"Any tips from anybody who has painted any type of engine would be appreciated."
Well I've found a few things out from people not on this forum who have painted their engines, so here you go.
Paint needs to be baked once sprayed, else wont heat cycle properly and will go off colour.
Etcher does not require to be used, most VHT Paints are self etching.
To thin and it flakes, too thick and it will blister, this is multiplied if the bake cycle is not adhered too.
Powder coating is ill-advised due to the heat cycle of the engine and the effect of the chemical in the paint.
None of these people have had issues with time or mileage/weather regarding the decay of the paint job.
I got sent a picture, was a stunning example of somebody's work, he had done 10,000miles and rode all year round, it looks as new :-) he also only used VHT Paint.
His words were, "its in the prep, degrease plenty of times, wash it off, degrease again, wash off, use a scotch pad on a drill to rough up the key, wash off and use paint prep wipes. Then mask up and paint." Be sure to bake the paint job he told me.