Modern engine paints are typically made of synthetic enamel or acrylic enamel. When it comes to quality engine paints, beware the cheap synthetic enamel. Acrylic enamel is the only way to go. Synthetic enamel is what you use to brush paint tractors, implements and swing sets. It should be thought of as a utility paint. It never really hardens under the surface and will not hold a shiny gloss for very long. Synthetic enamel has no place on any part of a “restored” vehicle. Many if not most of the suppliers of Oldsmobile engine paints are supplying synthetic enamel engine paints to the customer. These will look pretty good at purchase time, due to the price. They will look good on the engine stand too. They also look like hell after a year or so on your engine.
Acrylic enamel, on the other hand, uses a much higher quality base and has different additives added to it to make it shinier, tougher and longer lasting.
At Oldsparts.com we start with a high quality Ditzler PPG acrylic enamel designed for exterior automotive use. Yes, the same high quality finish you use on the outside of your car. A nano ceramic mixture and a gloss stabilizer is then added to keep the finish stable to over 650 degrees and to insure the paint maintains its original level of gloss over time. These paints will not turn or burn to chalk like the cheaper synthetic enamels. They are super durable and will resist under hood chemicals, chipping, and rusting.
Lots of folks will tell you that GM did not pay much attention to color matching engine paints, but GM requirements for engine colors were the same as for external body colors. If you look at original cars, you will see the engine colors did not vary any more than the exterior colors did, which was very little. Oldsparts.com is the world’s only supplier of Oldsmobile Engine Paints that guarantees that our engine paint colors are correct and will pass judging at any OCA event. We have offered this warranty for 40 years and have never had a claim. Our correct color Oldsmobile engine paints have been used on more show winners since 1979 than all of the competitors paints combined.
Lots of people have asked us over the years how to prevent the paint from burning off of the center port of the head. The short answer is there is no way. Even exhaust header paint will not stick due to the high temperatures involved. Before the shows we wire brush the burned section, re-spray it in the car, then start the car to remove the paint from the exhaust manifold. The paint will remain on the head for some time after it has burned off of the exhaust manifold.
We offer the correct metallic blue for the 455 big blocks, the correct metallic gold for the 330-350 small blocks, the correct bronze for the 400’s and the correct red for the 1968 and 1969 Hurst/Olds. All will hold a shine and last much longer than the inferior synthetic enamels sold by most suppliers. All are guaranteed to be the correct color. All are guaranteed to pass judging at any OCA event.