Many people that rebuild engines wait until the engine is assembled to paint the outside of the engine. This is done to minimize the amount of work required, but it results in the gaskets being covered in paint while areas under the various bolts remain unprotected. We wanted a cleaner look, so we opted to paint all of the components individually; masking off the mating surfaces before we sprayed.
We started prepping the Chevy Engine Orange paint (a ceramic base paint from Eastwood that is incredibly hard) by mixing it with a urethane activator in a 4:1 ratio (this is a 2K paint). We then attempted to use the same spray bottles that we used when painting the cylinder heads but it was going on too slow, so we switched to the Harbor Freight HVLP detail gun and things went smoothly after that.
At the “tack” stage, we removed the masking and hole plugs because if they were left in until after the paint hardened, the removal could have chipped the masked paint edges (the cured paint is THAT hard).
Everything is looking great! Next up, we start the engine assembly process. It’s going to be fun to start putting all the new rotating parts in this beautiful looking engine block. Come back soon to check on our process.