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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be painting the back of my new used 55 gal.

I just don't know which paint to use. I'd prefer to brush it on, and avoid having to mask everything, but I can deal with spraying it on it it'll cover beter.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Commenting to get updated on this. Just got used 55 and was thinking the same thing.
 

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I read brushes leave stroke marks. Rollers work better. Just go slow.
 

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I used a 4" roller on my 20 and my 29 a few weeks ago. Put the coats on thin and wait an hour between them. I had a fan blowing not directly but in their general direction and that helped. It came out great and makes a huge difference in the appearance of the tank.
 

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I use 100% acrylic latex paint with a foam roller. As mentioned, use thin coats (the first coat is going to be a real pain - rollers don't like to do their job very well on glass). As for masking, all I do is mask the trim and use 2 strips of tape on the sides of the tank to prevent any drips from making it's way onto the side panels (that is... if you don't want the sides painted).
 

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I recently picked up a 75g and was going to paint it like my 55g which I sprayed.
I was thinking of using blackboard paint, rolled on, thinking it's easy to remove if I want to change it later. Has anyone else used this paint?
 

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I've never painted with blackboard paint on glass, but on plastic and on pressed wood (the smooth side) it's a pain to get off. It just doesn't scrape off nicely, and since it's oil-based, the solvents needed to do it chemically is a real pain. I think a latex based paint or some other plastic based paint might be easier, it pulls off like a sticky rubber coating.
 

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Krylon Indoor/Outdoor paint works best for me. Use the 2X Painter's Touch 12 oz, you can about 3-4 backs of 75 gallon tanks with one can. I used flat black and am pretty happy with it.

If you spray, do it outside, away from any structures so that you don't get any overspray on a house or car! Otherwise, hang up a lot of plastic and wear a mask if doing it indoors.

Tape anything you don't want painted. If you are painting more than one identically sized tanks, with the tanks laying on their sides, open "tops" together. Tape that "connection" really well.

Clean the glass really well with rubbing alcohol. Let dry. Then paint. Use long sweeping strokes, overlapping the side of the tank. Don't go to heavy in one spot at any given time. If you go slowly and about 12" - 16" from the surface, you should get nice coverage.
 

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The stuff that worked best for me was the Rustloeum Oil Based, Gloss Black... I used a roller.. Stuff goes on real nice, gets really tacky and you can easily cover it in 4 coats and be done.. Let it dry for 24hrs.. I've tried just about everything else and so far this has been the best.
 

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GTZ said:
I recently picked up a 75g and was going to paint it like my 55g which I sprayed.
I was thinking of using blackboard paint, rolled on, thinking it's easy to remove if I want to change it later. Has anyone else used this paint?
I used the blackboard paint and rolled it on my 90. Worked great.

It's only been about 2 months, though, so I can't really speak to its durability.
 

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I used water based flat black latex paint from home depot. Grabbed a roller and a small brush for touch up.

I did 3 tanks (55, 55, 40) in a weekend. I only taped off the side pieces of glass because the trim can be painted easily as well.

The first was the learning experience. The first coat was not easy to apply as the roller had a hard time with the glass. The mistake I made was to try to put the paint on really thick to make up for it. This not only wasted extra paint, but caused it to run down the back which in turn caused air pockets.
The advice I have would be to put on the first coat however is easiest. It was easiest for me to use a brush. You don’t have to worry about light getting through or seeing brush strokes in the first coat. Just make sure the glass gets covered with paint and there are no bubbles in the paint. (Maybe I got this from shaking/mixing too much before applying)

Once the first coast dries, the rollers work a LOT better. I took about 10 minutes for the first coat, then a quick 5 minutes with a roller for each additional coat. Even if there is light coming through after the first coat the additional coats fix that right up. I did 3-4 coats.

This caused a nice solid flat black background. I had to give this a try after seeing everyone in the forums with black tank backgrounds. Looks great! Looks clean! Only 3 more tanks to paint when they are due for cleaning.
 

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I'm surprised everyone is recommending using rollers... not that rollers are bad, but the drying period is long! I used an indoor/outdoor black spraypaint that dries in about two minutes. I was able to carry my tank outside, tape it up, paint it with three or four coats and bring it back inside in about half an hour. It coats really well and only cost about $5 (and I have plenty left in the can). The brand I used was Krylon indoor/outdoor... the can says it dries in 10 minutes or less; it's definitely less.
 

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I notice the spray paint seems to chip, especially if you are using one of the magnet cleaners.. The paint I used, oil based rustloeum gloss, leaves a nice slick surface on the outside and the magnet just slides right across it, no chipping.. It's also seems to create an almost ceramic like coating.. I personally wouldn't use anything else even if there is a 24hr dry period.. In the long run the durability seems to be much better.
 

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IME the spray paint left pinholes of uncovered spots. That was after a few coats too. I ended up painting over it with water based latex paint with a roller. A couple coats and a brush to get the small gaps next to the trim. Best looking tank I have. Be careful with the masking if you're using latex paint though, if the paint is thick enough you may pull up parts of the paint when removing the masking tape because the paint sticks to it and pulls up in once piece.
 

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when ever you mask something up you should always remove the masking straight after spraying.
also the pin holes where caused by some type of contamination on the glass, it cant have been properly clean before you painted it.
 

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Ok might be alittle late just painted a few tanks what works the best is the regular krylon spray paint make sure to get the flat black paint. Mask the trim off and cover the top. This stuff works great. Even lets you re apply to the light spots.

We used this on our dru tank to block the sun.
 

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Once you finish painting and ir dires, put some blue painters tape on the back and you do not have to worry about the paint getting scratched.
 

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Will1983 said:
when ever you mask something up you should always remove the masking straight after spraying.
also the pin holes where caused by some type of contamination on the glass, it cant have been properly clean before you painted it.
Hard to do with multiple coats, and that was with the latex, not the spray :/

Brand new tank, cleaned until I thought it was clean, then cleaned it again.
 
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