Many modern homeowners like to have a portable propane tank, which comes handy in a number of situations. Propane tanks are designed for functionality and not for style, and therefore, placing one in your house may ruin the look of the concerned space. No wonder, people are often interested in painting their propane tanks. In this post, we will talk about a few safety concerns and offer a complete step-by-step guide for painting portable propane tanks in your house.
While it’s possible to paint such gas tanks, a few standards as set by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) must be followed. NFPA states that only light and reflective colors should be used for such DIY tasks. Also, there are additional norms for the type of paint that can be used. Keep in mind that federal and state laws also matter in this regard. The permitted range of colors includes light gray, white and silver. Some of the pastel shades and colors like beige are also allowed. If you don’t want to make a mistake, it’s best to talk to the local propane supplier for the complete set of norms and additional suggestions. As for the paint type, you should only use those that are designed for metal surfaces. Such paints are meant to keep rust at bay, which ensures and maintains the structural integrity of the tank.
Know the reasons
Dark colors tend to absorb more heat, and propane, which is a compressed gas, is affected by the change in temperature. If you paint the tank black, it will absorb more heat, which will cause the expansion the propane gas and will exert pressure on the tank’s safety valve. The gas will try to escape, which can be a matter of grave concern. Of course, higher temperatures and heat increases the risk of combustion too. You can learn about painting a propane tank here.
Steps for painting the tank
- First things first, you have to prep the tank before you can start the actual painting. Start by cleaning the dust and grime on the surface of the tank. If you find signs of rust, you will need sandpaper to scrape it off. Extremely rusted propane tanks should NOT be painted. Contact your propane supplier if you see signs of considerable rusting.
- Clean the tank using a piece of cloth, which will further smooth the surface and remove the additional residue. If you have used a damp cloth, make sure that the tank is completely dry before you start to paint it. Next, get a can of rust-inhibiting metal primer and start spraying on the entire surface. The primer needs to dry completely before paint is used. If required, use two coats of primer.
- Finally, start painting the tank. As mentioned, you can only use rust-resistant metal paints. Let the first coat of paint dry before you paint again. More than a few layers can be utilized for a better opaque look, but talk to your local supplier to know if any additional concerns must be addressed. Allow the tank to dry for 24 to 48 hours, and you are done!
As long as you are not compromising on any safety aspects, painting your propane tank can be a fun task for the weekend.