Painting Valve Cover

Ok, time has arrived for me to do the how-to on painting valve cover 
(Re-painted mine today so I took pics) The first time I painted the valve 
cover, I only put on one thin layer and left it at that. well it got dirty 
and didnt look show-quality, so I decided to re-paint it and have it look as 
if it were powdercoated. Well, lets begin

First thing you will want to do in all this, is to remove your spark plug 
wires and oil cap. easy enough. next remove the breather hoses (2) one on 
each side.. drivers side is the breather hose, passenger side is the PCV 
(thanks Kremer and DOpE)... Ok, now that thoes are removed, You are going to 
want to remove the coil packs (thanks to BlueRT4Me for tellin me what its 
called).. the coil packs is the little black box on top of the valve cover 
the spark plug wires plugged into... there's 4 10mm bolts holding this on on each 
of its corners. also remove the clip on the drivers side of it so you can 
remove it completely. here's a pic of what you should be seeing now.. 
(black valve cover tho, mine was previously painted, remember)

well, From looking at the pic, I'm assuming you know whats next... thats 
right, remove the 8mm bolts for the valve cover.. there are a total of 8 on the 
top of the cover, and 2 on the side. the 2 on the side are holding clips 
that hold the wires.. I just removed these and kept them off because they 
are worthless and just take up space and its extra stuff in what will 
eventually be a show-engine... once these bolts are removed, you can 
carefully, pull off the valve cover (I grabbed both of the metal pieces 
where the hoses connected to, pulled slightly forward and up, because the 
power steering fluid container was in the way to pull straight up. the main 
thing you are being careful for is the seal for the valve cover.. you dont 
wanna put it back on and leak oil.... once this is removed, lay it where 
ever you are planning on painting it.. i have a slab of drywall i use to 
paint on (something i found in my gerage.. decided to use it, parents prolly 
pissed.. i dont care.. here's a pic of the eingine with the valve cover 
removed: btw: i have no idea with my crappy digi cam how this pic came out 
so good.. i was shocked =)

Once removed, you can sand it down (I used 250 grit sandpaper then 600 to 
smooth it off...) then, tear off some strips of towell, and shove it into 
where the spark plug wires go, and the oil cap goes, and as well as were the 
hoses connect to. You dont want paint to get into these places. Next, 
applying THIN coats, I painted it with 1200 degree engine paint. just 
because I didnt think that 500 degree would be strong enough. multiple thin 
layers will come out MUCH better than just pourin on the paint. you dont 
want any paint runs, so smooth, light coats works great... about 6 or so 
layers after its red will make for a good coat. After this I applied a few 
coats of clearcoat to give it that powdercoat and showroom look... here's 
pics in the painting process...
UPDATE: The clearcoat has held up for over a week now, and still looks siny 
and great on the valve cover!!! success!! I've drivin lots, and drivin hard 
and it still remains shiny!! woohoo.

Once its painted to your liking, you are going to want to put it somewhere 
where it will dry and wont get any dirt or anything whatsoever on it... i 
put it in the back of my gerage... you want to let it dry COMPLETELY... no 
cheating on this one.. its important in car shows that there are no 
defects... to test if its dry, you can feel the spot where the coil pack 
will go.. it gets covered by the coil pack anyways...

Once dry, carefully place the valve cover back on, making sure that the 
seal stays where its supposed to be... you'd hate to be drivin and have oil 
spray everywhere in yer engine bay =) then just go backwards through the 
steps of removing the valve cover, and you should be all set... once 
replace, you have a nice colored, shiny valve cover.. took more time on mine 
today, more coats of paint and the clearcoat make it look spectatular...