake Calipers Yourself
Since you do not have to pay for a professional’s time, labor, and expertise if you paint your brake calipers yourself, you can save a substantial amount of money.
If you already have the tools and knowledge needed to remove your brake calipers without removing them from the brake line, it should only cost you $50 or less.
If you do not know how to remove them but already have the tools, you can find many useful tutorials and videos online to assist you. Along with cleaning supplies, primer, and paint, it’s advisable to purchase a disposable mask and eye protection to protect yourself from fumes.
Make sure when you purchase the paint that you get paint made for very high temperatures. They are put under extreme conditions every time you brake.
Cost of Having Your Brake Calipers Powder Coated Professionally
Powder coating is more durable and looks better than standard caliber painting.
Unlike caliber painting, powder coating is resistant to scratches, abrasions, and chipping.
This is on top of the advantages of painting your calipers, such as preventing rust and increasing aesthetic appeal.
Because of the additional benefits and the need for special equipment, powder coating is more expensive than caliper painting.
At the extreme lowest end of the range, you can expect it to cost between $50 – $60 per caliper, with an additional $20 per brake caliper bracket if you choose to include them.
If you want to have clear, translucent, anodized, or candy-colored powder coating, it will likely cost more because there are more steps to the process in that case, even if you go to the cheapest possible place.
For highest quality powder coating with decals, expect to pay about $1000 total.
One of the myths about car customization is that car customization reduces the value of your vehicle. An advantage of getting your brake calipers professionally painted is that professional jobs actually increase the value of your vehicle when completed by a professional with experience and sold to another car enthusiast.
What About Mail-In Powder Coating Specialists?
There are powder coating specialists that will receive your calipers through the mail, professionally powder coat them, then send them back to you. This means that you will have to remove your brake calipers from the wheel and brake line.
Alternatively, you could send your brake calipers to a powder coating specialist company after purchasing new brake calipers before installing them.
Typically, they will charge between $30 and $90 apiece. This does not include the cost for you to ship them to them, or pay for them to ship them back. Since this is about the same price as the lower end of the range to have them done in the shop, there really is no reason to do this instead of bringing them to somewhere like StickerCity in Los Angeles. This way, you do not have to deal with the labor yourself, nor will you have to pay for shipping and handling.
Cost of Powder Coating Your Brake Calipers Yourself
Unless you already have the supplies and experience, it isn’t wise to powder coat your brake calipers yourself. Not only would you have to pay for the supplies for the powder coating itself, but you would also have to pay for the equipment for such a small job.
The needed professional equipment isn’t worth the project, with a spray gun costing a couple of hundred dollars and a curing oven costing a couple of thousand dollars.
Unless you are planning to powder coat many more parts or making powder coating your hobby, the cost far outweighs the benefit and it would make more sense to just bring it in to a reputable shop that already has the equipment and experience.
Depending on your level of expertise, the equipment you have, how much labor you are willing to do, and the quality you expect, there is a pretty large range of prices you can anticipate.
For painted calipers, you can expect to pay between $250 and $450 to have them professionally painted (and significantly more for specialty paint and decals) and under $50 to paint them yourself if you already have the appropriate tools.
The prices for powder coating vary greatly but the most likely will be between $175 and $200 per caliber for a good quality job.
If you are unsure what to choose, feel free to contact a local expert to get their opinion.
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