VHT Engine Paint Review – The Best Engine Paint in 2023
While most car engines come in nice and alluring gloss when new, they gradually (or rapidly) lose that luster as you use them.
Interestingly, not only does engine painting create a better aesthetic look for ‘your baby’ (your car in this caseJ), but it also prevents corrosion and rust.
In addition to that, some engine paints (especially the darker colors) bring about better heat dissipation, allowing the engine to cool off much more rapidly. Awesome? Right!
Regardless of your motivation to beautify your car engine, you need to ensure you use the best engine paint. However, this is not the easiest of tasks, as there are loads of options to choose from.
You need not worry anyway. This VHT engine paint review is here to make your decision-making process more straightforward and spot on.
What You Should Know
VHT engine paint is one of the most popular engine enamels with superior durability and excellent finish.
Features of VHT SP145 Engine Enamel Gloss Clear Can - 11 oz.
- Brand: VHT
- Item Weight: 10.9 ounces
- Exterior: Glossy finish
- Item Model Number: SP145
Find out more about this paint here.
Features of VHT SP403 Engine Metallic Titanium Silver Blue Paint Can - 11 oz.
- Brand: VHT
- Item Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Item Model Number: SP403
Find out more about this product on this website.
Features of VERY HIGH TEMPERATURE VHT Engine Enamel SP139 GM Satin Black 11 oz Spray
- Brand: VHT
- Item Weight: 14.6 ounces
- Exterior: Smooth
- Item Model Number: SP139
Features of VHT SP148 Engine Enamel Light Gray Primer Can - 11 oz.
Item Weight:Item Model Number: SP148
Find out more about the product here.
Top Pick Section
Best Overall - VHT SP145 Engine Enamel Gloss Clear Can - 11 oz.
With its perfect composition blend, this paint is easy to apply and provides an excellent overall performance
Best for Durability - VHT SP403 Engine Metallic Titanium Silver Blue Paint Can - 11 oz.
VHT SP043 looks great and lasts really well. It is formulated to resist corrosion and other harsh weather conditions.
Best for Budget - VERY HIGH TEMPERATURE VHT Engine Enamel SP139 GM Satin Black 11 oz SprayThis product comes at a super affordable price and with features that make it effective.
Reviews of VHT Engine Paint
1. VHT SP145 Engine Enamel Gloss Clear Can - 11 oz.
SP145 is unarguably the best VHT paint around, especially for high heat application.
With its brilliant color and bright shine in the sunlight, you can make your engine look great and eye-catching again.
But is it easy to apply? YES!
The application is seamless, and the overall result looks incredible. I've used other paints in the past that required complicated techniques to come out great. But this VHT paint was pretty easy to use.
While some paints have poor coverage, VHT SP145 dries in about no time. In fact, it dries to touch within thirty minutes.
Also, this engine paint sprays nicely. Although the manufacturer suggests two (light) coats followed by a medium coat - with ten minutes intervals between coats, I recommend that you apply all coats within one hour. You might have to wait for seven days for it to cure properly if any additional coat is added after sixty minutes.
Any downside? Yeah, there are a few of them.
The painting takes several light coats as opposed to the manufacturer’s instruction that specifies one thick coat top-off. Also, the paint is not returnable.
However, considering its great features and smooth application, I call this product the ‘perfect paint’ for a ‘perfect job.’
2. VHT SP403 Engine Metallic Titanium Silver Blue Paint Can - 11 oz.
VHT SP403 is a high-performance painting system for quality and ultimate protection. And not only does it look great, but it also lasts really well.
This product is a great blend of ceramic resins and urethane, which gives a lasting and sparkling finish. It is formulated to withstand rust, corrosion, chemicals, salt spray, degreasers, and temperatures of about 650 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, this engine paint’s color is fantastic and with some metallic quality. Although its price is slightly on the high side (compared to other products in this review), it covers really well, is durable, and pretty easy to use.
Any downside? Yes, there are.
There’s often a color mismatch, and the nozzles get clogged. Nevertheless, the nozzle spray pattern is impressive and lays on spray fine.
However, I advise you to read on how to cure VHT engine paint consistently to maximize its durability. If you rely on your engine parts to heat it to cure, you might end up with a mess.
Overall, this product is good, durable, and resistant to harsh conditions so long as you prep the surface properly after curing.
3. VERY HIGH TEMPERATURE VHT Engine Enamel SP139 GM Satin Black 11 oz Spray
VHT SP139 engine paint works well and has an excellent quality as well as a high-end spray nozzle can.
This engine enamel can withstand heat up to 288 degrees Celsius. It is a perfect mix of resins plus urethane and gives a tough, lasting result for engines and engine accessories.
Interestingly, this product comes at a really affordable price without trading its quality.
The coating products come with engine primer, surface prep, engine metallic, and engine clear. Plus, all its colors have outstanding durability and superb chemical and heat resistance.
Like other products in the VHT paint reviews, VHT SP139 dries to touch in 30 minutes. In fact, it dries completely overnight.
This paint is also easy to use, and the color comes out fine.
However, VHT SP139 requires several coats, and the coverage is far from satisfactory. Also, this product is hazardous. Therefore, it can’t be shipped by air or outside the US.
