5 Best Header Paint Reviews 2024

Are you looking for header paint for your car? There are many factors that you should consider. To start with, headers or engine manifolds serve an essential purpose in your car. These are usually the first exhaust components to handle the exhaust gases from your car’s engine. These components need to be enhanced and protected so that your engine can achieve maximum horsepower in the long run. One way to maintain them is by painting them.

By painting them, you will be able to prevent corrosion and discoloration, which can reduce their lifespan. Also, this helps improve their heat tolerance, thereby making them remain more efficient for longer. The good news is that there are many header paints out there. Choosing the right one for your header can enable you to get the value for your money. The following are some of the best header paint that you should consider:

Top 5 Header Paint Comparison Table

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The Best Header Paint Reviews

1. High-Temperature Silicone Coating header Spray Paint

If you are looking for a header paint that will withstand high temperatures, look no further because this is the ultimate paint for you. Besides being a high-quality header paint, this paint costs a pocket-friendly price.

Once you apply this paint to your engine’s header, you can trust that it will remain put and unchanged for longer. This happens even when the pipes or tubes go up to a temperature of 1500°F. However, the engine cylinder might not necessarily go up to that temperature all that often. Despite this, it is always advisable that you protect the headers using this paint in case such happens.

Apart from being heat tolerant, the header painter can help protect the headers from rust, oil, and even dirt particles from the engine. As a result, this can make the header remain in good condition for longer. To crown it all, the paint is a volatile organic compound compliant in all 50 states. Besides being used in your car, the paint can be used to coat other objectives as well. These include the kitchen grill and so forth.

  • It can withstand 1500 degrees F.
  • Gives protection from oil, dirt, and road grime
  • Makes the header last for longer.
  • Ideal for other objects apart from the header of your engine, such as the kitchen grill.
  • It might be difficult to clean it.

2. Thermo-Tec 12001 HEADER PAINT

This is one of the best high-temperature header paint that will offer high security as it will protect the wrap from spills and abrasion. Also, it will seal the pores, thereby minimizing the penetration of harmful liquids.

Known to have a longer life span, you can be sure that your header will remain protected for longer. Here, extra resins and binders will toughen the surface and thereby make it last longer as it will be protected from friction and so forth.

It is worth noting that the header paint works well when applied directly on metal surfaces. This feature makes it different from its peers. It is only available in aerosol form.

  • It is ideal for the entire exhaust
  • It can withstand 1200 degrees when used alone.
  • It can make the header last for many years.
  • It might be expensive.


This is one of the finest paints and demandable products among customers. Apart from having great value, the paint provides the headers with a longer lifespan. As a result, you will not have to replace the headers of your car now and then. This has made it more popular out there.

Besides ensuring that your headers last longer, the paint comes with some eye-catchy visual aesthetics. Once you apply it on your header, you can be sure that the header will have a gorgeous matte finish look once it dries up. To get the best out of this premium plating, you can consider using it with primer color paint and a clear-coat process. By doing this, you will get an exceptional and durable result as your components will remain secure for longer.

To crown it all, you can find many header paint colors of this paint. This feature sets it apart from its peers. Also, the paint remains unchanged even when subjected to high temperatures. In fact, this header paint can withstand temperatures up to 2000 degrees F.

  • It can endure up to 2000 degrees F
  • Comes with matte finish aesthetics
  • Provides a longer lifespan than others.
  • Offers a classic appearance at a pocket-friendly price.
  • Some customers are not satisfied with the color cap

4. POR-15 High-Temperature Heat Resistant Paint

Most paints usually come inside spray cans. However, the spray mentioned above is different as it comes in a bucket. This means you have to use a brush if you want to apply it. However, the paint comes with many features that can mesmerize you.

To start with, you will not have to worry about the paint chipping away or even peeling off once you apply it. This is because the paint is oil-based. As a result, you can be sure that it will adhere to the surface in a better way.

When it comes to heat endurance, the paint can endure high temperatures up to 1200 degrees F. This makes it ideal for your car’s headers.
Lastly, the paint can remain unblemished through humidity too. As a result, you do not have to worry even if you reside in a humid area or have visited a humid area. Here, the paint will not end up forming moisture on the surface of your headers.

  • The paint is easy to apply.
  • It can endure high temperatures up to 1200 degrees F.
  • The paint works well with headers as well as other metal objects
  • It comes in many colors.
  • It is useable for all-around seasons.
  • Sometimes, the paint can peel off.

5. KBS XTC (Xtreme Temperature Coating)  Manifold Paint

Apart from the above-mentioned best header paints, KBS XTC paint is a good coating for your headers. In some instances, it is used on tiles around the fireplaces.

Unlike other high0heeat resistant header painters that can only withstand 1200 degrees F., this paint can withstand temperatures up to 1500 degrees F. Compared to other conventional products in the same price tag, this paint is the best choice for you.

