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Hello! I'm looking to paint my somewhat rusted tank outside. It seems the easiest thing is wire brush, sand maybe, primer, and paint.

What I'm struggling with is finding the primer or paint anywhere. Anyone have any ideas?
 

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Premium Member
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This is one job that Rustoleum really outperforms any other paint system, well, unless you want to spend a small fortune. Sand, wire brush, whatever it takes to get the rust off. Prime with some Rusty Metal Primer and topcoat with Rustoleum oil-based and that paint job will last for years. I painted a fire escape for a church about 20 years ago with the same system, and, remarkably, it has held up well. Some spots need attention, but, wow, it works well on metal!

The reason you don't want to use water based paint (and you could) is that it tends to act as a wick if you missed any rust areas and that rust will telegraph (wick) through at some point. Also, Oilbased, in this case (a smooth, hard surface) is simply better for this application.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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When I owned a cottage in western Mass the 500 gallon tank was owned by the gas supplier. I called to tell them it was rusty and they sent someone out to paint it.
 

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When I owned a cottage in western Mass the 500 gallon tank was owned by the gas supplier. I called to tell them it was rusty and they sent someone out to paint it.
That must have been a long time ago when there were Mom and Pop propane suppliers that gave a damm.:vs_laugh:
 

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I purchased a 500 gallon tank for our retirement home , it was in decent shape but grungy . Gave it 2 good washes with Purple Power and let it dry . I had a quart of old Glidden oil based aluminum paint kicking around in my stash so went to town with a brush . That was two years ago and it looks as good today as it did then .
 

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Tanks are always painted light colors to reduce heat build up in the sun.
 
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My propane supplier sand blasts the old tanks before priming and painting with oil base. But with lots of new technology, I bet it would last longer if sand blasted and had powder coat primer and paint. After each powder coating, the metal part is baked which melts the powder and provides a lasting finish.
 

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Stan
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How old is your tank? Propane tanks must be recertified 10 years after their date of manufacture and every five years following that. They'll refuse to fill your tank if it's out of date and not certified or if it's rusted or in bad condition.

The expire year-month date is stamped on the collar. ie, 03-20 would expire this month, March 2020.

So don't overdo your prep and painting. There is no need to make it last forever. A couple of years ago I went to refill a RV horizontal chassis mounted tank. It would have cost almost as much to recertify it as for a new tank. Much longer ago than that I bought a new BBQ tank, and a year and a half later they went to different fill fittings and I could only fill it twice(?) since then.

Just wire brush the hεll out of it, then hit it with a rattle can of Rustoleum primer and then whatever color you'd like.

If you can't find it local, try Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer - $3.98 or Pick another from Amazon.
 

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retired painter
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I agree with using Rustoleum's rusty metal primer but I'd brush it on before I'd use a rattle can. It's easier to get a thick enough film of primer to be helpful with a brush versus the drastically thinned paint in a rattle can.
 
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