Can I Paint My Propane Tank?

If you’re like many southern Virginia homeowners, you take pride in the appearance of your property and work hard to maintain its curb appeal. While your propane tank provides essential fuel for your home, it can also be an eyesore — especially if the paint is fading or it’s covered with rust spots.

The good news is that you can apply a fresh coat of paint to spruce up your tank and make it more aesthetically pleasing. However, you must take the appropriate precautions to ensure a safe outcome for your painting project.

What Color Can I Paint My Propane Tank?

Not just any color will do when painting a propane tank. Federal and state laws, as well as the National Fire Protection Association, stipulate that paint for a propane tank must be a lighter, reflective color — and with good reason. Lighter shades reflect heat from the sun. In contrast, a darker color will absorb the heat, which can cause the propane gas to expand inside your tank.

The safest colors for your propane tank are silver (the most popular color), light gray and white.

What Paint Types Should I Use?

Those old cans of paint in your garage might work well for touching up walls or windowsills — but not so much for your tank. Most propane tanks feature welded steel construction. As a result, they require a paint specifically designed for metal surfaces. These paints contain a rust inhibitor to protect against rust and corrosion.

What Should I Do About a Rusty Propane Tank?

What if your propane tank already has rust spots? Besides compromising the integrity of the tank’s metal surfaces, rust also exhibits a darker color that will absorb the sun’s heat. You can paint the affected areas a lighter color, but first you’ll need to prepare the areas of the tank that need attention. Sandpaper and a brass wire brush will work well to remove the rust. In situations where there’s significant rust that has caused the tank damage, such as when there’s pitting on the surface, we recommend contacting Foster Fuels and scheduling a visual inspection by a trained technician. This pitting is a step in the process of your tanks safety being compromised.

I Know I Can Paint My Propane Tank, but What Else Can I Do to Improve Its Appearance?

So, you have painted your tank, but you’re still not happy with how it looks in your yard. The strategic placement of shrubbery, fencing or trellis structures can make your tank somewhat less conspicuous and enable it to blend with the surrounding landscape. It is extremely important that any alterations made around your tank do not make it hard or impossible to access the tank for refilling, or in the event of an emergency. The propane team at Foster Fuels will be happy to offer some helpful advice on this topic.

Contact Foster Fuels to Learn More

Foster Fuels has been providing reliable and safe propane solutions to southern Virginia homeowners since 1921. Feel free to visit us at one of our seven convenient locations throughout the region to discuss your questions about propane and propane tank maintenance. Contact us at 800-344-6457 or contact us online 24 hours a day.

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