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#217
PAINTING TANKS
jdja2000 - 3/20/2009 4:41 PM
Category: Equipment
Replies: 8

WHAT IS OR WHAT CAN I DO OR CAN’T DO TO PAINT MY TANKS AND WHAT PAINT SHOULD OR SHOUDN’T USE I UNDERSTAND THAT I SHOULDN’T GRIND BUT WHAT COULD I DO TO GET THE OLD STUFF OF OR DO I JUST LIGHT SAND IT AND USE THAT FOR THE BASE ANY SUGESTIONS WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED
#51522
Greg - 3/20/2009 8:11 PM
It’s not recommended that you ever paint or sand your tanks. If you just want to get off a bunch of old stickers or an old paint job, maybe try some kind of cleaner solution...then consider getting one of those tank wraps that cover the entire tank with a new look.

Just my opinion.
#5919
SCUBASMITTY - 3/21/2009 12:01 AM
dude ! two words , fingernail polish,/remover... ok maybe three,, DO NOT sand,grind or refinish tanks AT ALL !! they need to be inspected INSIDE AND OUT !! federal law as well as common sense will tell you that you need to SEE what is going on with the structural integrity of your tank,,, do you REALLY feel comfortable with 3200 lbs of compressed ANYTHING on your back ??? in this case I would suggest JUST SAY NO !!!
#5400
flaski - 3/21/2009 8:04 AM
If you have a buddy at a local dive shop that you feel will give you truthfull advice, they will tell you what they use to strip the old paint also this should be done only prior to your hydro only, is what i was told buy a professional at that taught my gas blender class. I have also learned never buy a painted or laquered finish tank if you dive salt water. Shot blast or unfinished brushed finish. My one unfinished brushed finish tank looks better than all the rest. Every year before VIP I peel all the stckers off and toss it on the roller machine with only a non abrasive scotch sponge (you know the dish sponge with the green pot cleaner on one side) with a soapy water solution(2 able spoons of dish soap to a quart of water. In less then 3 min. it looks like new, if you don’t have acsess to a tank roller. A 25-30 min hand rubbing will also work. What ever you do don’t be tempted to use any thing more abrasive. This also looks good on painted tanks that have been stripped, but dont ever expect a stripped tank to look all pretty and shinny, it just cant be done. If you do strip your tanks please do not paint them, use those shrink wrap skins if you want to be fancy. Another person I know, waxes their stripped tanks and then puts those skins on them. They have been holding up about 2-3 years. Good luck with what ever you do.
#15404
LatitudeAdjustment - 3/21/2009 8:17 AM


And if it’s an Aluminum tank baking the paint on will weaken the devils alloy, boom!


Leave it naked or put on some cool stickers, I’m sure Greg has a suggestion for one of them :)
#3979
DalelynnSims - 3/21/2009 10:47 AM
All good advice. I inspect and clean cylinders. Stickers come off, those fancy skins come off and if its painted, its failed unless hyd first. Can not risk it.
#153
Rambo13 - 3/22/2009 2:30 AM
Actually tanks can be refinished. There are Hydro companies that will "strip" clean and repaint tanks steel or Alm. Yes they must get a new hydro and inspection but we have sent out quite a few with excellent results. For steel it’s real clean to have them "Metalized" they come out looking new out of the box. Too bad none of these last any longer than the original. NO tank should be heated or have a grinder/sander or the like taken to the surface. All DOT markings must remain intact so they can be read as well as Tank ser #’s, fill limit.
Normal cost is about $85.00 but includes Hydro and cleaning. If your Dive shop doesn’t offer this service try New England Divers in Long Beach
#1379
Fritz - 3/22/2009 12:56 PM
I wonder how it is that manufacturers of tanks will paint them if it is to never be done. They must be breaking the law by what you are saying here.
If you have ever seen how they make scuba tanks, then you will know that they sand each tank at the end of the manufacturing process after hydro testing and before painting. They [the manufacturers] don’t want to be liable for your work, that is what it all comes down to, someone getting hurt or killed by their product.
The reason tanks should not be sanded afterward is there is no guarantee that the sanding has not done damage to the structural integrity of the tank. All tanks will eventually fail. It may take a thousand or more cycles of filling, but when they do fail, they go boom! When the tank is filled, the flexing of the tank wall causes the metal to work harden and crack, this crack can start at an existing crevice made by sanding.
For those that have never seen metal work harden and fail, try bending a metal clothes hanger back and forth until it breaks. That is work hardening and failure.
I have a dive buddy that paints his tanks, he is a marine tech and uses Imron paint. He lightly scuffs the surface of the tank finish with a scuff pad, just enough to dull the finish and give the new paint a "tooth". He also is experienced in this process and has the proper equipment. All the difference in the world.
Any of the certifying bodies will tell you not to because they don’t want to be responsible for personal injury either.
With proper care and testing your tanks will last a long time and if you want them a different color, pay someone with the experience to do it, then have the tank hydro tested if they don’t do it themselves. Testing should be after the paint is done, not before like the manufacturers do. (Strange procedure to me.)
Although I have painting experience in the automotive field, I doubt that I will ever paint my own tanks. I do wish they were all yellow, though.
Have fun and dive safe.
#1379
Fritz - 3/22/2009 1:03 PM
Here is the youtube video that shows the process, pretty cool.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAgSU6BCpsY
Have fun and dive safe.