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Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Painting - The Chop Shop Custom fabrication and projects, tanks, frames and more.

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Old 01-06-2009, 10:22 AM
CCBikeMan's Avatar
CCBikeMan CCBikeMan is offline
Motorized Bicycle Newbie
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 2
Default Need Help Painting Gas Tank

I have a Schwinn Point Beach with an 80cc two stroke that is red and white. The black gas tank stands out, and I wanted to add some eye-catching ability by painting the gas tank a matching red color with maybe some white flames. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this some what cheaply? I do not have any painting equipment, but would like to do this myself. Is there maybe some stensils to use to make the flames, and how would I go about matching the red color of my bike? Any info would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks and have fun riding!!!
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:44 AM
toytime toytime is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 550
Default Re: Need Help Painting Gas Tank

I was a spray painter for most of my life so I think I can help you. Keep in mind that you will never get the quality that a spray gun will give you. Spray bombs use a very thin paint and do not offer the ability to use a "hardener or catalyst".
That being said, Rustoleum brand paint seems to be favoured by many users. If you really want a great job you can paint it a few times, water sanding with 1000 grit wet/dry paper after each coat dries. Use a good quality Clear Coat for your last few coats. I also found that to get a dust free job, it is best to hang the tank up by it's front tip so that the gas cap is facing your nose as you stand there. I always found that if painted in the same position as it sits on your bike, you get way to much dust.
As for flames, you could get a roll of 1/8 or 1/16th wide "fine line tape" and use pics to give you ideas. Fine line tape is very thin, giving you nice crisp edges while masking tape will give you "fuzzy" , thicker edges. Remember to use a few drops of dish soap in the water if you decide to water sand. and don't forget to use a tack rag each time you are about to paint and do not press down hard as you tack off for dust, just let the rag rest on the part as you use it.

Edit; A lazy mans way of putting flames on could be to use stickers covering the whole tank in clear paint, giving it the effect of being painted on. Use lots of clear.

Last edited by toytime; 01-06-2009 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:12 AM
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jasonh jasonh is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Longmont, CO
Posts: 1,590
Default Re: Need Help Painting Gas Tank

For flames, spray the lighter color first, then do your masking and spray the darker color. Here is my recent flame job:

Search for articles online on how to paint flames. I found a few good articles when researching for mine. I didn't do it the ideal way on mine, but I will be doing a new tank eventually so at least I have some practice.

You can get a pretty good finish with just a rattle can. Some things to ensure this:

-degrease and wash the tank thoroughly FIRST.
-Sand the stock paint off the tank. I used 80, 200, 320, and 600. I didn't worry about doing the bottom well since you won't see it, I just scuffed it and cleaned it up with the 320.
-Use a good primer made for metal. (I used Rustoleum for everything) A couple coats, wetsanding between each is what I did.
-Use clean hands and a rag when handling the tank, or wear gloves. Only handle the tank by the bolts is the best way to not get gunk on the surface to be painted.
-if using just a plain color, wetsand between coats with min 1000 grit paper. At the very least, wetsand the 2nd-to-last coat.
-If you're using a metallic paint, don't wet sand the color.
-Don't lay the paint on too thick. My first coat or two are usually pretty thin/dry, and I spray them a little wetter with each coat, but not too wet - drips and runs are bad, mmkay?
-Lots of a good clear - not too heavy on each coat, not too thin. This takes a little practice. I used Rustoleum Lacquer.
-You can wetsand and polish the heck out of the clear if you want. With the lacquer and the way I applied it, I have a very smooth and glossy finish without doing anything after spraying.

Hope that helps.
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