4. VHT SP148 Engine Enamel Light Gray Primer Can - 11 oz.
Attention all gearheads and car enthusiasts! Are you tired of using subpar engine primers that can't hack the heat and pressure of your beloved ride? Say goodbye to those sorry excuses for paint and hello to the one and only VHT SP148 Engine Enamel Light Gray Primer!
This 11 oz can of pure awesomeness will transform your engine from a drab and dreary disappointment to a flashy and fabulous showstopper. The light gray color might sound bland, but it's actually the perfect shade to make your engine pop without being too over-the-top. Plus, it'll match with any car color you've got going on.
But the real cherry on top of this primer sundae is its durability. Unlike those other primers that can't handle the rigors of an engine bay, VHT SP148 was specifically designed to withstand the heat and pressure of a motor. So go ahead and rev your engine, because this primer can handle it.
And the smoothness of this stuff is out of this world. It goes on like a dream and dries to a perfect finish. No drips, no mess. Just a flawless coat of protection for your engine.
So if you want a primer that's tough, stylish, and easy to work with, VHT SP148 Engine Enamel Light Gray Primer is a great choice.
Any downside? Alright, so let's be real here. No product is perfect and the VHT SP148 Engine Enamel Light Gray Primer is no exception.
This primer might not work for all engines.
Another thing to consider is that this primer isn't a full-blown rust inhibitor. It's got some rust-inhibiting properties, but it might not provide as much protection against rust as a dedicated rust-inhibiting primer.
Things to Consider When Buying VHT Engine Paint
When choosing the best VHT engine paint colors, these four factors are what you should consider.
Engine paints often have an impact on the environment as per their chemical composition.
While most paints have a fairly similar base composition, the difference comes in terms of the additives.
They usually come with additional stabilizers to ensure a perfect color mixture. Also, some contain more heat-resistant components to improve the heat resistance, depending on your choice.
Although some brands come with unpleasant (oil-based) compounds, VHT is water-based and environmentally friendly, making them an optimum choice.
Engine paints come either as sprays (for easy application) or as roll-on liquids in regular paint cans.
While sprays are quicker and easier to use, roll-on paints’ application takes longer and requires more care. However, paint in cans offers better coverage.
For spray paints, you’ll likely need two cans or more. Just shake for one minute and spray upside down or sideways, depending on the nozzles.
Whereas, for a brush on engine paint, I’d recommend that you apply with a pad or roller (not a brush) to prevent unnecessary marks. Also, you should read the preparation and application guidelines carefully.
Most paints can withstand the heat of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while others can withstand much more, up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The chances are that your car will not produce anything near 20000F, though. Therefore, buying engine paints with such super-high heat resistance isn’t necessary, although it is a plus.
Engine paints come with painting and drying times that should be adhered to. This ensures proper bonding of layers and helps to determine accurate paint cure time to improve surface durability.
While some paints dry quickly (within 30 minutes), others may take a couple of days. Therefore, I’d advise that you check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the chosen VHT paint meets your desired requirements.
Benefits of Engine Enamel Paint
Most car owners go for enamel paints for these four reasons.
Engine enamel paints have super-high heat resistance, so they can usually withstand extreme temperatures. They are able to maintain their color and texture at temperatures where other regular metal paints would start to deteriorate.
However, I’d advise you only use these paints on surfaces whose temperatures don’t exceed the paints’ heat threshold.
These paints not only give you the chance to choose your desired engine block color, but you can also choose your desired finish as well.
Although most enamel paintings work wonders and come out glossy and eye-catching, matte formulations are available too.
Just what you’ve been looking for, right?
Another reason why vehicle owners use enamel paints is to make the engine rust-resistant. Since the paints don’t contain iron parts, they act as a barrier to the engine’s rust agents in question.
A well-prepped and painted engine doesn’t rust, and that’s great news for people in the humid region, where rust is more common.
Restoring your baby’s natural shine and gloss adds that extra WOW factor which often impacts its resale value. Should you want to trade your car, painting its engine with an eye-catching color is an effective value-boosting strategy.
Top Brands of Engine Paint
Very High Temperature (VHT) is a well-known and trusted brand that has been around for about 50 years.
The company manufactures four kinds of heat-resistant paints. These paints are flame-proof and can survive temperatures of up to 2000OF.
Their products were originally made for drag racers to reduce air resistance. However, they are sold in various quality and colored formulations for automotive use.
Dupli-Color is one of the leading enamel brands and has been around for over 80 years. With their easy-to-use and long-lasting formulations, they are firm favorites among automotive folks.
Their paints work fine on heavy-duty trucks as well as passenger cars. They produce more than 60 different products and metallic coatings to serve that preferred extra gloss.
Rust-Oleum has been around since 1921. This brand is one of the leading paints and coatings manufacturers for the engine and home use.
Their products are known for superb anti-rust properties and great paints for household and kitchen appliances.
How to Use Engine Paints Effectively?
Clean your engine
Before applying the engine paint, wipe down the engine to get rid of dirt and particles. I’d advise you to sand the engine thoroughly using a wire brush as this removes old paint and debris.
