How To Paint A Motorcycle Gas Tank With A Rattle Can?

How To Paint A Motorcycle Gas Tank With A Rattle Can

Painting a motorcycle gas tank is always fun. I mean, isn’t it exciting to get a new color on your bike all by yourself? Trust me, the paint will remind you what a good job you have done! However, I understand that painting a motorcycle gas tank needs proficiency. But with a rattle can and following the right steps, you can get a fine-painted motorcycle tank by yourself. 

In fact, using a rattle can for painting a motorcycle gas tank is a convenient and beginner-friendly way. The painting process is simple but gorgeous. But there is a lot more to do before and after painting it. Only then can you get the desired finish. 

Though simple, painting with a rattle can require you to follow some strict rules. I’m going to talk about painting a motorcycle gas tank with a rattle spray can in this article. So stay with me, and learn the fun and easy way of painting your motorcycle! 

7 Steps To Paint A Motorcycle Tank With Rattle Can: A Complete Guide

Spraying with a rattle can is a lot easier than spraying with a spraying gun. The paint is prepared in the can and you can just grab one and spray it (of course in a certain way). But you need to have patience for the other jobs you would require to do. Note that the process can be time-consuming and you can’t just miss out on any of the steps. 

On that note, I will start mentioning the steps of painting a motorcycle tank with a rattle can. But before that, load your brain with one thing, ‘PATIENCE’! 

Step 1: Gather The Materials For Painting

Before you start the project, gather the materials first. This will help you to cut off time and do it in a proper way. 

Here is a list of materials you need for painting the tank with a rattle can: 

  • Rattle can paint;
  • Rattle can epoxy primer;
  • Rattle can clear coat;
  • Sandpaper of different grades;
  • Sandpaper block;
  • Chemical for color stripping;
  • Dent filler scraper;
  • Dent filler;
  • Masking tape and old papers; 
  • Soft cotton rag;
  • Safety goggles;
  • Face mask;
  • Hand gloves; 

Get all these supplies from a hardware store first. Then prepare your garage for the project. Ventilate the area well with a table fan and add a light source for better visibility. 

Next, wear safety glasses, hand gloves, and a face mask for your safety. As toxic fumes are released, you should work with caution. 

Step 2: Detach The Tank And Clean It

Detaching the motorcycle’s tank is the next step. First, disconnect the pipe connecting the motorcycle and the tank. Then unscrew the bolts and screws with a screwdriver and wrench. Take out the motorcycle’s tank and empty it if there is any fuel left inside. Seal it up in a can and set it aside. Seal the fuel pipe with a clamp. 

After emptying the tank, clean the inside of the tank by pressure washing. If you see stubborn buildups and rust, use vinegar and baking soda to clean the interior. Though this is optional, it is the right time to clean the tank before you paint it. 

Step 3: Choose The Color You Want

Now is the turn to choose the color you want to apply. Depending on your preference, you can either paint the motorcycle tank with the same color it has or select another color. 

Then comes the finish of the color. You can either go for a matte finish or a glossy finish. Though it depends on your choice, getting a matte finish is easier and more convenient than getting a glossy finish. For a matte finish, use 1k paint coating and for a glossy finish, use a 2k paint coating. 

If you want a sticker or graphic design, spray a clear coat after painting the tank. 

Step 4: Remove The Paint And Repair The Dents

The new layer of paint should be done on a smooth surface. This is why you have to remove the old paint and repair the dents before you spray paint the tank. 

For removing the old paint, use sandpaper to sand away the old coating. It not only removes the old paint but also smoothens the metal surface. Try low-grade sandpaper and then move to medium-grade sandpaper if needed. Keep sanding in circular motions until the old coating doesn’t get off the tank. Take a rest if you are tired. 

After sanding the motorcycle tank, use a towel to rub the motorcycle tank with a chemical that completely removes the color and extra residues. The chemical clears out the base layer of paint on the motorcycle tank and gives a smooth surface. Next, you have to work on the dents. 

First, use dent filler to fill the dents and scratches on the motorcycle fuel tank. Put a smooth layer of dent filler and scrape off the extra layer of dent filler from the top. Make the layer plain. Now let the filler embed strongly into the damaged areas. 

Knock the dent to see if it has dried fully or not. If dried properly, you need to sand the layer to make the dent merge into the body of the tank. Be consistent and patient while sanding away the dent filler. This not only makes the layer smooth but also increases the durability of the tank. Also, the spray paint sits easily on the tank when the dents are filled and the surface is smooth.

