I am currently doing up a Mk1 VW Golf and I have reached the stage where I need to make a decision on my engine paint. It will be at shows so I want something nice (but not Chrome). Is there any way I can paint an engine with Matte Paint? If I can, how do I do it safely? Attached is a picture of the engine currently:VW Golf MK1 engine


The ultimate answer is "yes". You can paint it lime green with purple polka dots if you really wanted to. If you want to do it right and make it look good, you'll need to:

  • Pull the engine/transmission and separate them.
  • Clean the heck out of the entire assembly.
  • Remove or cover any parts which you do not want painted (such as accessories or intake/exhaust ports).
  • Clean the area to be painted with a product like Prep-All.
  • Spray paint the surfaces with a good high-temp primer. This can be a rattle can. Follow the directions on the can.
  • Spray paint the primered areas with a good high temp paint.
  • Let the paint completely dry before you re-install the components.

While the engine is out of the vehicle, clean all areas of the engine bay. Also consider repainting this area. If you do, you'll need to use some type of scuffing pad to paint on top of the old paint.

Also, the reason why you want to use a high temp paint is so in the areas around exhaust ports and such, the paint will not peel off. VHT is pretty good paint and I know it comes in flat black. It is usually used to paint headers and such, but you should have good luck with it here. There are also coatings you can use to "paint" your exhaust manifolds to make them look absolutely fabulous. Check a company which makes POR-15 and also another company called Eastwood for different versions of what I'm talking about.

  • Thanks very much. I think I'll pass on the lime green/polka dots design though :D Jul 23 '14 at 17:04
  • @Calvin_Medcalf ... Yes, the lime green/polka dot design does take a lot of extra prep work, but the outcome is well worth it ;-) Jul 23 '14 at 23:45

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