The 7 Best Exhaust Paint for the Money with Buying Guide

Perhaps you don’t know this, but exhaust parts do get hot and they are prone to rust. What can you, as a car owner do to counter that?

You can get the best exhaust paint to increase heat tolerance as well as prevent corrosion. We know you are now asking how you can get your hands on that.

Don’t stress over it, this review was created to help you with that. Keep it here to learn the most.

Comparison Table for Top-Rated Exhaust Paint

We aim to be as detailed as can be with this guide but we understand that you may not be able to read everything.

That is why we put together the following comparison table to help you make a quick and informed choice.

How to Choose Quality Exhaust Paint?

There are many kinds of paints in the market but the best header paint has to possess some qualities. Why don’t we look at some of those qualities?

Paint Quality

As you begin shopping for exhaust paint, you want to go through product reviews. That way, you get to find out whether the paint you intend to purchase worked well for others.

The last thing you want is a substandard paint that chips because it can create issues in your exhaust system. Besides, the chipped point can collect rust making it harder to ride off.

To keep safe, your paint of choice should not easily chip.

Ease of Application

We want to assume that you are looking for high-quality paint because you want to do the job yourself. That means that the paint should be easy to apply.

If you are a beginner, you may want to go for spray paint as it is easier to apply. If you are more seasoned, you can get the kind of paint that needs a brush to apply.

The consistency of the paint also has to be right if you are going to have an easy time applying so be sure to look out for that.

Rust Resistance

Sure, you will paint your headers but as soon as you are done, the exhaust and the heat pipe will be exposed to elements.

This can lead to the formation of rust, which is not good for your system. To be on the safe side, you want to pick a paint that is rust-resistant so that your header remains in great condition for longer.

Price of Paint

As you may have guessed, different header paints come at different prices. This has a lot to do with the brand and quality of the paint.

You want to have a budget in place before you begin shopping. That way, you will be able to narrow down your choices and pick the best paint that fits your financial capability.

Benefits of Using Exhaust Paint

Having learned of the factors to consider when shopping for exhaust paint, we think it is time for you to learn of the benefits of using the same so here we go.

It Prevents Discoloration

You realize that most headers are metallic. That means that they are prone to discoloration that then leads to corrosion.

Of course, that will be detrimental to your car and you want to avoid it at all costs. By painting your exhaust, you reduce the chances of that happening.

It Improves Heat Tolerance

Did you know that exhaust gases usually come out with a lot of heat when leaving the engine cylinders? That is because the exhaust system and catalytic converter depend on that heat to function well.

However, that also means that the headers are usually exposed to excess heat occasionally.  That could damage them.

By painting the headers, you get to avert that damage because the paint makes your headers more tolerant of the heat.

Prevents Rust

Your car’s engine is a powerhouse and with that comes heat. A lot of it. Such high temperatures can corrode your headers over time.

By using the best high temp header paint to help insulate the header against all the excess heat that may lead to corrosion.

Enhanced Efficiency

Getting to regulate the heat in your car will do a lot of good. Header paints help retain the heat in the exhaust gas instead of letting it seep out.

By painting your exhaust, the speed at which gasses will be spewed from the tailpipe will be higher. In turn, there will be less back pressure which does a lot to improve the efficiency of your engine.

Other than that, you can rest assured that the catalytic converter will work more effectively thus reducing your car emissions and conserving the environment.

Safeguards Other Parts

As we have previously mentioned, your headers retain heat in the exhaust system quite well. That said; the heat can leak to the engine compartment if the headers are not well painted or coated.

When the heat leaks, it raises the temperature under the hood which can cause serious damage to surrounding parts thus compromising their functionality.

Coating the headers with paint mitigates such and protects other parts that may get damaged because o the heat from your exhaust.

Improves Visual Appeal

Other than improving the functionality of your vehicle, exhaust paint also improves the look of your car. With the paint, you can be sure that your headers will have a uniform finish that looks stylish and uniform.

This is a great way to add to the aesthetic appeal of your car’s engine compartment.

How to Paint Your Exhaust Pipe?

Since we are talking about exhaust paint, it would only be right for us to let you in on how to paint yours. If your exhaust pipe is worn a few coats of high-heat paint will restore its integrity.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1

The first step involves preparation where you will be required to identify a well-ventilated area and get a piece of cloth to protect the surrounding areas from getting the paint once you start applying.

Clean your exhaust pipe to remove any loose dust and dirt as well as grime with a suitable solution. Once it is clean, use masking or painter’s tape to cover the areas surrounding your exhaust to prevent paint from getting there.

Step 2

Next, you want to prime the area you intend to paint. Shake your paint well and apply it to the pipe in firm but light strokes.

You want to apply about 2-3 light coats and give a few minutes between each coat application. After that, you want to let it dry for about an hour.

Step 3

The third step involves the actual application of the paint. Here, you will be required to use the technique you used in the previous step to apply the primer.

