Painting a motorcycle's tank is one way to customize it, but not everyone knows how to do it. The fuel tank is a very sensitive part, and there is a specific technique to paint it safely to create a good finish. Learn the best way to paint your tank without spending money to hire someone.
Step 1. Remove all old paint
Use a sanding machine to sand the tank until only the metal is visible. The sander can create cracks and holes. If this happens, use metal alloy to fill in the cracks and an automobile repair putty to fill in the holes. Use a No. 180 sandpaper over the surface to smooth the tank.
Step 2. Cover all openings with electrical tape and use a utility knife to cut off excess edges before starting to paint
Cover any areas where the rubber gaskets are in contact with the tank to prevent paint from getting into the tank. This should include the following areas: the filler neck, the fuel tap and the fuel gauge connection inlet.
Step 3. Apply at least five coats of primer paint
Let each one dry. After each application, sand and re-cover the tank with paint until 5 layers are added.
Step 4. Apply several layers of paint and between each one use a #380 sandpaper
Allow each application to dry before starting another.
Step 5. Make paintings and drawings if you wish
Step 6. Apply three or four coats of clear polymer sealant
Let it dry. With sealant, your tank will be protected from fuel drop stains.
- Apply a primer and paint under suitable conditions to achieve best results. Paint in a well-lit area, with the temperature close to 20 degrees, with low humidity (below 50 percent) and most importantly, in a well-ventilated area.
- Take pictures of the tank and note any dents and/or defects that already exist in it before using the sanding machine. This can help you remember where the dents are, as they can be more difficult to see later.
- Before you paint your tank, remove all the fuel inside and place it in a suitable container. Make sure the tank is completely empty and vented before painting -- as gasoline is highly flammable. Empty the tank completely, until you can no longer smell gasoline -- which could take a few days.
- Remove all the old paint before applying the new one to avoid incompatibility issues between the two. If you are unable to remove all the old paint, it will be clearly visible after re-applying.