How to Clear Coat a Motorcycle Gas Tank

by Jenny Carver
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motorcycle image by Bionic Media from

A motorcycle gas tank is the part of the motorcycle that has the largest painted surface and is the most visible. When the gas tank paint isn't looking its best, it is noticeable. Base coat paint is the actual color paint, but does not have any gloss or shine to it. To make the gas tank really stand out and look finished, it needs a clear coat of paint. Applying clear coat to a motorcycle tank is not easy because of the tank's location, but it is possible.

Step 1

Sand the motorcycle gas tank with 800-grit sandpaper and water. Keep the sandpaper soaking wet while sanding so buildup doesn't gather on the sanding paper and cause deep scratches on the painted surface. Dip the sandpaper into a bucket of water every few minutes to keep it wet. Rinse the gas tank when the sanding is finished and allow it to dry completely.

Step 2

Place masking tape around the parts attached to the gas tank if the gas tank is still on the motorcycle. If the tank is not installed on the motorcycle, place tape over the holes in the gas tank so clear coat paint does not get into the gas tank.

Step 3

Wipe the gas tank with wax and grease remover and a towel to clean any wax residue or grease from fingerprints off of the gas tank. These things can show up under the clear coat paint after it has dried. The wax and grease remover evaporates quickly and doesn't need to be cleaned off.

Step 4

Spray three to four clear coats of paint on to the gas tank, keeping the coats thin enough so that the paint doesn't run. Hold the sprayer 6 to 8 inches from the surface and move it from left to right, not up and down. Let the paint dry for five minutes between coats.

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