Step 5: Spray The Primer Coat On The Tank

Now that the tank is ready, you have to apply the epoxy primer to the tank. The importance of primer is that it protects the metal from damage and moisture as well as makes the paint long-lasting

For applying the primer, mount the tank on your eye level. Then clean it thoroughly with a wet cloth and let the surface dry. Now shake the rattle can of epoxy primer and spray it uniformly on the tank. Go horizontally and cover the entire tank. Don’t apply too much; just put on a single. Let the first coat dry for 30 minutes. 

After the primer dries out, apply a second layer of epoxy primer and let it dry. 

Step 6: Paint With The Rattle Can

Before you spray paint the motorcycle gas tank, sand the motorcycle once again to make the surface smooth and durable. After sanding, use a rag to clean the dust and residues. 

Now, if you want matte paint on the tank, using a 1k color is enough. In fact, it is super fast and easy to work with 1k paint. Just take the can and move horizontally to paint the tank. A single coat is enough for the base layer. After it dries out, you can add two more layers of 1k paint. In fact, you won’t even need any hardener as it is already mixed in the can. 

However, if you want a glossy look, use a 2k color. But in that case, you have to add a base color and sand it. This gives the shine on the tank. Then put on three or four coatings of the 2k paint allowing each layer to dry before adding the next layer. After painting, you have to apply hardener on the tank as 2k colors don’t have hardener premixed with it. 

Step 7: Apply Lacquer Clear Coat

The last task is to finish your work. It is basically to apply a lacquer clear coating that gives a smooth finish. It makes the paint long-lasting and protected from moisture and sunlight.

Before finishing your work, look for the dents and damages once again. If you see any uneven areas on the tank, sand it thoroughly and then apply the clear coat. 

Apply the clear coat by spraying it horizontally on the tank. Shake the rattle can before spraying. Put only a single coat of lacquer on it. Let it dry out completely and then apply another coat. And the job is done!

Why Paint A Motorcycle Gas Tank With A Rattle Can? (Know The Benefits)

You may wonder why you even choose to spray with a rattle can. Is it logical enough? Or you should use a spraying gun to do it? Now see, the choice is completely yours. But there are a few reasons why people choose to spray paint with a rattle can. Let me tell you some of the benefits: 

  • Using a rattle can paint is inexpensive. You can save up on the labor cost as well as get it all in the rattle can. Buying a spray gun and mixing different agents will cost you more than getting it all in the rattle can;
  • The need for mixing is no more if you use rattle can spray. The hardener and other agents are premixed with the rattle can spray paint. So you don’t need to worry about the portion of mixing and no more chances of messing up; 
  • It is very suitable for beginners and DIY lovers to use a rattle can for spray painting the motorcycle tank. In fact, it is fun to do it when you don’t need to mix anything, pour it into a spray can, etc. It is simple and easy; take the can and spray.

These are the top reasons why people prefer using a rattle can for spray painting a motorcycle gas tank. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

How Do You Paint A Motorcycle With Spray Cans?

Painting with a spray can is probably the most convenient way to color a motorcycle. It is super easy to use and can give you an amazing outcome even if you are a DIYer. 

For spray painting with spray cans, you need to sand away the old paint and polish the tank smoothly. Polish it until the layer is plain. Then fill the dents and sand them once again. After that, apply a rattle can epoxy primer on the tank and let it dry.

The primer ensures that the paint sits well. Next, spray paint the tank with spray cans and let it dry. Finish your work by spraying lacquer coating on the paint. That is how you can do the job with spray cans. 

How Do You Get A Good Finish With Rattle Cans?

Many may think that getting a good finish with rattle cans is impossible. But it is very possible if you know how to let the paint adhere well to the tank. 

The trick to getting a good finish with rattle cans is to sand the tank well. If you sand the tank, the extra layers come out and the base layer of the metal is exposed. With sanding, the metal becomes durable too.

Now when you apply primer and then spray the paint on it, it easily adheres to the primer and becomes very bright and vivid. For extra protection, you apply a lacquer clear coat. When all these are done, the finish becomes gorgeous and long-lasting. 

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On A Motorcycle Gas Tank?

Most DIYers prefer to use aerosol spray paint or rattle can spray paint to paint a motorcycle gas tank. It is actually proven to give a flawless finish. 

Not only is it easy to use a rattle can paint on a motorcycle tank, it is very convenient for you to buy. It is inexpensive and can be applied easily to the motorcycle tank.

Also, you make only little mistakes as the nozzle is thin and effectively covers the tank. So yes, as you get a fine finish with the rattle can spray paint, it is considered the best kind of paint. 


To conclude, spray painting the motorcycle gas tank with a rattle can is a great idea if you want to do it on your own. Following the steps described above, you can get the desired finish and look of the motorcycle gas tank

All set to get a new look of motorcycle gas tank with rattle spray paint? 

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