Got a used (or ugly new!) scuba tank and want to strip scuba tank paint off? You're in luck. It's pretty easy to do, and actually pretty hard to mess up. And it's a good idea, especially if you have an aluminum tank. Paint can corrode the aluminum and cause problems down the road. So, ready to strip scuba tank paint?
To strip scuba tank paint, you will need:
- Chemical stripper safe for use on aluminum (or steel, depending on your tank).
- Chemical resistant rubber gloves.
- Steel mesh.
- A well ventilated area.
- Paper bags or newspaper.
- Scotch Brite pad (optional)
- Set up your work area. You don't want this chemical stripper to get all over your floors. Lay down quite a few layers of newspaper or paper bags. Also, be sure to remove the VIP (visual inspection program) and hydrostatic testing stickers off. Unfortunately, you'll have to get both tests again after altering the outside of the scuba tank.
- Glove up. Really, put some gloves on. You seriously don't want chemical stripper on your hands.
- Apply. Use a cheap brush to liberally apply the stripper to the scuba tank. Start at the top of the tank and work your way down. When you're done, throw the brush away!
- Wait. Patience is a virtue. 30 minutes to an hour makes your work the easiest.
- Scrub! Use your steel wool to pull the paint off of the tank.
- Polish. If you have the Scotch Brite pads, use them to polish the outside of the tank to a nice shine. Doesn't that look nice?
- Re-decorate. Avoid the paint this time and opt for something a bit easier to work with and safer on the scuba tank. Sharpies work well!
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