Can You Paint Exhaust Pipes? [And How To Paint]

It’s not very uncommon to wind up with rusty and stained exhaust pipes, especially if you’re an adventurous jeep owner. So, people often enquire about whether can you paint exhaust pipes or not to protect them from rust and make them aesthetically more pleasing. It’s a common practice to paint exhaust pipes, and it can be beneficial too if you proceed the right way. 

So, in this article, I’ll talk about everything you need to know about painting exhaust pipes.


Can You Paint Exhaust Pipes?

You can paint exhaust pipes. In fact, they’re a very popular practice among vehicle owners. Even though everyone approaches painting their pipes differently, there’s always a standard procedure you can follow. 

For instance, the proper procedure and the elements you’re using are determinant factors. In addition, the surroundings and the preparations are of importance too. So, if you decide to do it, make sure you’re not taking any risks.


How To Paint Exhaust Pipes?

There are a few things to consider before, during, and after painting exhaust pipes. I’ve created a step-by-step procedure to help you go through it without any hassles. Take a look at the steps below. 


Step 1: Preparation

The preparation part is just as important as the painting part. Make sure to select an area with adequate ventilation. An open garage is one of the places you can consider. Ventilation reduces the chances of accidents. 

The next thing to do is sand the exhaust pipe. If you’re getting your exhaust pipe painted, there’s a high probability that it’s already covered in either rust or stain. 

So, use sandpaper to make it as smooth as possible. If your pipe is not rusty, you can skip this part. Sanding the pipe ensures that the paint is evenly distributed. 

Now, load a spray bottle with water and spray it on the pipe. Use a cloth to wipe the pipe. You’ll notice dirt coming off the pipe. However, that’s not the final step of your preparation. 

You also need to make sure that the pipe properly dries before you can coat it with paint. So, apply some isopropyl rubbing alcohol on some paper towels and use these to clean the pipe. Alcohol will make the pipe even cleaner and dry it quickly as the substance evaporates instantly. 

After you’ve dried the pipe, cover the areas of your jeep you don’t want to get paint on. You can use some masking tape and painter’s tape to do this part. In addition, keep something directly below the pipe to avoid getting paint on the floor. 

Another point to keep in mind is the environmental conditions. You want the temperature to be somewhere from 50 degrees F to 90 degrees F, whereas the humidity needs to be lower than 85%.


Step 2: Paint The Pipe 

If you want an additional layer of protection, you can primer the pipe. Remember to use a high-heat primer. Primers also help with better paint adhesion. 

Use high-heat spray paint for your exhaust pipe. The procedure may differ from paint to paint. Follow the instructions on the level to make sure that you’re using the right approach. 

However, I’ll tell you a standard procedure to paint with high-heat paints. First, you have to shake the can for about one minute vigorously. Make sure that the ball inside is rattling. Also, ensure that you shake the can in-between while spraying. 

Hold the can eight to ten inches away from the pipe. Use steady strokes to paint the whole pipe. The strokes should overlap slightly. Make sure you keep the can at a constant difference the whole time. 

High-heat paints are easy to apply even when you’re holding the can in a reverse direction. So, apply paint to the whole pipe without leaving any empty spots. 


Step 3: Drying And Recoating 

The drying time can vary, depending on the paint you’re using. Read the labels for instructions. If you’re not sure, allow the paint to dry for one hour before applying another coating over it. Then, allow it another one or two hours so that it can dry completely. 


Step 4: Curing

Curing the paint will make it last longer. The process is pretty easier. After you’ve let the second coating dry, you can start curing the paint. 

First, drive your jeep at idle for about ten minutes and allow it a 20-minute rest to cool down. Then, run it at idle for about twenty minutes and allow it to cool for about 20 minutes. The last step is to drive the jeep at normal operating conditions for about 30 minutes and then let it cool down.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use a primer before painting my exhaust pipe?

Primers are beneficial for better adhesion. In simpler terms, when you use a primer, the paint sits better and becomes comparatively more durable. So, if you want the paint to be longer-lasting, using a primer before applying the paint is a good idea.


How long do exhaust pipes last?

The durability of an exhaust pipe depends on its quality. If you have a high-quality exhaust pipe, you can expect it to last from ten to fifteen years.


What kind of paint should I use to paint exhaust pipes?

No matter what paint you’re choosing, it must be high-temperature paint. Ensure that it can withstand temperatures from 600 to 1000 degrees F. Using regular spray paint won’t be durable for your vehicle and come off pretty easily.


Final Words

Let’s come back to the original question. Can you paint exhaust pipes? Yes, you can. As long as you’re using high-quality and high-temperature spray paint, there’s no reason not to paint your exhaust pipe. 

However, I should let you know that painting the pipe isn’t a permanent solution. Whether you’re using the paint for aesthetic reasons or to prevent rust, you may have to do it again very soon. So, before you jump into painting the exhaust pipe, make sure that the expense is worth it. 

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