After applying 2-3 coats of your paint, you want to let it dry for about 2 hours. If the paint needs curing, you will do it after that.

Step 4

After about 2 hours of air-drying or after curing, you want to run your finger lightly over the painted surface to confirm that the paint is dry.

If it is, your painting job is done and your exhaust is ready to use.

 Top 7 Best Exhaust Paints

We are now at the point where we want to review some of the Best-rated exhaust paints. That should make the decision-making process easier for you.

1. POR-15 45008 Rust Preventive Paint


Qty: 1 Gallon, 1 Pint, 1 Quart

Colors: Gloss Black

Heat Resistance: 450°F

To start with, we have this paint from POR-15 that is designed to deliver the best results for your exhaust ensuring that it lasts longer.

It is a high-temp, heat-resistant paint that comes with the best quality for your metallic parts. It is ideal for various kinds of metallic objects including stacks, exhaust, headers, and manifolds.

What We Liked About It

By coating your headers with this paint, you can be sure that they will remain flawless whether the weather is cold or humid.

Moreover, it is resistant to industrial fumes as it does a good job of blocking them. This paint does not peel, chip, or crack. How is that for durability?

However, what we found most appealing about it is that repels oils so even if there are any leakages in your car, they will not affect it.

What Could Have Been Better

According to some users, the can that comes with this paint is hard to open. We feel that the manufacturer should have put a mechanism in place to make the opening process easier.


  • Prevents rusting
  • Acid and alkali resistant
  • Repels oils


  • The can could use a better opening mechanism

2. Design Engineering 010301 Silicone Coating Spray


Qty: 12 Oz (One size only)

Colors: White, Black, Aluminum

Heat Resistance: 1500°F

Are you in the market for an all-in-one paint solution? Then you have to consider this one. It is a high-quality header paint that comes at a great price.

It can tolerate temperatures of up 1500°F making it ideal for any kind of surface. The secret behind its high-temperature tolerance is HT silicone coating.

The paint is perfect for manifolds or exhaust wraps to eliminate gases, oil, and dirt.

What We Liked About It

We can assure you that this paint will improve the longevity of your exhaust wraps. Just apply three coats to get rust resistance and durability of your headers.

The paint also acts as a sealant so you can be sure that no oils or moisture will seep through once you apply it.

You will also realize that the paint is easy to apply not only because of the consistency but also because it comes in a spray bottle. That also makes it perfect for beginners and DIYers and we love that about it.

What Could Have Been Better

Some users have complained about the fact that this paint requires curing. We feel that the manufacturer should have simply made a formula that could be air-dried to simplify the application process.


  • Acts as a sealant
  • Easy to apply
  • Durable


  • Requires curing



Qty: 11 Oz (One size only)

Colors: Flat Black

Heat Resistance: 1300°F – 2000°F

Judging from reviews, this is one of the best paints on the market. It has to be in high demand for a reason, wouldn’t you agree?

As if that is not enough, the paint extends the life of your headers as a result, you get to save time and effort because you will not be doing the painting often and you won’t have to spend on replacements either.

What We Liked About It

You would probably think that extending the life of your headers is all that this paint can offer but you would be wrong. That is because the paint also adds to the aesthetic appeal by giving your headers a unique matte finish once it dries up.

That said; you may want to use the paint along with a primer color and a topcoat if you want outstanding and long-lasting results.

Anyway, the paint can withstand high temperatures and that makes it arguably the best high temp exhaust paint. We love that about it.

What Could Have Been Better

As per some users, the consistency of this paint is too thin thus compromising its ability to act as a sealant. We feel that the manufacturer should simply have thickened the paint to avoid that.


  • Adheres well
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonably priced


  • The consistency could be thicker

4. Rust-Oleum 249340 Spray Paint


Qty: 12 Oz (One size only)

Colors: Gray

Heat Resistance: 2000°F

You can rely on this paint from Rust-oleum to protect against high temperatures from your car’s exhaust. It may also interest you to learn that it has a 4.7 rating on Amazon. That tells you that it has many positive reviews. That has to count for something, right?

The paint is specifically designed for headers and exhaust manifolds so when you purchase it, you know exactly what you are paying for.

What We Liked About It

We have already mentioned that this product is good at absorbing heat but we didn’t tell you how that is beneficial to you. Well, as it turns out, that will prevent the paint from peeling or chipping. How cool is that?

Do not even get us started on the fact that the paint consists of an oil-based formula that makes it adhere beautifully to metals. It comes in a spray bottle that makes application easier and we bet you will appreciate that especially if you are a novice.

We love that the paint dries up quite fast as well and by that, we mean 30 minutes. You get to save time here.

What Could Have Been Better

Some users have reported having issues with the nozzle of the spray bottle and we feel that the manufacturer should have checked on that before releasing the product to the market.


