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Old 08-19-2011, 12:39 PM   #1
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painting a propane tank


What's the best kind of paint to use? How much would it take to cover a 500 gal. tank? Do I need to prime first?

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Old 08-19-2011, 12:56 PM   #2
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UFO, would this happen to be the fuel tank for your ship? I would suggest an aerospace primer/finish.
Wire brush the loose scaling rust, prime with a quality oil primer rated for ferrous metals, then apply the finish of your choice. Or, prep and apply two coats of a product like RustOleum, or something recommended by a real paint store.

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:11 PM   #3
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UFO, would this happen to be the fuel tank for your ship? I would suggest an aerospace primer/finish.
Wire brush the loose scaling rust, prime with a quality oil primer rated for ferrous metals, then apply the finish of your choice. Or, prep and apply two coats of a product like RustOleum, or something recommended by a real paint store.
My spaceship runs on beer!
I asked at the Sherwin Williams store but the salesKid seemed like he'd never heard of a propane tank and didn't act like he knew that they have to be painted. I don't think there's any rust, so I think I'll just wash, prime and paint.
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
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Wash it, scrape any loose flaking paint, grind and wire brush off any surface rust. Apply Sherwin Williams Oil Base Kem Bond Primer to any bare and/or rusted areas. Apply 2 coats of Sherwin Williams DTM Acrylic.
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Old 08-19-2011, 05:12 PM   #5
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Wash it, scrape any loose flaking paint, grind and wire brush off any surface rust. Apply Sherwin Williams Oil Base Kem Bond Primer to any bare and/or rusted areas. Apply 2 coats of Sherwin Williams DTM Acrylic.
Easy with the sparks, sparky. Remember, it's UFO's fuel tank.
By the way, good to see you Tom.
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Old 08-19-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
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Easy with the sparks, sparky. Remember, it's UFO's fuel tank.
By the way, good to see you Tom.

Ya, make sure there are no leaks first. Nice to be seen Joe.
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Old 08-19-2011, 05:39 PM   #7
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[quote=jsheridan;710922]Easy with the sparks, sparky. Remember, it's UFO's fuel tank.

SSPC-SP4 Flame Cleaning- removal of all loose scale,rust and other detrimental foreign matter by passing a high temperature, high velocity oxy-acetylene flames over the entire surface, followed by wire brushing.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:18 PM   #8
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painting a propane tank


Scratch the grinding. I sometimes forget I'm on a diy site. I have shrouds on my grinder that are hooked up to a vacumne that suck everything up and there are also special blankets you can use, but for a diyer its probally not worth the exter expense to set yourself up to grind, as its not cheap. We do industrial work occasionally and sometimes re painting of large exterior generator fuel tanks.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:28 PM   #9
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Besides that Tom, not to disparage OP, but have you ever seen an HO with a belt sander? I'd be concerned that, in their perfectionist zeal to do a "great" job, they end up removing necessary thickness required to hold the pressure of 500 gals of propane. OP, I use propane as well, however, my company owns my tank. Mine needs painting as well, and the company says they replace it with a freshly painted one and restore mine for use elsewhere. I have an empty tank now and will have it replaced soon before refilling for the winter. They're not allowed to recapture the gas, so any your holding is burned off. Sorry, at 2 something a gallon, you're not burning mine off.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:35 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=mustangmike3789;710935]
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Originally Posted by jsheridan View Post
Easy with the sparks, sparky. Remember, it's UFO's fuel tank.

SSPC-SP4 Flame Cleaning- removal of all loose scale,rust and other detrimental foreign matter by passing a high temperature, high velocity oxy-acetylene flames over the entire surface, followed by wire brushing.
Sounds like a blast.....
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:45 PM   #11
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Hey Pilot,

You should check with local authorities first. You cannot paint a propane tank just any color you want. They must be painted with a light-colored refective paint. This is why so many of them are either white or silver.

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NFPA 58 states that propane containers must be painted a heat reflective color. Most state regulatory agencies have their own rule addressing this particular issue but the national code declares that LP Gas containers must be painted a heat reflective color unless installed in an extremely cold environment.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:00 AM   #12
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Hey Pilot,

You should check with local authorities first. You cannot paint a propane tank just any color you want. They must be painted with a light-colored refective paint. This is why so many of them are either white or silver.
It's already white, I'm going to paint it white again.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:11 AM   #13
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A few years ago a local dairy farmer painted big black blobs on his white propane tank to simulate his dairy cows. Authorities made him change it.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:06 AM   #14
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There's one in Florissant Colorado that's painted like a Yellow submarine. It's been that way for at least twenty five years now.
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:44 PM   #15
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It's already white, I'm going to paint it white again.
The question is what kind of end result you're after?

My family lived on an acreage for about 10 years. 500 gallon propane tank. I painted it once during that time, and it looked perfectly fine.

All I did was power-washed it, let it dry, and rolled on gloss-white Rustoleum.

Was it the very best paint job that could have been had? Nope. But it was pretty darned good, and lasted a long time. I'd do the exact same thing again if we still lived there.

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