Pricewise, this paint offers better protection. Besides this, it can protect the blister along with the heat. For stainless steel coating, they often fail to keep their color unchanged when subjected to high temperatures. However, it can do its job perfectly well.

This paint also prevents the headers from corrosion and harsh weather elements. This makes it better than its peers. However, this paint is not easy to spray. You will note that it does not need thinning, but when necessary, you can easily do that.

  • It can withstand up to 1500 degrees F.
  • The paint does not discolor
  • Ideal for preventing corrosion and effects of harsh weather elements.
  • It is easy to spray it on the headers.
  • You need to use XTC zinc primer with it.

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best high temp exhaust paint

Things to consider before buying header paints

Since there are many types of header paints out there, it essential that you know what to look out for when buying one so that you can get the value for your money. The following are essential features that you should look out for when purchasing a header paint:

Heat endurance

The header of your car must withstand high temperatures all the time. This is due to its proximity to the car’s engine. In fact, there are headers attached to the engine itself. Since this is where all the work happens, a lot of heat gets generated as well. Sometimes, the temperatures can reach over 1000 degrees F.

Therefore, for any regular paint, this level of heat is not the casual heat experienced out there. Most normal pints are not made for such temperatures. In most cases, when you subject them to such temperatures, they will become too hot and suddenly vanish. To avert this problem, you should choose one of the best high temp exhaust paint.

Ideally, it should withstand temperatures of 1500 degrees and above. If you get one that can tolerate up to 2000 degrees F, the better. It will last longer and thereby enable you to save more money in the long run. Anything lower than 1200 degrees F, might prove problematic as tubes can reach a temperature of about 1000 degrees and above.

Ease of application

We all want easy things that we can handle on our own. Rarely will you find someone who likes something that is difficult to do or handle out there. Similarly, for the header paint, you should choose the one whose application is much simpler. However, the million-dollar question is, what do you find easy?

For many people, spray cans might be the best option. This is because the application of such paints is much smoother and quicker compared to the usual kind of paint. All you need to do is to hold down the nozzle and then move your hand across the surface you want to spray.

Apart from the spray cans, you can choose to buy regular paint, where you have to use a brush to apply it to the header. If you choose this kind of paint, you should be ready to handle the mess that comes with using this paint. If you are good enough, the mess can be negligible.


After investing a lot of time and effort, you would not want your work to chip away within a short period. However, most header paints usually have this characteristic. Therefore, when buying header paint, you should be keen to analyze and even read through different customer reviews online. This will help you make a better judgment and also get value for your money.

It is worth noting that chipping can be detrimental as the metal part of the pipe gets exposed in the long run. Sometimes, that exposed section of the metal can rust, and so forth. Eliminating this rust is not a walk in the park. Sometimes, you might have to replace the entire unit altogether.

Quality of the header paint

When buying the header paint out there, it is vital that you choose the one that is of high quality. By choosing the best header paint, you will be able to get the value for your money. Besides getting the value for tour money, you can be sure that the metal will be protected from harsh weather elements and even excess heat from the engine.

For instance, if you live in a humid country, you should ensure that the header paint is of high quality. A good header paint will not allow impurities to reach the metal surface in the long run. As a result, you can be sure that the metal will last longer.

Rust resistant

Once you coat the headers, your heat pipe or exhaust will get exposed to the environment. This can make it rust. Therefore, your paint of choice should be rust-resistant so that the header can remain in a pristine condition for longer. Besides this, the paint should withstand hot oil and gas spills.


Different header paints will cost different prices. Some of them will cost an arm and a leg. However, there are others that will cost a pocket-friendly price. Ideally, you should look for a budget-friendly header paint that is of high quality. This will ensure that you get a better deal and still save more money. Sometimes, you can ask for a discount so that you can get a better deal.

Read Also: Black Smoke from Exhaust: Causes and How To Fix it

Advantage of using header paint

Having looked at different types of header paints and considerations to make when buying one, time is ripe for you to know the various advantages of using these coating in your headers. Some of these advantages include:

Prevents discoloration

Most headers are usually made of steel. At some point, they usually get discolored due to one reason or another. If the metal gets discolored, it is prone to rust, and this can pose a great danger in the long run. To avert this problem, it is important that you paint the headers using any of the above-mentioned points.

By painting the headers, you will prevent rusting and probably reduce the chances of having to buy another header altogether. As a result, you will be able to save more money.

Increase heat tolerance

It’s worth noting that exhaust gases normally contains a lot of heat when it leaves the engine cylinders. You will be surprised to note that both the catalytic converter and the exhaust system usually rely on this heat to function optimally. As a result, the headers are normally exposed to excess heat from time to time.

Ideally, the headers should withstand this heat and still function optimally. However, basic headers are not proficient at retaining the exhaust heat. This leaves them more vulnerable to both heat emission and damage from higher temperatures.

