How to Paint a Motorcycle’s Gas Tank
One of the most handsome parts of a motorcycle is the gas tank. On certain motorcycles, it is also the only part of the bike that can be custom painted. Painting the gas tank is rather easy. Simply use the following instructions if you wish to paint your motorcycle’s gas tank.
First, you’ll need to gather the tools and supplies you will need to paint your tank. Things you will need include a paint spray gun, special paint designed for gas tanks, primer, paint tape, a screw driver, and a sand blaster.
The second step is emptying the gas from your bike’s tank. Once it has been emptied, you can take the tank off of the frame. More than likely, there will be screws keeping it fastened to the frame behind and in front of the tank. There may also be bolts under the tank that keep it in place. Unscrew all the bolts and screws. You may need to remove the seat of your bike before you remove the gas tank. You should also disconnect the fuel line and the shutoff valve. Once you have done all this, you can separate the tank from the frame.
Next, take the cap off of the tank. If it won’t budge, you may want to leave the cap on. Leaving it on can save you time and reduce the risk of breaking the cap or the tank’s seal. If you choose to leave the cap on, make sure to very carefully tape it up. Before you continue, you should check to make sure there is no gas or fumes left in the tank. Also make sure the tank has completely dried.
Now you need to sand your gas tank. Get your sander ready and then use it to remove all the paint that is already on the tank. Blast the paint away until you can only see metal. However, you should still be careful to not blast the metal too hard so you don’t actually damage the tank. If you have an older tank that already has cracks or rust damage, you may want to sand it by hand instead.
If there is damage to the tank, you should get it repaired immediately. If you’re not sure, inspect the tank closely and look for any cracks and any weaknesses in the metal. Make sure to check near any seams in the tank since damage is most likely to occur near these areas. If you do find damage, take it to a professional to be repaired.
Once you are sure the tank is safe, you can add your first coat of paint. When you add the primer, do so by moving the brush in very quick motions across the tank. Paint like this until you have several layers of primer on the tank. In between coats, you should let the paint dry. Use as many coats as you like until you are satisfied with the appearance of the tank.
Once you are finished adding primer, you will need to sand the tank using 360 grit sandpaper. Sanding it like this will allow the next coat of paint you add to have a very smooth appearance. When you add the next coat, simply add a coat to one side of the tank and then let it dry. Once that coat has dried, add a coat to the other side of the tank.
For the next coat, you will want to use your paint spray gun. Follow the instructions that came with the gun to set it up. Before you spray the tank, shoot several sprays of paint at different pieces of paper to test the gun. Shoot the test sprays at several different speeds to make sure the gun is running correctly at all settings. Also make sure you become comfortable with spraying the gun while testing it so you can do a good job on the tank.
Now use the spray gun on the tank. Try to coat the entire tank evenly and make sure to spray paint into any crevices. After you have allowed this coat to dry, you can turn the tank over and paint the bottom of it.
If you need to apply a final top coat of paint to the tank, do so after the last coat has dried. Paint it using the same method you used to add the first coat of paint. After this final coat has dried, you should be finished.