Painting Valve Cover - Team Integra Forums - Team Integra
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Painting Valve Cover

Posted 11-06-2002 at 12:00 AM by Jacksont001

This is an article covering my modification, stripping and painting of a b16a head cover. The standard disclaimer blurb applies: be careful and wear/use the proper protection

Tools and equipment needed:[*]Valve cover[*]Paint remover[*]Large and small steel brushes[*]Newspaper/rags[*]Paint[*]Hose, detergent[*]Cloth backed sandpaper (various grit)[/list] Safety:[*]Chemical gloves[*]Eye protection[*]Wear old clothes (trust me on this one)[/list] Optional:[*]Dremel tool with small wire wheel, cartridge rolls, and polishing tips[*]Variable speed drill with large wire wheel.[*]Small orbital sander[*]Steel wool (various grit)[*]Polishing compound[*]New valve cover gasket (1)[*]New spark plug O-Ring gaskets (4)[/list] Time:[*]30 minutes for paint stripping[*]2 min to 3 hrs for sanding/polishing based on desired result[*]30 min plus cure time of 24 hours for painting[/list]
The cover I received was pretty beat up. The paint was chipped in various places, there was blue spray paint, and there were a few gouges in the raised lettering. The Honda H was the worst hit as it had two big gouges out of it, almost to the base. Since there was no way to fix it I decided to grind it down.


I used my Dremel and an assortment of bits until I finally settled on an 80-grit cartridge roll. I recommend using a 120-grit as well for the last mm of metal. It will make feathering out the grind markings much easier. Being the first time I did something of this nature, I made some scoring a little deeper than anticipated. With practice comes experience…

As you can see there is an abundance of aluminum shavings, remember your eye protection!!

Being satisfied with my initial foray in metalworking, it was time for the stripper. I used aircraft remover (actual name) this is what the can looked like. Remove any rubber parts you want to keep. This means the o-rings, gasket and any mounting bolt plastic washers still stuck to the head. Follow the directions. Keep it off of anything you like to keep… skin included.

I applied a GENEROUS amount paying particular attention to the crevasse between the cylinder head and the timing belt cover, since it is hard to get a sanding tool in there afterwards. After 2 minutes the paint literally boiled off, as you can see in the pics. Some paint might take another shot. Use a plastic scraper, a putty knife is perfect for the job.


Remove the loose paint. It will just wipe off. Be careful though because the stuff can still burn you. Don't throw it into a plastic bag, it will melt immediately. Put in a paper bag and then put the paper bag into a plastic one. Throw away the newspaper, paper towels etc.


Now turn on the hose and spray the stuff off. Be careful of splatter or splash back. If you end up splattering a diluted version on a painted surface it will oxidize immediately. Bye Bye clear coat!

If any paint is left stuck to the metal, it will flake right off with the steel brush. As you will see the metal has a rough finish from the sand casting process. Also, the stripper will give the metal a blue tint. The freshly sanded stuff is still shiny.

You have a few options from this point, but I will summarize. Surface prep concerns - well there should be no oils on the surface, so if you put a greasy print on it you need to get it off. Simplest way is to use some detergent and rinse with plenty of water. Once it is dry you are ready for the next step Now you can go ahead and paint, but you will not have the smooth glossy look if you wanted it, due to the rough texture. As you will see from my pictures I smoothed the surface out and then painted. Go grab yourself some sandpaper. The best to get is the fabric backed type. It lasts much longer IMHO but costs more. Get 80, 120, and 180 grit and a small piece of wood. Start with the rough stuff and give it a good once over then work your way to the 180 grit. Also hit any paint remaining with a wire brush to take it off. Don't forget the wire cover! Clean it up, lightly sand it ( I used 600 grit) so the paint can stick to it.

Note: If you want to polish your cover you could do this to 600 grit, then work to steel wool, and then polishing compound.