To avert this, you should paint the headers. The good news is that this paint makes the headers heat tolerant. It is worth noting that different coating is usually rated at different heat levels. Depending on the intended application, each painting will improve the durability of the header.

Prevent corrosion

The engine is known to be a powerhouse of heat. In fact, the engine can generate heat up to 220 degrees F. Other engines can generate heat beyond 1000 degrees F. Such excessive heat can make your headers to get corroded in the long run. Therefore, there is a need for you to coat it well with high-quality header paint. This helps to insulate the header against the exhaust gases and heat, which might make it corrode.

Improved efficiency

If you can control the heat in your vehicle, you will be doing a lot of good. This is because the header paints help keep the heat in the exhaust gas rather than just letting it seep out. By doing this, the speeds at which exhaust gasses will be expulsed out of the tailpipe will be higher. As a result, there will be decreased back pressure, which goes a long way in improving the efficiency of the engine.

Besides this, you can be sure that the catalytic converter will be more effective, thereby allowing it to reduce your vehicle emissions. As a result, you will be able to conserve the environment. Apart from this, you can trust that the under-hood temperature will be lower. Here, the air taken in is relatively cooler which is ideal for the engine as oxygen and fuel will mix well in the right proportions. This goes a long way in boosting the horsepower and overall performance of your car.

Protects other parts

As mentioned above, the headers are good at retaining heat in the exhaust system. However, if the headers are not well coated or painted, this heat can leak to the surrounding engine compartment. When this heat leaks, it can raise the under-hood temperatures and can eventually cause severe damage to the other parts. As a result, the functionality of these parts can be greatly reduced. Sometimes, they might be damaged entirely. This is the reason why you should coat the headers to mitigate such situations. This will significantly lower the under-hood temperature, which in turn helps protect vulnerable plastic and electronic parts from excess heat produced by exhaust gases.

Increased visual appeal

Besides improving the performance of your car, the header paints have the appeal of cosmetic modifications. With these paints, you can trust that your headers will look more stylish and have a uniform finish that looks more professional. This is an excellent way to add a wow factor to your engine compartment.

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How do you treat header paint?

If you want to apply the paint on the header, there are several steps that you should follow. Remember that paint is all about adhesion. The paint here will stick on the surface of the header for longer. Therefore, proper prepping headers for paint is critical. Ideally, when painting the exterior of the header, the paint should not go to areas that you do want it.

The first step here is to sand the surface of the header. However, this will depend on how rusty the exhaust pipe is. Sanding the surface will leave the metal looking shiny and more attractive. Also, it will be smoother than before. Ideally, the surface should be consistent and uniform. No area should be left untouched.

After sanding the surface, you can clean the surface to get rid of any flakey residue that might be there. When cleaning the surface, you should avoid using water as water is a recipe for more rust. The next step after cleaning is priming. Here, you have to ensure that the conditions are right for this undertaking. You can consider waiting until it is between about 60 degrees F and 95 degrees F with less than 60% humidity before you start spraying.

It is important that you read the application process on your paint so that you can get great results. Initially, you should start by coating the header first before applying the final spray. Once this is done, you can then spray the header.

Just like priming, you should apply one light coat and then wait for about 10 minutes and then apply another light coat and wait. Once you have painted the surface of the header, you can give it one hour to dry.

Do these paints have UV protection?

No.it is highly unlikely that the paint will offer protection from ultraviolet rays. However, you can be sure that the header will be protected from the extreme temperatures of the engine whenever you are driving and so on.

How to remove temporary header paint?

To eliminate the coating from the header, you need to have an aircraft-grade stripper. All you need to do is to spray it on the header and then wait for it to soak. Thereafter, you can use a red scotch bright to help loosen up the paint. This has worked well for many people out there.

Are stainless steel headers better than ceramic?

If you are not interested in appearance but corrosion resistance, stainless steel is the best option for you. In terms of durability and corrosion resistance, stainless headers win over mild steel headers that are just covered with ceramic. In fact, the ceramic coating is primarily a thermal barrier that offers very little resistance to corrosion.

How long do painted headers last?

If you paint your headers, you can be sure that they will remain in good condition for about three years or even more. This has made these header paints to become a critical element to anyone who wants to maintain their engine and car in general. With this paint, your headers will remain protected for longer.


The header is an integral part of your car’s mechanism. Therefore, you should ensure that it stays in good shape all the time. For this to happen, you should paint it using the above-mentioned best header paints. This will help the headers last longer and even boost your overall car’s performance. Buy any of these hard paints today and you will get the value for your money. The above header paints have proved to be very incredible in the recent past.

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Hi there, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked as a Mechanic and Mechanic Supervisor for over fifteen years at Global Rebound Automotive companies - Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others. Now, I enjoy my new role of leading a team of automotive experts (in their respective fields) and publish new content on a regular basis on my website and social media.

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