Painting the brake calipers

I've always liked red brake calipers (or coloured calipers) on sports cars, as I think they add an extra detail which helps to define the character of the vehicle. Mazda has offered red calipers on some vehicles and more widely as an optional extra in the USA, most notably they included orange callipers on the 30th-anniversary edition.

Not wanting to fork out for a full set of Brembo brake calipers and discs at this moment in time, I decided to paint the callipers instead.
One thing to mention before I go any further is that if you want to jack up your Mk4 with a trolley jack, you'll need a low-rise trolley jack as clearance under the vehicle is too limited for most standard height trolley jacks.

The callipers masked up and ready to paint
Masked up and ready to paint.

Once the car was securely sat on axle stands and the wheels had been removed, I began the process of masking the wheels arches and brake discs. Around the wheel arches, I opted to use masking tape with a plastic trim to ensure paint-covered fingers or overspray from the cleaner didn't get onto the bodywork.

The only time I've removed all the wheels at the same time!
The only time I've removed all the wheels at the same time!

Once everything had been thoroughly cleaned with the brake cleaner, (which was included in the kit I purchased from Euro Car Parts) I masked the brake calipers and began to apply thin coats of paint.

The third coat of paint drying
The third coat drying.

After three coats, they looked reasonably well covered but closer inspection revealed a few patches of thinner paintwork, which I rectified with a fourth coat.

The fourth  and final coat
Fourth and final coat.
The end result
The end result, which I think looks pretty good.

After leaving the paint to harden for as long as possible, before night-fall I carefully refitted the tyres and removed the axle stands. In line with the instruction in the kit, I left the vehicle for several days before driving it the paint hardened and properly cured. I hope you'll agree the end result looks pretty good. Overall the cost of my DIY paint kit plus a trolley jack and axle stands was significantly less than having the calipers painted for me.

The whole car showing the newly painted callipers

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