Engine Paint – What’s Important for Best Performance?

Motor Coater Engine Paint Kit

KBS Coatings Motor Coater in Ford T-Bird Red

Whether you are restoring your car or truck, detailing it for shows, or you just want it to look its best, making sure the engine looks great is important and engine paint is a big part of that. It is one of the first things you see when you pop the hood. If you are planning to paint your engine, have you considered what’s important for paint appearance, performance and long-term durability? Experts agree that the main qualities to pay attention to are heat resistance, gloss retention, and resistance to chipping and flaking. The paint must be formulated to meet these criteria and standard automotive paints just aren’t designed to handle harsh under hood environments.

Heat Resistance

Most good quality engine paints use an acrylic enamel formulation that provides an attractive hard glossy finish and superior heat resistance - with the ability to handle temperatures up to 450-500°F. Acrylic enamel engine paints come in variations that can be applied by spraying, rolling, or brushing, which makes them easy to work with even if the engine is still mounted in the vehicle.

Note, engine paint is different than high temperature exhaust paint, like KBS Coatings XTC, which is designed for headers, exhaust manifolds and exhaust systems, and can withstand temperatures up to 1500°F.

Gloss Retention

Acrylic enamel provides a glossy finish, and its hardness helps to avoid small scratches and scuffing that could dull the finish over time. Acrylic enamel also has excellent color retention properties.

Chipping and Flaking

Acrylic enamel paint works well on engines as it is not affected by the expansion and contraction of metal when experiencing temperature variations, like when taking an engine from cold to hot when first started. This helps keep the paint from cracking and flaking. Further, the hardness of acrylic enamel engine paint helps it resist chipping caused by things like accidental tool strikes.

Other Considerations

Engine paint also functions to protect metal from rust and corrosion. Another consideration is that the paint must be able to resist damage that could be caused by gasoline, oils, additives, degreasers, and other chemicals.

KBS Coatings Motor Coater

KBS Coatings offers Motor Coater which meets and exceeds the above criteria and has features and benefits that make it a better choice than other engine paint brands.

Motor Coater Engine Paint Kit

KBS Coatings Motor Coater in Oldsmobile Bronze

Motor Coater is a high gloss acrylic enamel engine paint that can withstand temperatures up to 450°F. Motor Coater engine enamels provide deep, rich pigmented colors for excellent coverage. The paint meets OEM standards, will not blister, flake, crack or peel and is impervious to oil, transmission fluid, gasoline and other chemicals.

Motor Coater has excellent coverage and self-levelling properties. It flows out well without leaving brush marks and provides a beautiful finish. Motor Coater is designed to be user-friendly so that excellent results can be achieved by do-it-yourself and professional users alike.

“Motor Coater is a fantastic product that lays down thick and smooth.” Steve C. – KBS Customer

“I have been using KBS Motor Coater for a few years now. I first painted an engine block with it with professional results. I used the rest of the container to paint associated parts. I have been using it ever since. I prefer KBS Products to any of the store brands.” – M. Moran –KBS Customer

Motor Coater is available in aerosol cans, and in paint cans for rolling, brushing or application with spray equipment. Keep in mind brush-on engine enamels take longer to apply and more care is required, but in general they offer better coverage.

“I recently finished a complete engine bay restoration on my 1968 Oldsmobile 442 convertible. I decided to use Motor Coater because I really did not want to completely remove the engine and thought having the ability to brush the block would alleviate the overspray issue. The results exceeded my expectation” Steve C. – KBS Customer

Motor Coater Engine Paint Kit

KBS Coatings Motor Coater in Ford Corporate Blue

Motor Coater provides 39 color options, allowing you to be as creative as you want to be. These options include OEM correct engine colors:

  • AMC Metallic Blue – 69’-72’
  • AMC Blue – 73’-81’
  • Austin Healey Moss Green Metallic
  • Buick Turquoise: All 42'-52' & some 53' Spec
  • Buick Green Late: 53'-65'
  • Buick Red Late: 66'-71'
  • Cadillac Dark Blue: 49'-76'
  • Chevy Blue: 54'-62' 6 Cylinder & 53' Auto
  • Chevy Orange: 55', 57'-75' V-8’s
  • Chrysler Blue: 73'-83'
  • Chrysler Turquoise: All 383-440 Big Block / 62'-71'
  • Street Hemi Orange: 66'-71' 426 Street Hemis, 70'-71' 383 & 440 Hi-Performance, 70'-71' 340
  • Race Hemi Orange: 62'-64' 413 & 426 Max Wedge, 64'-65' 426 Race Hemi’s
  • Ford Corporate Blue: 67'- on with 302 Engine
  • Ford Dark Blue: 41'-48'
  • Ford Green
  • T-Bird Red: OEM engine color, not body color
  • MG Green: 45'-48' TC Engine & Firewall
  • Old Cummins Gold
  • Olds Gold: 64'-67' 330 CI & 68'-76' 350 CI
  • Olds Bronze: 65'-69' 400 CI
  • Pontiac Metallic Blue: 66'-72'
  • Pontiac Light Blue: Also a perfect match for 78'-81' GM Corporate Blue
  • Pontiac Light Blue: 59'-65'

“I love this paint! Has great coverage and easy to apply! Engine looks better than it came from the factory! It's great the correct colors are offered for AMC! This is the only type of paint I will ever use on engines! Highly recommended!” -Logan S.

“Perfect match, covers excellently and nice price!” –Alan L.

Motor Coater Engine Paint Kit

KBS Coatings Motor Coater in AMC Blue

Motor Coater can be purchased separately or as part of the Motor Coater Kit that includes KBS Klean to clean and degrease the engine, RustBlast to remove rust and corrosion and etch the surface for best adhesion of the Motor Coater. KBS #1 Thinner is included to thin Motor Coater for spray equipment application.

Want to see how the Motor Coater Kit is applied? Check out this episode of Sam’s Garage.

Motor Coater Engine Paint Kit

Always remember; heat resistance, gloss retention, and resistance to chipping and flaking are the main criteria when choosing an engine paint that will provide the best appearance and long-lasting durability.

For more information on Motor Coater click here.

Read More