Introduction: Lego Head Liquid Propane (LP) Tank

Picture of Lego Head Liquid Propane (LP) Tank

We have LEGO lovers in the family, and that tank under the grill just looks too much like a LEGO head to not paint it!

I found that something very similar has already been done before here on instructables but I am going to go ahead and post anyway to show a slightly different version.






Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Here is the material list I used.  You can swap some of these out, depending on your tastes and how you want to prepare your tank for painting.

Propane Tank
Sandpaper (I used P240)
Mineral Spirits
Painter's Tape
Yellow Paint, Rattle Can
Black Paint Can
Fine Paint Brush
Clear Coat, Gloss, Rattle Can

Personal Protective Equipment:
Disposable latex gloves (also used to mask the valve)
Safety glasses
Respirator
Cardboard (to capture overspray)


Step 2: Prepare the Tank

I sanded the tank with P240 sandpaper and then wiped it down with mineral spirits to get it clean, avoiding the labeling.  There are many ways to prepare for painting, and you can decide what you like best.  Just make sure you get a good, clean surface to paint onto if you want longevity out of your paint job.  

I wanted to preserve the labels on my tank, so I masked them all of with tape.  I used a box cutter razor blade to trim the mask right up to the edge of my labels.  You also must mask your valve.  I put a latex glove over it and wrapped tape at the base and it worked well.

Wear your respirator to reduce fume exposure (working in a well vented area helps, too).  Wear safety glasses to prevent any splashes from getting into your eyes.  Chemical resistant gloves can keep the mineral spirits off of your hands.

DO NOT MODIFY YOUR TANK!  For example, if you don't like the weld line on the tank, DO NOT GRIND IT DOWN, YOU WILL BE PUTTING YOURSELF AND OTHERS IN SERIOUS DANGER!

Step 3: Paint the Base Color

I had a pretty good pre-painted surface, so I opted not to use a primer.  You will need to use your own judgment to decide if you want to put down a priming layer.  

Follow the instructions on your paint can for proper application.

I applied 3 coats of the yellow paint from a rattle can.  I had the tank in the middle of a large sheet of cardboard to prevent overspray from getting on the ground.

Wear your safety glasses and ventilator and do the work in a well ventilated area.  You can wear gloves if you are concerned with getting paint on your spraying hand.  Please note, if you are doing this outside on a breezy or windy day, you will certainly get dust in your paint.

Step 4: Paint the Face

After the base coat was well dried, I used a pencil to outline the eyes and mouth on the tank.  I went for the classic look with mine, but the sky is the limit.  I outlined them in free hand, but, you could also create a stencil if you wanted to.  Also, you could use stickers for the face, if you were so inclined.

After outlining the face in pencil, I filled it in with a fine brush and some black paint.  I applied 4 thin coats to get it darkened to my liking.

Step 5: Clear Coat

Picture of Clear Coat

Putting a clear coat over your handiwork will help give it more shine and protection.

I removed all of my masking tape on my labels but left my valve completely masked.  The clear goes over the labels just fine.

I applied 5 thin coats of the clear gloss coat from a rattle can.  I had the tank set on cardboard again to ensure overspray did not get on the ground.

Wear your safety glasses and ventilator and do the work in a well ventilated area.  You can wear gloves if you are concerned with getting paint on your spraying hand.  Please note, if you are doing this outside on a breezy or windy day, you will certainly get dust in your paint.  

Step 6: Bask in LEGO Glory!

Picture of Bask in LEGO Glory!

Once it is completely dried, you can remove the masking on your valve.   If you need to do some light touchups, you can do those with a brush (rattle can paint can be sprayed into a small container--just take something out of your recycling bin, rinse and wipe it clean, and use that (bottle, jar, etc.) to spray some paint into to get enough to dip with your brush.

Hook it up to the grill and amaze the kiddos, your friends and neighbors!

Comments

Jason Bedard (author)2012-05-04

Love it.

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