Painting engine components

  1. My model of MX-5 is: __2009 1.8
  2. I’m based near: __gkasgow
  3. I’m looking for technical help or recommendations on: __paintine engine bay components

I’ve noticed that many forum members have made a real effort to give their engine bay a bit of bling. I’m keen to do this, and was hoping for some advice. The engine is generally pretty clean, but very dull looking. I’ve decided to get the Davefab expansion tank as well as the wiper fluid bottle. However, I’d quite like to paint some of the other bits - specifically the engine cover, battery cover, and fusebox cover. Is this practical, and if so, what sort of paint should I use?


Unless your plastic covers are really abused you would probably get a better result just removing them and giving a good deep clean followed by aerospace 303 or similar plastic care product.

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Hi i used heat enamel paint you can get this from halfords and most car component companies just check the temperature that the paint can withstand

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I did this with the plastic cover.

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You’re right about cleaning, although the covers are actually in pretty good condition. I just feel it’s all a bit bland. I’d be doing this for entirely cosmetic effect rather than anything practical.

Thanks - will have a look at halfords this week.

That looks very good - can’t have been easy getting the ribs picked out in silver!

It was simple enough. Cleaned, scotchbrighted, primer then basecoat. Picked out the silver with a fine brush and then a couple of coats of lacquer. Same for the dipstick handle.

Must have been but bored that weekend…

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Your car :red_car: your choice :+1:t3::man_shrugging:

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As bally said, “My car, my choice”.

Very nice. Can I ask what type of paint you used?

Plastic primer
Std aerosol spray ( colour )
Clear lacquer


Just browsing the forum and noted in Glasgow_West’s OP that you are considering the DaveFab expansion tank and wiper fluid bottle. I have fitted their expansion tank which is excellent. Are you aware that (unless they have changed spec very recently) their wiper fluid bottle does not have the bracket for the aircon pipe and wiring loom which is on the original plastic bottle. If you don’t have aircon this may not be an issue and you could possibly find another way to support the loom but if you do have aircon then you will have a problem to solve in my opinion as I would not be comfortable leaving that pipe unanchored in some way. Just my opinion obviously.

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Yes, thanks - I had picked that up from one of the other threads so was going to email Davefab and ask them if they had changed the design to accommodate the Aircon. The bottle looks good, but I wouldn’t want to replace the OEM and then cause problems elsewhere.

My engine bay isn’t up to the standards of some shown here. But I’ve had good results on furry alloy components by using Raceglaze Alubright Metal Deoxidiser. It particularly brought my cam cover up a treat. (You need to be careful where it goes though, and make sure you rinse well).
For plastic covers, ducts etc I use Carpro Perl which gives a really nice finish, but you need to get the muck off first.
To clean the engine bay and get all the grime off everything, I use Bilt Hamber’s Surfex HD, diluted to 10%. Spray on, agitate with a detailing brush then rinse off with water from a watering can or v low pressure hose, being careful where it goes.