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Exterior Accessories Tips & Advice

Tesla Model 3 Caliper Paint Guide: Cost, Methods, Shops, DIY, and More

If you’re planning to paint your Model 3 calipers, the following questions might’ve crossed your mind:

  • Will painting my calipers provide the same benefits as powder coating them?
  • How much does it cost to paint Tesla Model 3 calipers?
  • What color should I ultimately pick?
  • Can I paint calipers myself? Or where can I find a reputable shop to get them professionally done?

I dove into dozens of forum threads and read hundreds of owners’ reviews to bring answers to all your questions.

Regardless of whether you’re going the DIY route to save some precious dollars or you’re looking for professional assistance, this guide covers everything you need to know about painting your Tesla Model 3 brake calipers.

Feel free to scroll down to the visual guide if image examples are what you’re after.

Let’s dive into it!

Caliper Coloring Methods: Paint vs. Powder vs. Covers

Credit to CalChrome.

These are the three major caliper customization methods people most often use. 

If you’re confused about selecting the most appropriate method for you, I’ve briefly compared the pros and cons of each method from different perspectives.

This will help you choose the best method for you.

Difficulty of Application

Powder Coat

Powder coating is a difficult task that must only be handled by professionals. DIY is certainly not recommended for this.

Powder coating will give your calipers a brand-new OEM look that can’t be achieved by any other method.

The finish feels much more premium — and unlike paint, the color is less likely to shade or peel over time.

Paint

You can either spray paint or hand paint your calipers. Both are relatively easy methods and can be done at home.

You’ll only need a good-quality caliper painting kit or a spray kit, along with an in-depth YouTube tutorial.

It’ll take a whole day to get this done, but you’ll also be able to save a couple hundred bucks, which isn’t a bad deal, right?

Covers

This is the easiest route you can take to customize your calipers. It doesn’t require too much knowledge or experience with tools.

Just a YouTube tutorial and a set of caliper covers will do the job. After a bit of research, I found this installation video by Abstract Ocean most helpful:

Installation starts @ 1:50

Cost Comparison

Powder Coat

Though the most fruitful method, powder coating can get a lot of money out of your pocket as it requires extra equipment and expertise.

A complete Tesla Model 3 caliper powder coating job may cost north of $1000 in most areas. 

Paint

Paint job costs vary from region to region.

Experienced workshops in high cost of living states may charge up to $1200, while shops in less expensive areas may charge as little as $300.

If you’re willing to go the DIY route, however, paint can be the cheapest method of all.

It may cost you less than 100 bucks. Just buy a caliper paint system from a reputable brand (ideally, one that includes all the tools necessary for application).

Covers

Average-quality caliper covers may cost you around $150. However, good-quality ones usually cost over $250.

If you install them yourself, well and good. But if you seek professional help, you’ll pay a couple of hundred bucks more for the installation.

The ones that I’d recommend are from the Abstract Ocean. It’s a well-known brand among the Tesla community that rarely disappoints its customers.

Durability / Aesthetic Outcome

Powder Coat

As they say: 

“You get what you pay for.” 

The more money you put in, the more reward you get. Powder coating, though expensive, can easily last you 5+ years. 

There are little to no chances of chipping, wearing, or scratches.

Also, powder coat results in the BEST aesthetics outcome of all the other methods. It ultimately gives the look of stock calipers.

Paint

Caliper paint also performs well in the durability and aesthetics department. However, it can’t beat the powder coat.

You can expect it to last 2–3 years easily. After that, the paint may start to degrade.

The good news is, paint is easily fixable unlike the powder coat.

If the powder coating gets messed up, you’ll have to do the whole process again, whereas a few brushstrokes will solve any paint chips or scratches that come up.

Covers

Caliper covers are the most durable of them all: they may last you up to 10 years. 

However, aesthetically, they aren’t very desirable. The main reason is their extra flat shape that changes the OEM look of calipers.

Also, the fact that they add thickness to the calipers means they may interfere with aftermarket wheels — especially on the Performance model. Double check the covers will fit your vehicle before purchasing one.

***

Also consider your location and the brand you want to work with when choosing a method.

Companies like RPMTesla offer all three options — while other companies like TSportline only offer the classic painting service.

A Visual Guide to Picking Your Favorite Caliper Paint Color

Regardless of what color or finish you want, there’s a paint color that fits your needs.

Below, I’ve included as many examples as I could find to give you a better visual idea of how your calipers will look like on your Model 3 after a painting job.

