Painting a Plastic Gas Tank

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mcma111, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    Forgive me if this has previously been addressd but I searched and couldn't find an answer.

    My buddy has a black Clarke tank on his XR650l and he wants to paint it. Black. Go figure. I have told him that based on what I have heard and experienced with tank graphics in the past that the paint will not stick.

    Am I correct or is there a method to get paint to stick on a plastic gas tank? Do tell.

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. Barman

    Barman Way Offline

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    Krylon has their Fusion line for plastic. Depends on his expectations of quality using a rattle can. :dunno
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  3. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    Doh. I thought I was in the Garage section.

    Mods, Please move this thread.
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  4. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

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    While repainting case lids that had been scuffed down to the original PLASTIC moulding...professional paint supply Company recommended this....promotes adhesion between plastic and paint. Works like a charm. Highly recommended. Search the web for more details about the product.

    OK...here's a link: http://www.wmbarr.com/product.aspx?catid=1&prodid=56

    <a href="http://s635.photobucket.com/albums/uu73/RMWBMW/2010%20Vario%20Cases%20and%20Mounts/?action=view&amp;current=DSC00929.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu73/RMWBMW/2010%20Vario%20Cases%20and%20Mounts/DSC00929.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    #4
  5. D.T.

    D.T. Difficult but useful

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  6. MightyChosen1

    MightyChosen1 I wanna be sedated

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    I have good things about the Krylon Fusion too but I here that gas will take the paint off if spilled.

    I have painted a few old beaters with normal paint before. I just scuffed it up with a scotchbrite pad , Cleaned it a couple time with thinner and used a light coat of primer. It will come off in spots but a quick touch-up with a rattle can and its good to go.


    .
    #6
  7. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    Paint will stick to the tank no problem, but as any HDPE plastic tank which hasnt been specially processed during manufacture, will be permeated by petrol fumes, then before long the paint will lift and fall off.
    #7
  8. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    That's EXACTLY what I thought. No solution eh?
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  9. granty

    granty n00b

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    Hi,if it's any help, it's not the painting on the outside of the tank thats a problem,
    it's sealing the inside of a plastic tank,go to sealing plastic tank in garage forum,
    might be of some help?
    #9
  10. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    Paint on plastic tanks that werent painted originally is a non starter. There are all sorts of ridiculous suggestions relating to how to seal plastic and GRP tanks internally, but this is pretty much like trying to glue something to the inside of a teflon coated frying pan, after you have just cooked something in it, and its still coated with cooking oil.
    #10
  11. malokam

    malokam Been here awhile

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    First hand experience here. Dont try to paint without sealing the inside. I have an IMS for my DR that I tried to paint.
    I have painted my whole bike with Krylon and it holds up REALLY well on the outside and I have a rattlecan Rustoleum clear coating that holds up to even gas spills. The outside is not a problem, however, permeating gas from the inside is.

    For plastic tanks you have a better chance with this product. However, I personally havent tested it and I cant guarentee its gonna work. If it is a Brand new tank, you have a better chance of sealing it and thats all I can say.
    [​IMG]
    http://www.caswellplating.com/restoration-aids/epoxy-gas-tank-sealer.html

    Dont have pics of bubbling up but this is what I did. And I had a leaky petcock which stripped the paint off the left side.
    [​IMG]

    And then decided to just get bedliner. It bubble up once in a while and I pierce it and pull the air out. Been working for me for the past 7-8 months. I went with the textured bedliner but you can go with plain finish.
    Do use Adhesive promoter if you are going the bedliner way.
    [​IMG]

    I have also seen other plastic tanks being bedlined and holding up decently on the internet. Hope that helps.
    #11
  12. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    As I said there are plenty of weird and wonderful solutions for sealing plastic tanks, none of which are likely to work.................
    #12
  13. malokam

    malokam Been here awhile

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    While I agree to some extent, I have to say the following.

    I dont mean it in a sarcastic way, but every thread/webpage I lookup for this had blunt comments like yours "It doesnt work". But no one ever does a review or documented experience that says, ""Caswell epoxy doesnt work, I tried it".
    Or "product X has been tested by me and this $hits the bomb"

    Even now, I can show you 100s of pages that just dismiss the idea of Krylon on plastics stating the idea that it wont hold up against gas spills. Well, on my bike it has been 8ish months since the first piece of plastic was painted and I had numerous gas spills and it hasnt peeled off yet. (Not the tank mind you, Im talking about other plastics)

    Now that I have first hand experience with gas permeating, I can state that, YES, it happens and just painting a plastic tank would be disastrous.

    My point being if someone tried a plastic tank sealer out there, please report on the product you tried and what kind of result you got. Once again, sorry if the response was offensive.
    #13
  14. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    See if you can get any of the so called tank "sealers" to stick to a teflon coated frying pan. If you can find anything that does, then you have the ideal product to seal plastic tanks.
    #14
  15. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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    Ok gang. I appreciate all of the input so far but I think I'm gonna tell my buddy that painting a plastic gas tank is a no-go. The tank in question is used so the idea of getting a sealer to stick is doubtful. Since he's a bit of a hard head I'm sure he will disregard my recommendations and paint the tank anyway at which point I can pull out the I TOLD YOU SO card.

    Thanks, Steve
    #15
  16. malokam

    malokam Been here awhile

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    Yeah, probably a good move since its not you who is painting the tank.
    If he doesnt care about a little bit of bubbling up here and there over time, he can try bed liner.
    #16
  17. malokam

    malokam Been here awhile

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    Again, no disrespect but I just wanted to see some documentation/prrof that anyone tried it first-hand and not a statement "Its not going to work"

    I have stickerbombed plastics and metal tank that are going to go on my bike in a week or so. I will definitely try one of the products on my plastic IMS and report with results.

    The Caswell product I linked before looks better promising than any other stuff IMO
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  18. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    Caswell epoxy is resistant to efuels, but its also very brittle, and even if you could get it to stick to the inside of a plastic tank (quite impossible), then unless you were somehow able to get a uniform film thickness of 4-5mm over the entire inside surface, then before very long the "sealer" would crack and fall off, in just the same way as it does when used on GRP tanks.
    #18
  19. malokam

    malokam Been here awhile

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    Thanks. So any other suggestions that "MIGHT" work by a long shot?
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  20. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    There are some industrial sealers used in the aircraft industry, which remain flexible when fully cured, but I would imagine the cost is likely to be more than a new tank. Why not get a tank cover made for the bike? These can be made pretty cheaply, and will smarten up any bike with a tatty looking plastic tank.
    #20