Plus, before painting, clean the engine using a water-based degreaser to remove chemicals as well as oil.
Start with high heat enamel paint
Begin painting with high heat enamel to ensure uniformity in top color coating and maximum corrosion resistance.
If you’re using spray applicators, apply the paint using long, sweeping motions. Also, I’d advise that you apply two coats to get the best finish.
Top your work
Apply two more coats, followed by a medium wet coat. Note that fewer thinner coats give a more high-quality finish than heavy coats.
You can then top it up with a clear coat. This helps to seal in everything and keep it looking smooth.
Wear a mask
Remember to wear a face mask applying engine enamel paints. Also, ensure that you work in a well-ventilated area, as this protects your lungs from any inherent harmful chemicals in the paint.
How Do I Prepare My Engine For Painting?
You will most likely want to paint your automobile engine block, especially when rebuilding. This process serves to protect the engine from rust and corrosion as well as clean and make it look attractive.
Engine block painting is best done with the engine completely disassembled.
Did you ask, ‘why’? Right, I’ll tell you.
Painting the engine block with the hoses, cylinder heads, belt-driven components, and intake attached causes improper cleaning as well as overspray.
Improper block cleaning could, in turn, cause the paint to peel in no time due to poor adhesion.
To avoid these issues, you can successfully prepare your engine in these steps;
Disassemble the engine block
Remove the bolt-on parts from your engine
This step includes taking the power steering pump, pulleys, water pump, and air intake manifold off. Also, remove the timing cover, the cylinder heads, and other remaining bolt-on components.
Remove the crankshafts as well as the pistons
Unbolt and remove connecting rods and pistons from the crankshaft. Then, remove these parts from the engine.
Take the main bearing caps off, and then remove the crankshaft from the engine block.
Completely drain the engine fluids
Turn the engine on and let out all the fluids till they stop. Then, force out the remaining fluids using compressed air.
Wipe loose oil with a rag, then scrape off dirt using a scraper or wire brush.
Degrease the automotive engine
Your engine should be free from oils, grease, and all forms of dirt. The paint won’t adhere to the metals properly if any oil is left on them.
Spray your engine using an aerosol degreaser
Coat your engine with a degreaser spray. Let it soak according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Rinse the engine completely with clean water
Spray the engine with a garden hose or pressure washer to get rid of the degreaser spray completely.
Get rid of water
After rinsing the engine, blow off water from the engine water an air compressor. This is necessary because the remaining water could cause corrosion, mostly if the engine block has cast iron.
Check for oil or grease
The next step is to confirm that you’ve gotten rid of all the grease and oil from your engine’s exterior. If there are any spots of grease or oil remaining, apply the degrease spray again. Then rinse with water.
Mask the internal engine components
Cover the large areas using newspaper
Cover areas that should not be painted (e.g., the cylinder head mounting surfaces) with a newspaper.
For more strength, use double layers to cover these surfaces and tape the edge of the paper.
Cover the bolt holes and studs
Insert old bolts or a small tape piece to prevent your paint from getting to the threads. In the same manner, wrap the manifold studs using masking tape.
Recheck the engine
Check over the entire engine to ensure you can’t see any openings. Should you spot any, cover with tape or newspaper.
Clean the old and loose paint from the engine’s surface
For the paint to adhere to the engine block properly, you need to get rid of any already loose paint or may come loose soon.
- Fill your media blaster’s hopper
- Turn the compressor on and attach the media blaster
- Use the media blaster on your engine
- Apply vinegar on the engine
- Blow the engine surface dry using an air compressor
Painting an Engine with VHT Engine Enamel - Restoration of 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus
VHT Engine Paint (FAQs)
1. Does VHT engine paint need primer?
VHT engine paint doesn’t need any primer if the surface is adequately prepared. VHT paints are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, high temperatures, corrosion, and rust.
This makes them perfect for engine protection; hence they don’t require a primer.
2. How long does VHT paint last?
VHT paint is a high-quality coating. As such, it can be expected to last for 4 – 8 years.
3. Who makes the best engine paint?
No doubts, VHT makes one of the best engine paints. Other well-known and reliable paint brands are Rust-Oleum and Dupli-Color.
4. Do you have to cure VHT Paint?
Yes, you have to cure VHT paint. VHT paints require baking-style curing.
5. What is the best engine enamel?
The best engine enamels are VHT, Rust-Oleum, Dupli-Color, POR 15, and Valspar.
6. Why are engines painted black?
Black objects emit more radiant energy per time. So painting an engine black makes it cool much faster than non-black engines.
Final Words & Recommendation
Your car is about the most valuable asset you own (apart from your home). Thankfully, the products in this VHT engine paint review are durable options that will brighten your car engines with the smooth and glossy finish you desire.
My top pick from these options is the VHT SP145 Engine Enamel Gloss Clear Can - 11 oz. This is an affordable and effective paint that doesn’t peel, crack, blister or flake. Not only does this paint dry very quickly, but it is also durable and has good coverage.
The fact that VHT SP145 comes in several unique colors makes it a popular option among automotive enthusiasts.
Wanna get this effective and affordable product? Click here!