Advise how to paint back of tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Advise how to paint back of tank?

I will be getting my new tank later this week, need some advise how to paint the back?
I plan to get some of that blue painter tape to cover up sides and trim, and then use spray paint.
Suggestions what paint to buy? Brand? Flat?
I assume very thin layer each coat to avoid those little drops of paint?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 01:34 PM
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I used Rustoleum because I am in Canada but I know people have lots of success with Krylon Fusion in the US.

It is really very easy. Tape up the trim and sides (or tape pieces of paper to protect sides) and you put 4-6 very thin even coats. Turn the aquarium front facing down to avoid runs. Make sure to let the paint dry before applying the next coat.

I think I used semi-gloss on mine but I can't recall. I don't think it matters in the long run for gloss to semi-gloss to matte when it comes to aquariums. If you go planted I doubt you will see the back all that much anyways!

Good luck!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 01:46 PM
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I follow this guy, you can buy the acrylic paint at the dollarstore and it comes off insanely easy
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 02:10 PM
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i used fusion myself
i layed down 2 light coats within 30 minutes, and 2 medium coats within another 30 minutes on my 75 gallon. i used gloss, but that's irrelevant

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 02:23 PM
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Mask the rim and the sides, spray.

I've done 5 of them.... easy peasy.

I prefer black. The colors of my Bleeding Heart Tetras and my Rainbow Furcattas are remarkable in a black-back tank.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 02:32 PM
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I have been painting the backs of my tanks for over 10 yrs. I have done both blue & black but i prefer black, a lot cleaner looking. It doesnt matter what finish u use as glass is shiney so no matter what u use it will be gloss outside looking in. I have used everything from $1 to $8 a can. No difference. Just tape up the trim, sides & i also tape & paper the top just incase any suspended over spray n the air doesnt settle inside the tank... Hope this helps...
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 02:40 PM
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What is easier is to buy some 1/2" insulation board and cut it to fit the back of the glass and paint one side of it. Works great, looks great and provides some insulation to the tank. And, if you want to change it, no need to pull out the tank to scrape the back, just pull off some tape, slide it out and slide a new one into place.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewalltheway View Post
What is easier is to buy some 1/2" insulation board and cut it to fit the back of the glass and paint one side of it. Works great, looks great and provides some insulation to the tank. And, if you want to change it, no need to pull out the tank to scrape the back, just pull off some tape, slide it out and slide a new one into place.

That not a bad idea, assume I could use any old spray paint? The thought of having to paint the pack of my brand new tank is bit of a concern. I painted a tank several years ago and every time I moved hose or something you could tell with the paint.

How do you attach the insulation board? so no light escapes and to make it so tape not seen all over the tank?

Thanks for the info.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 03:46 PM
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I prefer flat black latex paint. It doesn't have such nasty fumes like spray paint and it's less costly. It also comes off more easily.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 04:21 PM
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The paint he uses in the youtube video in post above can be found at most craft stores such as Michael's, JoAnn Fabrics, etc.

I use a flat black latex paint from Home Depot. They sell small sample sizes right at the paint desk for roughly $2.50. They can mix any color. Pick up a foam roller for another $3 and you're in business. Works well if you are painting an already established tank AND you have enough room to reach behind with the roller. Take it slowly and do at least two coats.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantomlink View Post
I follow this guy, you can buy the acrylic paint at the dollarstore and it comes off insanely easy
HOW TO: paint an aquarium background - YouTube

I used this exact method this weekend with great results! Black acrylic paint with a typical wall/ceiling roller.

Did 3 1/2coats, 1st went left to right, 2nd top to bottom, 3rd left to right, last little touch up in a few spots. The back look liked a chalk board when it was completely dry, it blended so well. I would recommend it especially if you don't have an easy way to get your tank outside.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Roller method would be nice as well, then I would not have to try get tank out into the yard. hmmmm what to do.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by marcnc View Post
That not a bad idea, assume I could use any old spray paint? The thought of having to paint the pack of my brand new tank is bit of a concern. I painted a tank several years ago and every time I moved hose or something you could tell with the paint.

How do you attach the insulation board? so no light escapes and to make it so tape not seen all over the tank?

Thanks for the info.
I use the Krylon paint and it works well. What I do is knotch the top and bottom of the insul board to overlap the top and bottom rim (leave some rim showing to be able to tape to). I then use clear tape to attach it to the tank. The clear tape is hardly seen if you dont have any wrinkles in it.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 07:54 PM
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I used insulation board also and it works very well. I cut it to fit exactly between the trim and used a few dabs of silicone caulk to attach it to the tank. Since it's so light, it doesn't take much to keep it in place. I used some flat black latex paint from a can and brushed it on.

One thing about latex paint is that it takes about a month to fully cure, so I waited a few weeks before attaching. I'm not sure it really matters, but I wasn't in a hurry and figured better safe than sorry.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-19-2013, 08:57 PM
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I used to use the spray paint method, and more recently tried brush-on latex.

I found the spray paint method easier, I just followed whatever directions were on the can, gave several light coats until light wouldn't show through. -and mask the sides, covered the top with a sheet of newspaper taped down to prevent overspray contamination, etc.

The brush-on latex is a better choice if you don't have a backyard or a garage or something, and need to work in your living quarters. It took me several coats, and I recently noticed a bubble where the heater cord stuck to the paint and pulled it away.

I'll touch up that spot one of these nights, so it shouldn't be a big deal, and it doesn't show too bad. I'll probably attach something to the top trim to keep cords from contacting the back of the tank as well. I used one of those sample-sized latex paint bottles in Home Depot, and got it tinted to black.

I think a painted back looks far superior to most of the other types, since it's uniform, and right on the glass, so you don't get gaps/dust/bubbles (with the exception of my heater cord issue...). And the black helps hide equipment/cords within the tank - they just blend into shadow, and make your plants/fish/hardscape the focus.
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