I´m still improving the appearance of my already fantastic 74 Cadillac. I want to keep it as much original as possible, but there are some things which I wanted to improve cosmetically.
The valve covers still wore their original factory applied Cadillac Blue paint which had suffered quite a bit over the last decades. Thats why I decided that I wanted to freshen them up.

Thats how the engine bay looked like when I got the car.

As you can see - the valve covers did not look too nice after all those years…

I bought "Bill Hirsch Engine Enamel" which is the perfect color match among all available engine enamels. Some others are good matches as well, but its said that Bill Hirsch is perfect. Also it seems to be the most durable engine enamel on the market.
The color match is really absolutely spot on. The only "issue" I had, was that the enamel is not exactly easy to work with. I have to admit that I´m not very good in spray painting, so I had to do the covers 4 times until I was happy with them.
I always had some paint runnings or dirt on the covers after spraying on the paint what is of course my fault.
Normally you can wet-sand imperfections out of the paint, but thats not possible with this enamel. You also cant spray over the paint to correct problems as the new paint will eat up the old one and damage it permanently. Its also drying extremely slowly and is extremely soft, so you can get scratches even with a microfiber cloth if you are trying to clean them.
It can take up to 4 months until the enamel is fully cured and hard.
These are things you have to be aware of if you are using this high temperature engine enamel.
I still highly recommend Bill Hirsch Enamel and I would not use anything else on my cars.

Bill Hirsch Engine Enamel - the perfect color match for the original Cadillac dark blue that was used from 1949 to 1976. Make sure to read the instructions before using this enamel - its quite different to use than other paints…

When I took the covers off my car, I media blasted them, as there was some rust on them where the paint has come off. I then used several coats of filler primer and wet-sanded between coats to fill up the former rust pores. So I got a perfectly smooth surface again.
In the meantime I thoroughly cleaned the surfaces on the rocker arms where the gasket was, to make sure that I would get a good sealing once a new gasket was installed.

My friend Richard trying to media blast the covers.
Completely rust free after sandblasting - but one can see where the rust once was…
I applied several coats of filler primer and sanded the covers to a perfectly smooth finish.
After spraying them with Bill Hirsch Engine Enamel…

After the application of the engine enamel I let the covers dry for 2 weeks before I installed them back into the car. I made sure that the new cork seal was well seated and tightened the screws carefully. You only have to tighten them to 3nm - thats only hand tight. After the first test run they seem to seal perfectly.

Back in the car.
Back in the car
Back in the car - as you can see there are some more areas which could use some fresh paint as well. I will do that later,