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More paint questions....

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Got more paint questions....Im starting to think Im on the wrong site!! :lol:

Well, as we all know, most of the time, looks are everything. For those who cant quite afford mods that really matter and make a difference, we can at least look like were hot sh**t.

I want to paint my gas tank. What is the best way to strip it to a paintable state? Rotary wire brush? Paint stripper? Elbow grease and sand paper? How much should it be sanded? Down to metal? Im looking to paint it myself. Will spray paint come out looking decent? Should i put a clear coat over it all? How many coats? Or, maybe i should just take it in and gitter done professionally?

Thanks for any tips ya might have....

:banana:

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If you're doing it yourself with rattle-can paint just remember that gas WILL splash onto it, and it won't take long to ruin your nice new paint job. Over the counter paint isn't designed to hold up to gas and/or oil, or other solvents. If you do the prep work then take it to a pro to lay down the color you'll get a much longer-lasting and more even result, and it won't cost very much. Much of a professional painter's cost is in the labor involved with the prep work.

You don't need to take it down to metal, but you do need to get the decals off (heat gun, goo-gone, scraper, wire wheel - whatever works best for you) then sand the remainder of the finish with wet-dry 400 or 300 grit (depends on the paint) until it's even and smooth, as smooth as you can get it, but it doesn't have to be perfect - the primer will take care of that. Then clean out the inside, tape over the holes (do it carefully - remember that whatever you don't tape will get painted, and whatever you do won't) and lay down some good rattle-can primer (spray a light coat, let it dry, spray again etc. until it's evenly covered - shouldn't need more than 3 coats at most, but don't lay the coats on thick). You want good, complete coverage, but not a thick, heavy layer when you're done. When the primer is dry, wet sand with 800 grit wet-dry until it's very smooth and even to the touch - you can knock down the initial layer then bump up to 1000 or higher grit to get it mirror smooth. It shouldn't take a LOT of sanding to get there so don't sand thru the primer or you'll have to reprime and start again. Then run a tack cloth over it and finally a paint-prep degreaser. Then take it to your favorite painter and pay him to shoot some color and clear on it.

If you really want to do the color yourself I'd recommend using Color-Rite rattle-can paint http://www.colorrite.com/ since it'll hold up better than whatever you can get in a hardware store (if you have a gun I'd recommend PPG or other pro paint, but I'll assume you don't or you wouldn't have started this thread :banana:). Spray on the color in light coats with smooth, sweeping motions and let it fully dry between coats. You can lightly wet sand with 1000 or higher grit between coats to keep the finish as smooth as possible but it likely won't be necessary. Again, don't go thick and heavy or you'll get runs or orange peel, and if it's very humid where you're painting you'll likely get fisheye spots. Also, if it's cold you'll likely get pretty bad orange peel, or a very uneven final finish. You can probably get it covered nicely in 3 coats (single color anyway - if you're doing multiple colors or a design/decal that's a whole different thing). The final coat won't need sanding or any other finishing work besides a nice buff and wax, then you're done, just be careful not to spill any gas on it when you fill up or all the hard work will disappear pretty quick.

I'd also recommend searching around the interwebnets for other painting resources, or here if there are pros or threads dedicated to painting. There's a lot of good info out there about the best way to prep and which paints may hold up better to gas than others, etc.

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Many small operation size auto painters will paint your tank pretty cheap and it will be much more durable than most any rattle can paint. Check around and find some shops too, they might school you on prepping it yourself and then drop it off to shoot along with the next paint repair job they have. Materials are left over after every shoot so...perhaps you can benefit for only a small cost.

The last shop that did this for a buddy of mine was into bikes and loved the chance to be part of the project. He did the tank, front and rear fenders (all metal parts) for 100 bucks (basecoat-clearcoat). The prep work is where much of the labor is, my buddy did that himself. Depending on the type of paint/process too...some are more but that is mitigated if the painter is doing another project and can use the left over materials.

On the other hand, if you are hard on your equip. and/or expect to sustain damage of some kind soon, in the form of scratches from brush, garage dings from kids, etc. maybe a rattle can type of job would suffice.

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Also, you can buy some good paint at auto parts places. And they can put certain colors in spray cans for you. I re-painted some of my enclosed trailer. It is white and they put that in spray cans for me. I'm not sure what other colors they can put into cans for you, but thought I'd throw it out there.....

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