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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't want to ceramic coat 'em, just want to paint them to last. They will be sandblasted before paint. Is there a better option than VHT or are they about it?
 

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I actually went to Lowes and bought a BBQ grill paint and it held up pretty good. I think the key thing is the prep work.
Not sure if it's true, but a guy told me once o heat up the tubes and then spray paint them and it bakes the paint on.
I did that with pulley's before and the wife wasn't thrilled with me, but it did hold up pretty good.
 

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VHT is great stuff to give a bit of protection/heat reduction without breaking the bank.

Use the primer before the paint its worth the $10 or so.

One can of primer and 2 cans of color is enough to cover most headers.

I use flat paints so I can go back and touch up areas I may wack with a wrench or ratchet.
 

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VHT in my opinion will last the longest, I tried the hi-temp BBQ paint and got about one season out it so I'll never go with that again. Sandblasting is okay if they have a lot of rust or crude but I would only spot blast them. Every set that I sandblasted completely were gone inside of two years. Now if you can use something other than sand that is not removing the metal then that might be better.
 

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I used VHT on my new build below and it has went through a few heat cycles so far and is holding up grate and already had an antifreeze spill from my radiator and it is holding up just fine. Unfortunately if you get any carb cleaner on it then it will eat it right off but other then that its some good stuff.

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i used VHT, it worked great, i blasted the headers first then painted them, this is what they still look like after almost 2 years
VHT in my opinion will last the longest, I tried the hi-temp BBQ paint and got about one season out it so I'll never go with that again. Sandblasting is okay if they have a lot of rust or crude but I would only spot blast them. Every set that I sandblasted completely were gone inside of two years. Now if you can use something other than sand that is not removing the metal then that might be better.
you are correct, the shop used soda blast
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone! Sounds like VHT is the way too go. When I blast, I use TSC fine coal slag. I may warm the headers in the oven before paint and probably bake them after paint (motor won't be running for awhile). Primer sounds like a good idea too!
 

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The ceramic coating is from Columbia Coatings. Sprayed it on after cleaning/blasting, let air dry for five days before handling. Use rubber gloves so no body oils transfer to the items while cleaning. The picture shows the manifold after several runs, two twenty minute runs for break-in and several more for drive train adjustments and check outs.
Motor vehicle Hood Vehicle Automotive exterior Electrical wiring
 

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Some comments based on my limited experience with headers:

If the sandblasting media is too coarse you will end up with a rough, almost pitted surface. Those tiny pits seem to attract rust more than a smooth surface, even on ceramic coated headers.

Also, leaving the vehicle outside in the weather is guaranteed to make the headers start rusting sooner, unless you live in the desert.

Finally, tiny rust spots will show up quite well on silver paint, whereas black paint will hide them better.
 

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I don't want to ceramic coat 'em, just want to paint them to last. They will be sandblasted before paint. Is there a better option than VHT or are they about it?
I went with Por15 from Amazon. Sandblasted my headers, cleaned with a degreaser, and put on 3 nice coats and baked in my oven for the said time. I think it was 2 hrs. Says on the can. I have done 2 sets so far and it still looks great. Went with the gray
 

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I went with Por15 from Amazon. Sandblasted my headers, cleaned with a degreaser, and put on 3 nice coats and baked in my oven for the said time. I think it was 2 hrs. Says on the can. I have done 2 sets so far and it still looks great. Went with the gray
I haven't used it myself, but I've heard only good things about POR15.
It's supposed to be impervious to chemicals etc.
The high temp comes in spray cans.
I'll probably use POR15 when my factory header paint gets screwed up.
So far the paint on my Hookers has held up well...
 
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