Common Tesla Model 3 Caliper Paint Examples

Model 3 with painted dark blue brake calipers. Credit to TSportline.
Model 3 with painted light blue brake calipers. Credit to TSportline.
Model 3 with custom yellow brake calipers. Credit to Blaque Diamond.
Model 3 with painted red brake calipers. Credit to TSportline.

Subtle, More Unique Tesla Model 3 Caliper Paint Examples

Model 3 with painted lime green brake calipers. Credit to Tesla Motors Club.
Model 3 with painted gold brake calipers. Credit to TSportline.
Model 3 with custom copper brake calipers. Credit to Tesla Motors Club.
Model 3 with custom pink brake calipers. Credit to Tsportline.
Model 3 with powder-coated rose gold brake calipers. Credit to Prismatic Powders.
Model 3 plum purple brake calipers. Credit to ONEighty.
Model 3 orange brake caliper color. Credit to @GlenMah
Tesla Model 3 caliper paint gloss white with black decals. Credit to Elevance.
Model 3 gloss black calipers. Credit to Elevance.

Looks are subjective. You have to factor in your car’s color, your rotor’s finish, and many other things to make an ultimate decision.

Personally, the gold and copper brake calipers caught my attention most.

I hope these examples help you decide which color or style suits your needs the best.

Where to Find Reputable Shops?

Seek help from a workshop near you that has good overall ratings — or drive to a reputable shop that you trust.

I suggest you call several shops in your area to get the best rate possible.

You can also search on Google or forums (e.g., {“name of the shop”} + “Tesla model 3 caliper paint”) to verify if the Tesla community has shared their experience with the painting service provider in question.

The second option is likely to be more expensive. Besides, without calipers is dangerous to drive, so you won’t be able to drive around until the calipers are back.

If you’re in California, here are some reputable companies that offer painting services:

  1. TSportline
  2. CalChrome
  3. Elevance

Let’s now discuss some of the brands that offer DIY kits. If you want to save yourself some precious dollars, read on.

Best DIY Caliper Paint Kit Overall: G2 Caliper Painting System

Known as the best in the business, the G2 caliper paint system kit is trusted by hundreds of customers.

This name popped out of almost each forum page or YouTube DIY video I went through.

They offer the highest heat-resistant paint (up to 980℉) in 11 different high-gloss, wear-resistant colors, including:

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Silver
  • Black
  • Purple 
  • Green
  • White
  • Gold
  • Orange
  • Pink

G2 is ultra-confident in their product. Break oil, dust, or small gravels; nothing will mess up the look of your caliper. They offer a 100% product performance guarantee.

The paint is applied with a high-quality brush (included in the kit). Overall, its application is pretty straightforward. You’ll have fun even if you’re doing it for the first time.

If you’re determined to go the DIY route, this caliper paint system kit is your best bet.

Here’s a quick unboxing video of the G2 caliper painting kit by Mike from the Work Play Drive YouTube channel. Check it out to see what G2 includes in this kit:

Unboxing starts @ 1:17

Mike also did a 6-month review of the G2 caliper painting kit. Check it out to see how G2 holds up in the long term. I think you’ll be genuinely impressed.

Review starts @ 1:18

Considering its price, quality, and reputation, G2 Painting System is the ideal kit for your next DIY project.

Pros

Fits: Universal.

11 different colors to choose from.
High-gloss colors give an attractive finish.
Heat & wear-resistant guarantee long-term durability
Easy and straightforward to use.

Cons

❌ Application process will take considerable time.

Best DIY Tesla Model 3 Caliper Paint on a Budget: POR-15 Caliper Paint

Though not as popular as G2, the POR-15 caliper painting kit has a few things going for it.

The kit sold on their website contains everything needed to get the job done, and you can purchase the paint separately on Amazon if you have the tools already.

Here’s what the kit includes:

  • 8oz POR-15 Cleaner Degreaser (to free the caliper of grease, dirt, or any other impurity)
  • 8oz POR-15 Metal Prep (to prepare the metal for painting)
  • 8oz POR-15 Rust Preventive (to keep metal from rusting in the long term)
  • 8oz POR-15 Caliper Paint (choose from 5 different colors)
  • Latex gloves
  • 2 paint applicators

This is where the POR-15 kit gets a step ahead of the G2 painting system—it offers more at a lower price.

Honestly, the metal prep and rust preventer caught my eye. I didn’t find any other kit that offers these extras. And at such an affordable price tag, it’s an absolute steal.

