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Thread: Howto: Paint/Rit dye a plastic gas tank

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Default Howto: Paint/Rit dye a plastic gas tank

    We all heard it, you can't paint, wrap, sticker or plastidip a plastic gas tank. This is because gasoline "breathes" through the gas tank, but because of the extra layer you create with the paint it will bubble.

    But there is a solution and that's called RIT DYE! Rit dye is normally used to give your clothing another color.

    Step 1: Is buying Rit Dye, you have to use 1 package of Rit Dye for 3 gallons/11 liters of water

    Step 2: Properly clean your tank with a sponge, water and soap. Also, remove your stickers and all components you don't want to color.

    Step 3: Remove your fuel cap, otherwise it will be hard to submerge.

    Step 4: Boil water, i've used a bucket of 60 liter. As said before, 3 gallons/11 liters water = 1 package of rit dye.

    Step 5: Throw the boiled water in a bucket, and add the Rit Dye and mix it up!

    Step 6: Add the gas tank, and cover the bucket with alu foil. This is meant to keep the heat in the bucket.

    Step 7: Wait 24 hours to get the color in the plastic.

    Step 8: Clean your tank with water and soap again.


    If you have any questions, please ask below!

  2. #2
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    Great DIY. Thanks for taking the time to post this info.

    Ill have to try this on my orange plastics.

    Anyone tried this with lighter color plastics(lighter than the dark blue from the video) ie white, orange or yellow?
    Thanks.

  3. #3
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    cool tip.

    Question though. If youre completely submerging the tank doesnt it also dye the interior of the tank? and if so, can that have an effect on the future fuel you put in there?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan00 View Post
    cool tip.

    Question though. If youre completely submerging the tank doesnt it also dye the interior of the tank? and if so, can that have an effect on the future fuel you put in there?
    You will also dye the inside of your tank, but you can wash it out till the water that comes out isn't the color you dyed it anymore.

    And it doesn't effect the fuel you put in

  5. #5
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    Same process we used on skateboard wheels back in the day. It actually works quite well.

  6. #6
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    very cool...
    Brian # 30


    KTM 450 SMR

    "Everyday is a good day" Just some days are better than others

  7. #7
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    Just be mindful, I did this same project on a Clarke tank about 6 months ago and it has already bleached back nearly clear.
    DRZ400 S/M

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mullet Bullet View Post
    Just be mindful, I did this same project on a Clarke tank about 6 months ago and it has already bleached back nearly clear.
    Can you show us photos?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snelmer View Post
    Can you show us photos?
    +1

    I was tempted...but if they dont last long, it may not be worth the time.

  10. #10
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    Does this work with the other plastic bits on my bike? Or is the gas tank a different material?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdfasdf123 View Post
    Does this work with the other plastic bits on my bike? Or is the gas tank a different material?
    Will work on all plastic bits!

  12. #12
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    Will this only work going darker? eg. light colour to dark colour, dark colour to black etc. or can you go lighter as well? I have orange plastics (guess what kinda bike...) and would be keen to go white, if white is available. Reckon this will work? Or will it just look poos and force me to buy new plastics?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brotard View Post
    Will this only work going darker? eg. light colour to dark colour, dark colour to black etc. or can you go lighter as well? I have orange plastics (guess what kinda bike...) and would be keen to go white, if white is available. Reckon this will work? Or will it just look poos and force me to buy new plastics?
    cant go lighter only can go darker.....


    Mr. Snelmer,
    are you sure you can do all other plastic bits? i did a bit of research on this a while back and though i remember reading only some plastics are the correct type to absorb the dye like for example the poly-eythl-what-ever that tanks are made out of will absorb it nicely, but the poly-trilene-what-ever type will only sort of absorb it and just look like faded black crap?

    either way i am totally doing my tank just like this (dark blue now) and i have a few test peices of misc fender plastic to try at the same time, then if it works i may do some of the other plastics ill be using too......nice write up, i thought you had to use way more dye than that!
    1997 Husaberg FE600E
    SMJ Riding Game: 18 complete/3 snipes

  14. #14
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    Sep 2009
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    i have painted several plastic tanks and bodywork. i scrub them out side with dish soap and comet mix, let it dry, then sand it with 180 grit on a d/a. then adhesion promoter, then a high quality primer. sand it with 320 and shoot it, use as little paint as possible so it won;t crack/ check, it will hold up for years...

  15. #15
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    Here is my recent experience with a test peice of neon yellow plastic from side number plate trimmings.....like i said i think it only works on some kinds of plastics (such as the kind most tanks are made of), other plastics dont absorb it properly..........

    1) 4 cups water to 1/2 package black rit dye (a lot more than what should be needed)

    2) boiled plastic in dye mixture on stovetop for 30 minutes

    3) wrap pan in tin foil and placed on top of furnace (80-90 degrees farenheight) for 12 hours
    4) hide pan and practice my fifth ammendment right of silence when my wife asks where that pan went to


    CIMG2598


    CIMG2599


    CIMG2602

    As you can tell it did not abosrb worth a sheet.......kinda just stained the outside except were a part of graphic used to be and it did hardly nothing there, something to keep in mind before you drop in an expensive, hard to find part, that your expecting perfect results for
    the final photo was after 30 minutes, all of the dying/staining took place in the first five-ten minutes, i did not take another photo after 12 hours as it looked nearly the same maybe a half of a shade darker but thats it......quite inneffective on this type of plastic......
    1997 Husaberg FE600E
    SMJ Riding Game: 18 complete/3 snipes

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