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Thread: Painting the back of tanks?
10-15-2013, 01:44 AM #1
Painting the back of tanks?
I am wanting to paint the back of my tanks black. I was told to use acrylic paint so I bought some at my local Department store and painted it last night, but this morning I came out and it had gone all cracked and flakey all over.
What is the best type of paint to use for painting backgrounds? Do you need to "prime" the glass first?120g New World Cichlids ♦ 65g South-East Asian Planted Community ♦ 30g in-the-works ♦ 15g Tanganyikan Shell-Dwellers
10-15-2013, 02:02 AM #2
10-15-2013, 02:30 AM #3
Use a razor blade to clean the paint off the glass, then a sponge to get all the little bits off. Acetone is a good like aeonflame mentioned. Get off any fingerprints and stuff off the glass, else it'll be there for you to see. I just use went to the store and bought the cheapest black paint they had in a spray can, matte finish is what i went with. A lot of thin coats seems to work well, put on a coat, wait a few minutes and keep repeating. A flashlight to shine from the inside of the tank works well if you're not sure the paint is thick enough.
One mistake I made once was to paint the tank outside and then forget to bring the tank in. I had left it outside overnight while it was drying and it had gotten cold, the paint cracked and everything, had to redo it.
10-15-2013, 02:38 AM #4
Korith, really interesting that you say it cracked in the cold because I painted 2 of my tanks last night, but one was running with a heater in it. That one dried in an hour and looks perfect, but the empty one cracked terribly and looks awful.
Thanks for the tips, guys. At least it was only a 15g tank that got messed up! Heaven forbid scraping all the paint back off my 65 or 120g!120g New World Cichlids ♦ 65g South-East Asian Planted Community ♦ 30g in-the-works ♦ 15g Tanganyikan Shell-Dwellers
10-15-2013, 03:15 AM #5
The 55g was the one I messed. It didn't really take long to clean up. A few new sharp razor blades, made short work of the paint, then a sponge with that green mesh cleaned it up real nicely, maybe 15min? I used alcohol to clean the glass. When you use the razor blades, don't hold the blade at too sharp of an angle, you want to hold it at a shallow angle so it scrapes the paint off, and doesn't dig into the glass itself and scratch it. I actually use razor blades sometimes to clean algae off the glass that can't be scrubbed off.
10-15-2013, 03:56 AM #6
I recently painted mine. I cleaned it with alcohol, let it dry, took it outside, and used black spray paint. Check this post to see a picture of what I used:
It worked really well, and two coats is all it took. I used masking tape and newspaper to prevent any paint from going anywhere other than the back glass.
10-15-2013, 05:11 AM #7
That looks great wgoldfarb, a really nice even coat! I wanted to avoid spraypaint if possible given the high possibility I'll make a huge mess with it, but I guess it's the way to go.120g New World Cichlids ♦ 65g South-East Asian Planted Community ♦ 30g in-the-works ♦ 15g Tanganyikan Shell-Dwellers
10-15-2013, 03:56 PM #8
I made extensive use of masking tape and newspaper. I covered every surface of the tank I wasn't painting to avoid getting pain on any other tank surface. I even covered the tank opening to avoid having any paint get inside the tank. Take your time with the masking tape to make sure everything is properly protected -- the rim, the sides, etc. Then lay the tank on its side on top of more newspaper, so the back side you want to paint is flat and on top. Just use an even motion with the spray paint, let dry, and apply the second coat. It was very easy and looks great.
10-22-2013, 12:48 AM #9Banned Swordtails
- Join Date
- Oct 2013
- Moore, SC
I agree with all the advice. I like to paint the backs of my tanks also, but I obtained a really similar look just by hanging a long piece of black cloth across the back of my 55 and 125. It looks as good (from a distance anyway) as my painted tanks. Also has the virtue of not being permanent in case I should ever want something else (though I can't see why I'd ever change, I like the black for the contrast against the plants).
Why doesn't it look good up close? Simple, 3 large house dogs and 2 rabbits (lots of hair gets on the cloth...).