Tips for Painting Motorcycle Exhaust Pipes

A motorcycle exhaust.

It can be a bit tricky to paint motorcycle exhaust pipes because of the high temperature they endure. Many times people see bubbles and chips on their paint job. The easiest way to avoid this is to get paint that can withstand high temperatures, such as paint used on grills. If you use other types of paint then they will warp and you will be painting your exhaust system frequently.

Make Your Exhaust Look Great

It is desirable to paint the exhaust because, even though it looks great when it is new, the exhaust will eventually corrode and rust which does not look good. The easiest way to do this is by actually removing the exhaust system though this is not necessary.


You will need to thoroughly clean the exhaust before painting it. This includes removing grease and dirt. A grease remover can also make this job easier. If necessary you can scrub the exhaust with a wire brush. When you use the paint thinner you should wear gloves. The thinner is used to wipe down the final surface to remove the small pieces of dust. You may need to cover areas of the bike with tape or newspaper so you only end up painting the exhaust. To help the paint adhere to the surface you want to scour it with sandpaper.


You specifically want paint that is heat resistant. The best places to look are at auto part stores or online. You can even find this paint in spray cans which makes the application that much easier. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area and wearing the proper protection when applying the paint. It is necessary to apply several coats and you want each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. You can use several types of paint, just like painting a car. Apply a base coat and then a clear coat. All paint coats should be high temperature paint. A great splurge is high-heat ceramic coating as this provides a great finish.


In order to cure the paint you want to warm up and cool down your exhaust. So start your motorcycle for 15 minutes, then turn it off and allow it to cool down. Turn the bike on again for 30 minutes. By doing this you are slowly warming up the exhaust which causes the paint to cure. It is best to use a heat wrap or header on the first six inches of the exhaust as the closer you are to the engine the easier the paint will peel. At a close distance it will be sure to peel and the wrapping is aesthetically more pleasing.

A Few Tips

You can make the job a lot easier if you are completely prepared beforehand. Have all of your materials on hand and make sure you have the appropriate protective equipment. It is best to actually have had some experience removing the exhaust though there are detailed descriptions available on how to do this. This does take some time because you will apply multiple coats that need to fully dry. Make sure you set aside enough time to start and finish it.

It may not be the easiest project, but it is worthwhile! Enjoy your newly painted exhaust pipes.