Can I Paint My Propane Tank? (Paint Type & How To)

Has the propane tank on your property become an eyesore? When you work hard to keep your property looking good the last thing you want is a rusty-looking tank bringing down your property’s curb appeal. This might have you wondering what you can do about a propane tank that has seen better days.

You can paint a propane tank to improve its appearance. It’s your responsibility to maintain the appearance of the tank if you’re the owner of it. However, if you’re renting the tank, you will have to get permission from the supplier to paint it. On top of making the tank look better, quality paint can also help prevent corrosion.

Are you tired of looking at that propane tank? It’s time to give it a makeover with a fresh coat of paint. Today, we’re going to discuss why every homeowner should paint their propane tank. We’ll also cover what type of paint to use and how to paint the tank properly. Read on to learn more.

Can You Paint Your Propane Tank?

Propane tanks can be painted. Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of their propane tank. This includes its appearance. The simplest and most effective way to keep a propane tank from becoming an eyesore is by painting it.

Let’s be honest, propane tanks aren’t much to look at. When they have been outside for several years, they become dingy looking. A proper paint job can help the tank appear brighter and cleaner. This will make it less of a distraction when people are looking at your property.

Paint can also provide protection for the tank. Propane tanks that are outdoors are exposed to nature’s elements. This puts them at risk of rust corrosion. Heat, oxygen, and moisture can all cause a tank to begin rusting.

This is great news for homeowners that are tired of the way their propane tank looks. Before you get carried away choosing a new look for your tank, there are a couple of things you should know. You need to use a specific type of paint and can’t just choose any color you want.

What Color Can You Paint Your Propane Tank?

The #1 question homeowners ask us is “what color(s) can I paint my propane tank?“. Propane tanks need to be painted a light color. This isn’t just about appearance. There’s a very specific reason why only light shades are allowed.

Dark colors aren’t allowed because they absorb the sun. This is a big hazard because it can cause the gas inside the tank to expand and possibly lead to combustion. You’ll be required to choose a light color because it will reflect the sun, protecting the tank and the gas inside.

Light Color suggestion for the Propane Tank

This isn’t just a recommendation from experts. Most states have regulations in place about what colors property owners can paint a propane tank that was set by the National Fire Protection Association.

So, what color should you choose for your propane tank? The most common colors are white and pale grey. Other colors are acceptable as long as they are pale, such as a light beige or sky blue. Silver is another shade that’s approved and looks really good on most propane tanks.

Now that you know which colors you can choose from, you might be wondering about paint. You do need to make sure you get a specific type of paint for the propane tank.

What Type of Paint Can You Use?

Always choose paint for metal surfaces when you paint your propane tank. Choosing the wrong type of paint will result in a lack of protection and will start to crack and peel earlier than expected. For longevity and the best protection, choose a paint that’s designed to cover metal surfaces.

One of the main benefits of choosing a metal surface paint is that it has a rust inhibitor. Rust is one of the biggest problems people face with their tanks. This type of paint can keep the structure of the tank in good shape by preventing the development of rust. There are oil paints with rust inhibitors that can be used, but be careful because they are messier to work with.

Rust inhibitor paint creates a thin layer of film. This is what protects the metal surface from rust and corrosion. So, now that you know which type of paint to use, you might be wondering which brands are the best. Here are some of the top recommended paints for propane tanks.

PaintAverage PriceWhy We Love It
Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Protective Enamel$16.48 per quartDurable coating, long-lasting protection
Valspar Anti-Rust Armor$45.98 per gallonExcellent outdoor protection, rust and stain resistant
Rust-Oleum Professional$45.98 per gallonCreates a smooth and protective finish, the best formula for industrial settings
GLIDDEN Multi-Flex (Spray paint)$6.98 per canFast drying, no dripping or streaks
GLIDDEN Multi-Flex (Spray paint)

What To Do If Your Propane Tank is Rusty?

Rust is something that you shouldn’t ignore. Homeowners will need to remove the rust before they paint the tank. Simply painting over rust can lead to problems with the tank.

The problem with rust is that it can spread. Although you may only have a small spot now, it can get larger and cause damage to the tank. Another issue with rust is that it attributes to heat absorption.

Always clean the rust off of the propane tank before you paint it. This isn’t a complicated process. You should be able to remove the rust with a steel wool pad or fine-grit sandpaper.

How To Paint Your Propane Tank

Now that you know why you should paint your propane tank, it’s time to get down to business. This is a job that most homeowners can DIY on a nice day. Before you get started, you’ll need to make sure you have the right supplies.

What you need: steel wool pad or fine grit sandpaper, power drill, sanding disc, pressure washer, paint with rust inhibitor, paint roller, paint tray, paint brush, dry rag

Step 1: Remove The Rust

Before you paint anything, you should always make sure you have a clean and smooth surface. You will need to remove all signs of rust before applying paint. Removing the rust is the most efficient way to create a smooth surface.

Always thoroughly inspect the tank to find all of the areas where rust has developed. Homeowners should be able to address most signs of rust on their own. However, if there is a significant amount of rust, you should contact the propane supplier to have it looked at professionally.

In order to remove rust, all you will need to do is rub it with a steel wool pad or fine-grit sandpaper. Another trick that can be used to remove rust is to cut a potato in half and then sprinkle baking soda on the open end. Rub this on the rust spots to remove them.

You can use the power drill and sanding disc if there are any areas of rust that are difficult to remove. Attach the sanding disc to the drill and use it to get a deeper clean on the rusty spot.

Step 2: Clean Your Tank

It’s important to clean the tank because any particles of dirt or debris that are on it can affect the paint job. The most efficient way to clean a propane tank is by using a pressure washer. This device will be able to lift caked-on dirt that you might not be able to see.

You will be able to notice a big difference with very little effort when you use a pressure washer to clean the tank. After cleaning it, allow the tank to thoroughly dry before you move on to the next step.

We also recommend inspecting the tank before moving to the next step to make sure you didn’t miss any spots.

Step 3: Apply The Paint

Now that the propane is prepped and clean, it’s time to paint it. Here is what you need to do.

  1. Start by inspecting the tank. Make sure there isn’t any dirt or debris on it. This could occur if there was a gust of wind while it was drying. Brush any dirt off with your hand or a dry rag before applying any paint.
  2. Open the paint and stir it to ensure it’s mixed. Pour a desired amount of paint into your paint tray. Make sure you have your paint roller ready.
  3. Dip the paint roller into the paint. Slightly roll it in the tray to make sure you don’t have an excess amount of pain on the roller.
  4. Start at the top of the propane tank and move the roller vertically. Continue painting the tank in a uniform style like this until you cover the entire tank.
  5. There will be areas that you won’t be able to get with the paint roller. Use the paintbrush to cover them. You may need to remove the top cover to efficiently paint the tank.
  6. Allow the tank to dry overnight before touching it.


Improving the look of your old propane tank is very easy. This is a job you can do on your own. However, you should always contact a professional if you notice any problems with your tank instead of painting over them.

When painting your tank, avoid giving it multiple coats of paint. Too many layers of paint can result in bubbling, which will keep your tank looking unattractive.

Leave a Comment