Wrench Tips – Tip #13: Painting around brake lines
I used to think masking brake lines with tape was the only way to paint around them. This inevitably sucks not only because the tape blocks the paint so it can’t get through to the firewall behind it, but it also is an incredible pain in the ass to remove. Somehow tape that’s specifically designed to peel off walls and body panels easily becomes as tenacious as hot duct tape when it touches a brake line.
Turns out there’s an easier way. Pop the lines out of their holders (or better yet, pop their holders off the firewall) pull them an inch or two off the sheet metal, and protect them with a chunk of cardboard.
You can reach up under the cardboard and squirt some paint. Then, when it’s dry, try again from above, catching the gaps the first squirt left.
This method works best with textured paint, like undercoating or truck bed liner, or at least with a flat finish. It’s nearly impossible to get the kind of even coverage gloss paint requires, but seriously, if you need a perfect glossy finish behind your brake lines, you really need to examine your priorities.
Got any tips of your own? email them to firstname.lastname@example.org!