The location of shock springs exposes them to dust, mud, moisture, rust, and any other thing your car may pick up on the road. After a while, your shock springs are bound to get rusty, stained, scratched, and faded.
Paint can restore the finish of faded or rusted shock springs. Considering that shock springs aren’t your usual painting surface, you need to be very careful when painting them.
Not only is it possible for you to paint shock springs, but we will share tips that will guide you through this process and some of the things you need to avoid.
Table of Contents
- What Type of Paint Can I Use on Shock Springs?
- How to Paint Shock Springs?
- What Color Should I Spray Paint Shock Springs?
- Is Powder Coating Shock Springs Better than Painting?
- Are There Safety Concerns Associated with Painting Shock Springs?
- How Important is It for You to Use the Right Type of Paint?
- How Long Can Paint Last on Shock Springs?
- Should I Have My Shock Springs Painted by an Expert?
What Type of Paint Can I Use on Shock Springs?
To better understand the type of paint you should use on shock springs, you must familiarize yourself with what role this part plays. Shock springs aren’t the most complicated car part.
The shock springs in your car’s suspension allow the wheels to move up and down while reducing the impact felt. Because of what these springs undergo, you can’t use ordinary paint.
Conventional paint isn’t flexible enough to allow the movement of sock springs. If you use such kind of paint, it is highly likely to crack and start to peel after some time.
There are many types of paint that you can use on shock springs. Here are some examples;
1. Rust-oleum Spray Paint
This is one of the best types of paints to use on your shock springs. Shock springs are usually vulnerable to rust because of their exposure to moisture, water, and road salt.
Thanks to its corrosion-resistant properties, Rust-oleum spray paint can prevent that from happening.
On shock springs, Rust-oleum should last for a significantly longer time. Provided you clean up the shock springs well, you shouldn’t have trouble with this paint holding up.
You will be glad to know that Rust-oleum is more durable than ordinary paint. It rarely chips, and if it does, you probably messed up the preparation. During prep work, ensure that you sand the shock spring thoroughly.
If you want a quick and easy fix for your rusty and faded shock springs, you should consider Duplicolor. This paint is packed in a spray can for easy use.
It dries fast and is available in many colors. Duplicolor should hold onto your shock springs for some time, considering that it’s a flexible rubberized coating.
3. RC Bodyshell Spray Paint
This is more of a DIY hack. The reason why it’s on our list is that it is very effective on flexible bodies. RC cars are built with flexible polycarbonate bodies.
Paint formulated for bodies features room for flexibility, which can be great for shock springs. It may not have the corrosion resistance properties of Rust-oleum, but it can hold on for much longer than ordinary spray paint.
So, if you have some RC bodyshell spray paint lying around, you can use it on your shock springs.
How to Paint Shock Springs?
After settling down on the ideal paint, the next step is to apply it to the shock springs. Painting shock springs is a fairly easy process requiring no special skills or knowledge. Let’s go through the steps involved.
1. Removal of the old paint
The first and most important step is to remove old paint. If you apply new paint over old paint, you may run into adhesion issues. To remove old paint, you can use a paint stripper.
Dip the shock spring in a bucket full of paint stripper. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing off any remaining paint with a hard thistle brush. You can soak it once more to ensure the old paint is fully removed.
After confirming that the shock spring is paint-free, you should clean it thoroughly. Mineral spirits can do a great job of removing any stains or dirt on the surface of your springs.
Also, if there is some rust on the metal, you should use a rust remover. Never paint over rust. Doing that often results in peeling. Before painting, you should let the shock springs dry.
3. Apply primer
Primer is crucial if you want the paint to hold on for longer. Primer promotes adhesion by creating a conducive surface for the paint to hold on to. Don’t skip the primer application step.
You can apply at least three layers of primer for better adhesion and a smoother finish. Give each coat at least ten minutes to dry.
4. Spray your ideal paint
With a primer on the surface of your shock springs, the paint should bond better. Remember, we said that the best paint for shock springs should be flexible.
Ensure that the paint you buy for this project contains such a feature. Spray at least three coats of paint. If interested, you can add a layer of clear coat for enhanced protection.
Give the shock springs enough time to dry before re-installing them back in your car. The paint can easily come off during re-installation. So, make sure you are as gentle as possible.
What Color Should I Spray Paint Shock Springs?
When it comes to a car’s suspension, most parts are usually painted black. This is because it is a neutral color and doesn’t show signs of wear easily. However, blue, red, and yellow are great color choices for your shock springs.
Red, in particular, looks very fancy and adds drama to your overall car aesthetics. It’s entirely up to you to choose what color deserves to be on your shock springs.
Is Powder Coating Shock Springs Better than Painting?
As you research how to paint shock springs, you will likely come across powder coating as an alternative. This is a dry coating that is popularly used as a metal finish. Compared to painting, powder coating has numerous advantages.
First, powder coating is very durable. Did you know that a powder coat finish on shock springs can last up to twenty years? That means throughout the ownership of your vehicle, you will only powder coat the shock springs once.
Powder coat is available in many colors. That’s a similarity it shares with paint. It can withstand extreme conditions, which is perfect considering the environment shock springs are exposed to.
The biggest drawback to powder coating shock springs is the cost. Compared to painting, powder coating is way more expensive.
If you are on a budget, we would advise you to go ahead and paint shock springs. Not only is this option more affordable, but you can do it yourself.
Are There Safety Concerns Associated with Painting Shock Springs?
As long as the shock structure isn’t altered, you have nothing to worry about. Painting only changes the finish on the surface of the spring shocks.
The structure stays the same, and even if you use paint that isn’t flexible, the shock will still perform as it usually does. Only the paint will crack, but nothing will happen to the shock spring.
If this is something that you are planning to do, you don’t have to be afraid of damaging the shock because that won’t likely happen.
How Important is It for You to Use the Right Type of Paint?
You need to use the right type of paint. Shock springs move up and down from time to time. When you use the wrong paint, it won’t accommodate these movements.
After a while, paint that dries into a stiff substance will yield to the pressure and crack. You will have wasted your time and effort, something that could have been avoided if you had used flexible paint.
How Long Can Paint Last on Shock Springs?
Out of the many parts on a car, the shock springs usually face it rough because of where they are positioned.
Shock springs get exposed to dirt, mud, road salt, water, and plenty of other things. When you paint your shock springs, these things can ruin your paint job.
Paint, as long as it is flexible and applied correctly on an adequately prepared surface, should last for two years. If your car is constantly exposed to these elements, it will last for a much shorter period.
When you use Rust-oleum, the paint can last for much longer, around two to three years.
Should I Have My Shock Springs Painted by an Expert?
That depends on how busy you are or if you are a DIY kind of person. From the above guide on painting shock springs, you can see how easy this process is.
If you have the time, you can head over to an auto store near you, grab some flexible paint, remove the shock springs, and paint them.
Regarding this process, the only challenge you may face is removing the shock springs. You can use this guide if you have never removed shock springs before.
Anyway, if this seems like a lot of work, you can always take your car to an expert technician and have them remove the shock springs and paint them for you.
They will use the steps described above, and you may spend a little more on the labor fees.