Tape off any areas you don't want paint on. Trust me it is easier to cut masking tape then to re-sand. the easiest way would be to use petroleum jelly since the paint will not stick to it. Note of caution- using a petroleum product might cause the paint to peel at the edges when exposed to high temps. noone has reported this yet but it is a possibility. Plug up the bolt-holes with newspaper or something like it. Removing paint from a threaded hole is a pain in the ass!

The paint you use should be at least hi-temp paint (500 degrees F) the best would be ceramic paint (1500 degrees!!), but I have only seen it in aluminum and matte black. luckily there are a lot more colors in the 1200 degree paints, so check out the links to the color pages at the bottom. I went with Plasti-cote Ford Red and chrome paint for the wire cover. What you go with is up to you…show us your skills!

Some After thoughts:
Primers- need to resist high temps. If you use a primer go with an epoxy primer like 151. They are tough as hell! The important thing to remember when using epoxy primers is to apply the paint as soon as the primer is tacky. This will case the paint to chemically bond to the primer, and epoxy cures without air. Do it right and it will literally outlast your car! most of the paints I linked to don't require primer, but if you want to have an exotic paint job you will have to.

Replace the valve cover gasket and o-rings as necessary. they do get old and dry out. Use honda-bond and put a little dab in each corner and 90 angle to keep the gasket in place. This will ensure it doesn't squeeze out and distort. when re-fastening your valve cover the bolts are 7 FOOT pounds, so don't overtighten them. They only need to pull the cover against the head and seal the gasket.

Resources for Paint:


Engine Enamel[*]Notes - Resists Temperatures up to 500°F(260°C). Chemically Bonds to Metal (no primer needed). Will not Burn Off, Chip or Peel. Gasoline Resistant. Oil Resistant[*]Colors Page: See Colors[*]Sample Can Pic: See Can

Hi-Temp Paint[*]Notes - Resists Temperatures up to 1500°F. Forms a Hard, Lasting Finish that will not Burn Off, Chip or Peel Ideal for use on Headers, Exhaust Manifolds, or any Surface Exposed to Very High Heat[*]Colors page: See Colors[*]Sample Can Pic: See Can

Wrinkle Paint[*]Notes - A Fast-Drying, Black Textured Finish (not sure what temp rating it has). Perfect for Air Cleaners and Valve Covers. For Use on Metal or Wood (needs primer)[*]Colors: 217 black only[*]Sample Can Pic: See Can

VHT high-temp paints Website / Contact

VHT Wrinkle Plus[*]Notes - VHT WRINKLE PLUS COATING is formulated and designed to provide a textured finish, while withstanding temperatures up to 350°F. VHT Wrinkle Plus resists color fading, grease, degreasers, rust chipping, cracking and severe weather conditions.[*]Colors - Comes in Black (SP-201), Red (SP-204), and Gray (SP-205)[*]Sample Can pic: See Can

Dupli-Color*Website*/*Sales Locations

Dupli-Color® Engine Enamel with Ceramic[*]Notes - Resists temperatures up to 500 degrees F. Durable ceramic formulation. Superior high gloss finishes. Oil and gas resistant. Will not blister, flake, crack or peel[*]Colors Page: See Colors[*]Sample Can pic: See Can

Dupli-Color® High Heat Paint with Ceramic[*]Notes - Resists temperatures up to 1200 degrees F, intermittently. Durable ceramic formulation. Tough cured finish resists oil, gas grease, rust, salt, humidity, and solvents[*]Colors Page: See Colors[*]Sample Can pic: See Can

METALCAST[*]Notes - formulated to resist intermittent heat up to 500 degrees F, as well as resistance to oil, gas, scuffing, chipping and fading[*]Colors: MC-200 Red , MC-201 Blue ,MC-202 Yellow ,MC-100 Ground Coat[*]Sample Can pic: See Can[*]Color Used on a VTEC Head: See Picture
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  1. Old Comment
    bmarksb18's Avatar
    Great breakdown, I'm definitely going to do this
    Posted 03-23-2012 at 04:21 PM by bmarksb18 bmarksb18 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Teg.Time's Avatar
    Pics are down.
    Posted 07-25-2012 at 10:37 PM by Teg.Time Teg.Time is offline
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