How to paint flames on a motorcycle gas tank

Written by andrew dewitt
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  • Introduction

    How to paint flames on a motorcycle gas tank

    Motorcycles are cool to begin with. A motorcycle with flames painted on the gas tank is even cooler. One of the best ways to freshen up your ride and save money at the same time is with a custom paint job that you do yourself. Learn to paint flames on a gas tanks by hand with brushes and enamel paint. This technique is not quite as flashy as using spray systems but its much easier to start out with and less expensive.

    (Illustrations by Andrew DeWitt)

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    Sand the previous paint off the gas tank. Spray the gas tank with black enamel auto paint. Let the paint dry and paint on 7 curved triangles with red enamel. Do this on both sides of the gas tank. Paint the inside of the triangles red. Make sure that the tips of the triangles curve in and out like an "S" shape at the top of each triangle.

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    Paint smaller triangles of yellow inside the red. Do this quickly while the paint is still wet.

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    Paint a small line of yellow near the base of each triangle while the paint is still wet. Do this for both sides. Don't be afraid to lay down a lot of paint. You can spread this out later when you blend the paints together.

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    Clean your brush and begin pulling the yellow paint into the rest of the shades. Make this paint head towards the tip of each triangle. Pull some of the red from the outside edges of the triangle down and into the orange and yellow slightly to keep the colours from looking to uniform.

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    Dip your brush in some paint thinner. Flick off your brush twice and begin blending the flames heavily. Do this by starting in the yellow and pulling diagonal curved lines out like small fingers. Add these fingers to the left and right sides of each triangle. Let the tank dry overnight.

  • Checklist

    Things you will need

    • Motorcycle gas tank
    • Sandpaper
    • Enamel auto paint in orange, yellow, red and black
    • Spray enamel in black
    • Paintbrushes (1 large, 1 detail)
    • Paint thinner
  • More information

    Tips and warnings

    You can tape over areas you don't want to paint to help you maintain neat lines if you're worried about being sloppy.

    Always paint in a well ventilated, open area. Be sure to empty your gas tank completely and let all the fumes dry out before painting.

  • Finished!

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