Can You Paint A Propane Tank? How To Do It?

Propane tanks are a reliable energy source in households, commercial establishments, and industrial facilities. While people mainly care about functionality and safety, aesthetics also play a crucial role. 

Many individuals wonder whether it is possible to personalize or camouflage them with some propane tank paint ideas, adding a touch of creativity to their surroundings. Join us to find out the answer!

You can paint your propane tank, provided it meets certain safety criteria. It’s best to use paint that can keep your tank from corrosion, like rust-inhibiting paint. Also, opt for propane tank colors with lighter shades that reflect the sunlight to reduce the risk of overheating and explosion.

Propane Tank painting
Propane Tank painting

According to Handbook 58 of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), you can only paint your propane tank in light coats such as white, light gray, silver, etc., which are heat-reflective. If you use darker colors, your tank has a high risk of absorbing heat, causing the propane to expand. As a result, the safety valve can open, and the gas escapes to the outside. Gas leaks lead to fires, explosions, and other dangerous accidents.

Regarding the type of paint, you have many different options as long as you feel satisfied with the finished product. Spray paint or paint roller is fine, but anti-rust options are the best paint for propane tanks. Remember that tanks with metal surfaces are prone to rust after a while. Therefore, investing in a coat that can resist rust and corrosion is best for effective long-term protection.

How To Paint A Propane Tank

Customizing propane tanks is not difficult if you follow the safety guidelines and standard procedures below. Before jumping into our step-by-step instructions, here are a few tips to streamline your task:

  • Work in a well-ventilated area and completely away from flammable substances.
  • Empty the tank and disconnect it before painting.
  • If your tank has some restricted areas, use a roll of tape to cover them.

Now, let’s get down to business!

  • Step 1: If your tank features a smooth surface, simply use dishwashing liquid to remove stains and dirt. Otherwise, sandpaper or a wire brush is handy for cleaning rusted tanks that promote heat absorption and harm structural integrity. 

Try to remove dark rust at all costs, as it can lead to structural weakness. In case your current one is excessively corroded, invest in a new one for your safety and the longevity of the tank.

  • Step 2: Rinse the surface with clean water and wait for it to dry completely.
  • Step 3: Begin with a primer layer, then paint the propane tank with at least 2 coats. Let the first coat dry before applying the following one.
  • Step 4: Reconnect your tank, and it is ready to use.

Painting Propane Tank Ideas

Use Fun Theme

Many homeowners have turned propane tanks into fun decorations by painting them bright colors according to a certain theme. For example, large tanks can be disguised as a cow, a pig, or a fish with basic color combinations and a few simple lines. 

A chubby snowman is also a cute idea for standing propane containers. For small or medium-sized items, a Jack-o’ lantern or a smiley face design can inspire you.

Fish painted on propane tank
Fish painted on propane tank

Utilize Landscaping

Invest in decorative items if you want to hide the tank out of everyone’s sight. Some place a long dining table and chairs to cover it, while others install a gazebo, cobblestone floors, or a shed.

Climbing flowers or tall shrubs provide similar coverage and even blend in with the surrounding landscape; just remember to choose plants with shallow roots. We do not appreciate this idea, though, as our ornamental plants wilted and died when they were exposed to the propane gas flow.

Put Up Fencing

The most direct way to hide a propane container is to build a fence around it. You can take advantage of existing flat pieces of wood or metal. Our only advice is to ensure adequate ventilation. You should also set up a suitable entrance since you must access the tank later.


What Happens If You Paint Without Priming?

Painting without a primer can lead to various issues, such as poor adhesion, uneven coverage, discoloration, and an unsatisfactory finish.

What Kills Rust In A Gas Tank?

There are a few methods and products to eliminate rust, including commercial rust removers, vinegar, phosphoric acid, or electrolysis (using an electrical current).


Paint for propane tanks is a captivating way to enhance its aesthetics. Additionally, it provides practical benefits as an additional layer to fight against corrosion, extending the tank’s lifespan. 

However, it is crucial to approach this task with care and adhere to safety guidelines. Work with a professional or seek guidance from tank manufacturers to carry out the entire makeover process correctly and safely.

Share on:

Alex Lewis

Alex Lewis

Petroleum Engineer At Rex Energy

I have worked in a variety of roles and professions, from quality engineering in the automotive industry to production engineer in the oil and gas sector. From a technical point of view, these roles have shown me how to design a process, ensure it is efficient and up to standard, and manage the execution of the said process from start to finish.

Leave a Comment

Related Articles