Step One: preparing your heater core for paint
I first made sure the heater core was cleaned off. Since I am starting with a new heater core this is not an issue, but if you have a used heater core you should clean it up and get any dust or gunk off it first.
I then took a regular sheet of comptuer paper and folded it in half and placed it on the heater core like so
I then took masking tape and taped all around the edges covering the whole side. I did this for both sides.
Next, I covered the barbs by cutting squares out of a regular plastic bag you get from the store and wrapped the cut pieces around the barbs so no paint could get inside the heater core, or on the barbs for that matter. Another option would be to take the barbs off and tape the openings if your heater core has removable barbs.
I then wraped masking tape around the barbs being sure that the entire surface of the barbs was covered.
here you can see the heater core all taped off and ready to be painted.
Step Two: painting the heater core
For paint I chose some America's Finest by Rust-Oleum gloss black. You can get this paint at your local Home Depot for less than $2. yes, other paints will work, but I trust Rust-Oleum to be quality paint and to cover well. I also picked up a Spray Grip for an additional $2.50 to give a more even coating and so I didn't get any paint on my fingers.
I brought the heater core outside and set it on a box and painted the sides.
After I gave it a good coat, I placed it in the box to dry so that it was less likely to get anything on it.
The paint is still drying so when it is dry (about another 10 min or so I'll see if it needs a second coat or not. And when it is fully dry I will post some completed pics.