Is Engine Enamel Waterproof?

Engine paint needs to be heat- and water-resistant in order to last. Are you looking for the best engine paint for your vehicle? Are you wondering if engine enamel is waterproof? We've done research on these topics, so let's have a look at the details.

Engine enamel paint is waterproof once it dries after application. You should wait for your engine to cool down before applying the paint to ensure your safety while working.

You should clean the vehicle engine entirely and remove any dust particles before applying the paint to achieve the best results.

Choosing the best paint for the car's engine is a prime decision. You want to use the best engine paint for your investment. We will tackle all the vital things you need to learn about enamel paint for your engine, so keep reading.

What Is Enamel Paint?

Hand in a glove holds a spray paint

Enamel paint is waterproof and heat-resistant. It dries to a glossy, washable, and hard finish on surfaces. It will last if applied correctly. The paint hardens once it dries, giving you an attractive, durable surface.

Engine enamel paint is an oil-based paint with a significant amount of gloss. Water-based paints and latex paints are also available.

Different types of enamel paints are suited to different surfaces, but high-temperature enamel paints are best for engines.

What Kind Of Paint Should Be Used On An Engine?

Stand with different paints in a bodyshop of car repair station

Engine paint should be able to resist and withstand extremely high temperatures. The paint should also be able to resist oil, gas, and other chemicals. Enamel paint is the the most commonly used type of engine paint.

An ideal engine paint should have these characteristics:

Gloss Retention

Glossy paints are the perfect finish and are great for color retention, suited to give an aesthetic look to your engine. Enamel paint has these characteristics.

Heat Resistance

Enamel paints are heat resistant and can resist up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Ceramic paints are proven effective in high temperatures for exhaust and headers.

Chipping And Flaking Resistance

An ideal engine paint should be able to resist corrosion and rust, especially if you live in a hot, humid region.

Enamel paints are considered the best for your vehicle engine and the protection of the car engine.

How To Remove Old Paint From Engine Block

Car's engine was removed from the car to be cleaned

Before applying new paint to your engine, make sure it is clean and paint-free. If there is old paint on it, you need to remove it first. Here are the steps on how to remove old paint from an engine block:

  • Get a paint stripper or remover gel to remove the old paint from the car engine block. Using an auto stripper or a paint remover gel will make your job easier in removing the old paint. You can also use sandpaper. 

Check out this paint remover on Amazon.

  • Grab hand gloves before working on the project for safety and sanitation purposes.
  • Work in an open space to move freely and avoid staining furniture.
  • Get a cup and paintbrush. Pour the remover or auto stripper into the cup for easier access.
  • Lay down cartons or newspapers to catch paint stripper or remover gel drips.
  • Spray on the spots you want to remove old paint. Brush the paint off and pour solvent or water to clean the parts. The enamel for your repainting project won't look smooth if specks of old engine paint are left.
  • Thoroughly sand the vehicle engine using a wire brush to remove debris and old paint.
  • Continue brushing and cleaning until all the paint on the engine block is gone.

Check out this video for more details on stripping paint off an engine block.

How To Remove Rust From Engine Block

Steps to remove rust from engine block

You should remove any rust before painting your engine block. Here is the procedure for removing engine rust:

  • Grab a bucket half-filled with hot water.
  • Thoroughly clean the engine block using a wire brush.
  • Use a wire cup attachment to remove the rust from tight spaces.
  • Use a soft cloth to clean the engine block.
  • You can also use rust remover for easy cleaning.

Check out this rust remover on Amazon.

How To Apply Enamel Paint To An Engine

After removing the old paint, you can apply new engine paint. Here is the step-by-step guide on applying engine paint.

  • Be sure to wear a mask while doing this project.
  • Drain all the fluid and remove the engine to cover it in full with paint.
  • Make sure that the engine is rust-free. 
  • You can use grease and wax remover to fully clean the block before painting to remove excess chemicals and oil.
  • Wipe the engine or use an air hose to remove excess debris and loose particles.
  • Apply high heat-resistant engine enamel primer and let it dry before proceeding to the next step.
  • Use spray paint to evenly apply the enamel without running.
  • Continue applying two light coats, then follow a medium wet coating to best cover the engine. Let it dry.
  • Use a high engine clear coat enamel for extra protection. Once dry, you can put everything back in the vehicle.

Check out this video for more information on the process.

How Do Enamel And Acrylic Enamel Paint Differ?

The difference between enamel paint and acrylic paint is that the first one is oil-based, while the latter is a water-based.

Oil-based paints take time to dry and are more expensive than acrylic paints. Water-based paints emit fewer toxic fumes and dry faster.

Benefits Of Using Enamel Paint For Engine

Engine cars painted red in light shine in side of car

These are the benefits of painting your vehicle's engine with enamel paint:


Painting your engine does not only beautify it. It also gives protection from rust. Covering the engine with enamel paint is also best if you live in a humid location.


Most enamel paints have a glossy finish, which is appealing. Paints with a matte finish are also available.

Value Appreciation

The eye-catching color of the engine's physical appearance will raise its value if you plan to trade your car in the future.


You get enough selection of wide color varieties to customize the engine's color. Its flashy finish will stand out among other cars.

What Are The Best Engine Enamel Paints?

Choosing the best paint for your car engine is essential to protect it from rust and to keep its aesthetic look. Listed here are some recommended engine paints for your vehicle.

Rust-Oleum 500 Degree Engine Enamel Spray

This engine enamel spray resists gas, grease, solvent, oil, rust, humidity, and salt. It has a long-lasting, smooth finish and is durable. It works well on automotive engines and other vehicle surfaces.

Check out this engine enamel spray on Amazon.

Quicksilver Phantom Black Gloss Enamel Spray Paint

This enamel paint is an ideal top coat with a glossy, smooth finish. The enamel spray provides protection, peace of mind, and satisfying results. It is highly resistant to harsh temperatures.

Check out this gloss enamel on Amazon.

Dupli-Color Engine Enamel With Ceramic

This enamel paint has resin that offers protection from automotive fluids and excessive heat. Dupli-Color is ideal for under-the-hood applications. It can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check out this engine enamel on Amazon.

Seymour Engine Spray Paint

This paint restores the engine's factory color. It provides a durable coating against harsh conditions. Seymour can resist heat up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. It is easy to apply and dries quickly.

Click here to check out this spray enamel on Amazon.

VHT Anodized Color Coat

This paint is a unique transparent coat that is heat resistant and can withstand intermittent high temperatures up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply this color coat with Anodized Base Coat as a primer for best results.

Check out this enamel paint on Amazon.

Summing Up

Using the right paint for your car engine is essential. Enamel paint is waterproof and appropriate for car engines, as it offers protection against heat and rust.

Providing proper maintenance and care like washing and dusting will help extend the life of your paint job.

We hope that this article will help you with your car engine painting project. If you want to learn more about paints and vehicle maintenance, you can read these posts:

Does Diesel Damage Cart Paint

What Car Paint Color Last The Longest

Should I Wash My Car Before It Rains


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