  • Heat-resistant
  • Prevents corrosion
  • Sprays easily


  • Faulty nozzle

5. Rutland Products Hi-Temp Paint


Qty: 12 Oz (One size only)

Colors: Flat Black

Heat Resistance: 1200°F

One thing that makes this paint stand out from the rest is that it is exclusively formulated to resist blistering and peeling even under high temperatures.

It works to refresh the finish on other things like cookers, ovens, and grills so we can safely say that it is multi-purpose.

What We Liked About It

Rutland Fire Clay is a reputable company when it comes to the production of fireplace maintenance products and has been in operation for a long time.

That tells you that they have worked hard to get where they are and they would not jeopardize their name by offering substandard products. This paint in particular is of high quality.

Another thing about the paint is that it applies easily and beautifully. Who wouldn’t want that?  The fact that this is the case also means that it will last longer once applied.

Nevertheless, what we loved most about it is that it is reasonably priced seeing as it is among the most affordable on this list even with its array of features.

What Could Have Been Better

As reported by some users, this product tends to rub off fast and we feel that the manufacturer should have put more thought into its durability.


  • Value for money
  • Applies easily
  • Doesn’t peel


  • Not as long-lasting

6. KBS XTC Coatings 65102


Qty: 1 Gallon, 1 Pint, 1 Quart, 8 Oz, 12 Oz

Colors: Jet Black, Aluminum, Pure White, Stainless Steel, Cast Iron Grey, Charcoal Metallic, Flame Blue, Off-White, Rocket Red, Safety Blue

Heat Resistance: 1500°F

There is no denying that this could be the best exhaust manifold paint. How so? Simply because it is designed for the same. It is also versatile, in that it can be used for other things like the tiles surrounding your fireplace.

Also worthy of mention is that this paint can withstand high temperatures. 1500 degrees F to be precise. That is great for any car owner.

What We Liked About It

Expect this paint to protect your exhaust from discoloration, corrosion, and blisters. It is also scratch-resistant so rely on it to stay put once applied.

It is also quite thick so you will not need to apply many coats. That means that it will last longer so you won’t have to buy another can soon. That gives you value for money.

What we found most appealing though is that the paint comes in a spray bottle that is easy to handle and makes application easier.

What Could Have Been Better

Some users claim that this product’s user instructions are quite vague and we feel that the manufacturer should have been more detailed with them to counter that.


  • Scratch-resistant
  • Doesn’t flake
  • Temperature resistant


  • User instructions could be clearer

7. Eastwood Acrylic Exhaust Paint


Qty: 10 Oz (One size only)

Colors: Silver

Heat Resistance: 600°F

This is yet another product with a high rating on Amazon. We are talking a whopping 4.9!  You will find this paint extremely easy to apply because it comes in a spray can. We would therefore encourage you to get it if you are a beginner.

You will appreciate that the paint can withstand high temperatures of up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. That makes it a great product for restoring your headers.

What We Liked About It

You will get great coverage with this paint – that we can assure you. That is because it comes in a thick consistency that adheres seamlessly to exhaust manifolds.

We love that this product comes with a 30-day warranty. That tells you that the manufacturer is confident about the quality and performance.

What Could Have Been Better

Several users have come out to report that they received their paint while it was leaking. We feel that the manufacturer could have packaged the product better to avoid the same.


  • Comes with a 30-day warranty
  • Great coverage
  • Easy to use


  • Could be packaged better

Frequently Asked Questions

How many questions do you have when it comes to the best exhaust paint? We bet many, but we are only able to address a few here. We believe you will get a clearer insight once you go through them.

Does ceramic coating for exhaust work?

Yes, it does. A high temp ceramic coating helps in improving exhaust flow through your system thus enabling your engine to burn more fuel for more horsepower.

Essentially, ceramic coating can help increase the speed of gas flow from your exhaust.

What type of paint should I use on exhaust pipes?

We would advise you to go for a high heat spray paint. That is because it will endure high temperatures and give an easy time applying.

What is the best exhaust coating?

That would be a ceramic coating. Why, because it is a great thermal barrier and reduces heat under your hood to increase horsepower.

Our Top Pick

We have decided to go for the POR-15 45008 Rust Preventive Paint as our top pick. It is a heat-resistant paint thus making it ideal for metallic parts.

It is also resistant to industrial fumes as it is designed to block them. As if that is not enough, the paint will not crack, peel, or chip. That is the kind of durability you need for your exhaust.

What we loved most about it nonetheless is that the paint repels oils such that even when there are oil spillages or leakages in your exhaust, it will stay put.


The header makes an essential part of your vehicle’s mechanism. As such, you should ensure that it remains in good shape at all times.

One of the best ways to guarantee that is by painting them because by doing so, you prevent them from corroding and extend their life.

We feel like you are in the best position to pick the best exhaust paint simply because you have this guide at your disposal so why don’t you go ahead and do that?

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