How to Paint An Engine Block

So you’ve got your body panels laser straight and the engine bay is all cleaned and smoothed. But what about that fresh engine you’re about to put in? Nothing can set off a top-notch refinished car or truck than a detailed engine and engine bay. Painting the engine block can be a tedious task and isn’t something you want to do twice.

The biggest hurdle with getting an old or used engine painted is getting it CLEAN. Years of oil, grease and road grime can make it difficult to get paint to stick to your engine. If you’re having the engine rebuilt we suggest tearing the engine all the way down and having it cleaned in a solvent bath inside and out to get it ultra clean to start.

Even if you’re having your engine totally rebuilt, we suggest getting the major heavy grease, grime, and rust off by hand first. We like to start with a stainless wire brush and knock off the heavy stuff. From there you can chuck up a cylindrical wire brush in the drill and attack those crevices you couldn’t easily get with a standard wire brush. This will make your life a lot easier to begin with.



From there you can blast off any additional debris with Chassis Kleen to really get down to bare, clean metal. Feel free to use the wire brush as well to help loosen some of the left over grease and gunk on the block. Once you start seeing clean, bare metal you can really narrow down on the hard-to-reach areas and make sure they get as clean as possible. Remember paint won’t stick to grease and it all needs to be removed!

Once the engine block is as clean as possible you need to prep it for coatings. First you should mask off any gasket or bearing surfaces and anywhere paint can get inside of the engine. Masking tape or masking paper will help you keep those important areas from hours of paint scraping. Any smooth surfaces need to be scuffed as well to give a good textured surface for the primer to attach to.

Now an engine block doesn’t get as hot as say the exhaust system, but you still need to make sure you use quality engine coatings to assure the paint will look good for years to come. We suggest starting off with a High-Temp Engine Primer to get the engine block sealed up and ready for color. One coat is usually sufficient to seal up a block, but multiple coats can be used to help fill imperfections and smooth out the surface of the block for an ultra slick look.

From there you can use our 2K Ceramic Engine Paints to give the best durability. These paints have the same quality paint and finish as out of a paint gun. Since they’re an activated 2K paint they’re also just as durable! Choose the color that best suits your project and apply 2-3 coats for full coverage. A clear isn’t necessary unless you want to give the engine an extra high gloss finish.

Now that your engine is all painted and detailed you can install it and be proud to pop your hood at the show!

For our full line of engine paints visit our paint section of the site Here:

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