Can You Paint Your Residential Propane Tank?

Posted on: 8 September 2015

Once you've had a residential propane tank for many years, you may eventually find yourself wanting to paint it. Before you can get started, however, you'll need to find out whether or not it's safe and allowed. These answers to commonly asked questions can guide you in the process.     

Can you paint your residential propane tank?

The short answer to this question is yes, but there are caveats. There are regulations that control the type of paint and color of paint that homeowners are allowed to use on their propane tanks. Knowing what colors and paint types are acceptable to use is important for ensuring the continued safety of your tank as well as continued service from your residential propane gas supplier.

What colors are you allowed to paint your tank, and why?

Dark colors absorb heat. When a propane tank is painted in a dark color, the tank heats up in the sunlight. When the propane inside the tank heats up, this causes the propane to expand, which can put pressure on the tank and cause it to break down.

In addition, extreme temperatures can cause the propane to catch fire, causing a fire or explosion. For this reason, homeowners who wish to paint their tank are limited to light, reflective colors. White, silver and light gray are all commonly accepted colors. Some homeowners are also allowed to paint their gas tanks with other light colors like khaki or soft pastels. Your residential propane gas service will be able to offer you guidance on this issue.

What kind of paint should be used to paint your propane tank?

Paint your propane tank with rust-inhibiting paint for metal surfaces. Other types of paint can wear down or flake off more quickly, leaving your tank vulnerable to the elements. Eventually, using the wrong paint on your tank can cause it to rust and break down.

What method should be used to paint your tank?

Remove the old paint with a wire brush and sand down any existing rust with the wire brush and sand paper. Continue to sand until all the rust is removed and the bare metal underneath is exposed. When this is done, coat the tank with a layer of metal paint and wait for it to dry. Do this at a time when the tank is in shade because painting the tank when it's exposed to sunlight can cause adhesion problems. Once the first coat of paint has dried, paint the tank with a second coat.

For more information about how to paint your residential propane tank, contact a local residential propane gas service.

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