The only catch is the temperature resistance (300℉). It’s not too low, but if you’re intrigued by the idea of drifting or burnout, I suggest you opt-out of this kit.

Other than that, I struggled to find any negative experiences of Tesla owners with POR-15. It’s a good buy for sure.

Pros

Fits: Universal.

✅ Kit includes a degreaser, a metal prep, and a rust preventer.
✅ Highly affordable.
✅ It has a good reputation in the Tesla community.

Cons

❌ Limited color choices.
❌ Unsuitable for very high temperatures.

Other Products Needed for the Job

Vinyl Hi-Temp Tesla Decal

  • Recommended by many Tesla owners
  • Set of 6 vinyl decals (two as backups)
  • UV-proof and waterproof
  • High-temperature resistance

Spray Max High-Gloss Clearcoat Aerosol

  • #3 best seller in the Automotive Spray Paint category
  • Incredible 4.7 out of 5 stars rating with overall 3000+ reviews
  • Gives a long-lasting high-gloss finish
  • Excellent weather and chemical resistance

Teslarati Jack Stand for Model 3

  • Most practical jack stand for DIY projects
  • Solves the problem of lifting all 4 sides of the car at home
  • Great quality
  • Bears the vehicle’s weight for hours on end easily

Painting Your Model 3 Calipers at Home: DIY Tips & Tricks

Getting calipers professionally powder coated is the best but expensive. On the other hand, DIY is inexpensive and preferable for something that is hidden behind the wheel.

Indy3

I agree with this Tesla owner to some extent; however, it depends on your prreferences.

Some people just can’t compromise on quality even if that means paying a big sum to a professional. And that’s completely OK.

But for the Model 3 owner who plans to go the DIY route, I’ve compiled a quick guide below. It’ll help you get the job done quite conveniently.

Tools You Need to Do the Job:

  1. Brake calipers painting kit
  2. A pair of gloves
  3. Automotive masking tape
  4. Paper sheets
  5. Sandpaper (180 to 320 grit to sand down your calipers)
  6. Tesla lettering decals
  7. Brake cleaner
  8. Clear coat spray
  9. A Jack stand

The most in-depth DIY tutorial comes from the Tesla DIY YouTube channel:

1:16: Tools needed for the job | 3:20: Jack stand review | 5:25: Metal prep | 7:32: Masking process | 9:12: G2 painting system unboxing | 17:00: Painting process | 29:30: Final result

Key Tips:

  • Mask the surrounding area of the caliper properly. You don’t want paint slipping onto the rotor. It’ll harm the brakes.
  • Lift all 4 corners of the car at the same time. Once you’ve mixed the reactor with paint, you’ll only have 10 to 12 hours to get the job done. After that, the paint will harden to the point it’ll be rendered useless.
  • Clearcoat your calipers after the painting is done. It’ll give an overall solid feel to the calipers, and it’ll also improve the durability of the paint. 

Frequent Buyer Concerns

Can you paint Tesla brake calipers yourself?

You can paint Tesla brake calipers yourself with the right tools at hand. 

Though it isn’t a very straightforward process, if you know your way around the equipment, it should be a straightforward process.

How much does it cost to paint a Tesla caliper?

Most high-end workshops will easily charge you north of $1000. However, there are cheaper options (some as low as $300).

Shop around, and regardless of where you are, you should be able to find a shop that gets this done for you for less than $600.

If you decide to go the DIY route, you can easily get it all done with $100 bucks or less.

Does painting calipers void the warranty?

Painting your Model 3 calipers won’t void the warranty unless you somehow end up messing up your brakes while painting the calipers. 

For more details, you can check Motor1’s in-depth review of the Tesla warranty.

Can you paint the rotors too?

Though you can paint your rotors, you must leave the area where the brake pads make contact free of paint.

Painting this friction area can cause issues, including changing the friction level of your brakes and causing caliper damage.

Unless there’s noticeable rust in your brake rotors, painting them isn’t generally recommended.

Tesla Model 3 Caliper Paint Guide: Final Thoughts

Painting your Tesla Model 3 calipers will offer a great deal of style. It’s a minor upgrade that creates a lot of difference.

I hope the image examples above gave you an idea of what color will look sleek on your Model 3.

Find a local shop to help, send your calipers to a reputable company, or take up the DIY challenge. 

If you follow the YouTube tutorials above properly (and purchase a G2’s painting kit, which includes all the necessary tools), it should be easy.

Go for it, my friend. You can make it work. 

By Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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