Painting a motorcycle tank is a good way to add a personal touch, although not everyone knows how to do it. The gas tank of a motorcycle is an extremely sensitive part and there are specific techniques to do this safely and also allow you to obtain a smooth finish. Learn the best method to paint the motorcycle tank and thus you can save money that you would have to spend hiring someone to do it for you.
Step 1. Remove all existing paint
Use a sander to sand the tank until the metal is visible. Sanding could leave some cracks and holes left, so use a metal filler to cover the cracks and putty to fill in the holes. Use 180 grit sandpaper on the surface. Swipe it several times until it feels smooth to the touch.
Step 2. Cover all openings with electrical tape and use a utility knife to trim the tape before you begin painting the motorcycle tank
Cover all areas where the rubber gaskets are in contact with the gas tank, as this will prevent the paint from penetrating into the tank. These areas also include the nozzle area, petcock parts, and the part that connects the fuel gauge to the motorcycle's tank.
Step 3. Apply at least 5 coats of primer
Wait for each coat to dry before continuing. Once each coat has dried, sand it down and apply another coat. Repeat this until you have applied all 5 layers.
Step 4. Apply several coats of primer and sand each coat with 380-grit paper
Wait for each coat to dry before moving on to the next.
Step 5. Paint with an airbrush and add some designs if you want
Step 6. Apply 3-4 coats of polymer
Wait for them to dry. This will protect your tank in case some gasoline leaks when you go to fill it.
- For best results, apply primer and paint coats under optimal conditions. Make sure your work area has good lighting, a temperature of approximately 21 degrees Celsius, and low humidity (relative humidity below 50%). And, most important of all, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area.
- Take pictures of the tank and note the location of any dents or stains on the tank before you start sanding. This will help you remember where the dents were as they will likely be harder to locate later.
- Before painting your motorcycle's tank, drain all the gasoline into a suitable container. Make sure you completely aerate the tank before you start painting, as gasoline is highly flammable. Let the inside of the tank dry until you no longer smell gasoline fumes, which could take a few days.
- Remove all the old paint before applying the new one to avoid incompatibility problems between the two types of paint. If you can't get the old paint off properly, this will be quite apparent once you finish painting the tank.