Rusty Looking Fuel Tank Ideas


New Member

Currently in the process of building a cafe racer/brat bike from a CB250N. I bought a new fuel tank on eBay the other day and managed to drop in in the garage almost immediately. The paintwork wasn’t brilliant and I thought maybe I’d just get it repainted and repair the dents. However. Idea.

I am looking to patina the tank after stripping back to bear metal. I’ll leave the damage obvious and make a feature of it. Do you have any tips to make the tank look distressed prior to adding a clear coat? Any help would be gladly appreciated.

Thanks, John.

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Active Member
I´m currently building my own workshop tables etc. out of bare steel and used a salty acid to patinate it and make for a nice rusty surface,I seal it however afterwards so it won´t make dirt on my clothes.

To make bare steel rust I would first clean it, sand it and then use for example vinegar with a rag.Then let it sit outside for a while and when you have the rust you want you can use Owatrol to seal it,its a varnish and it works very nicely.


New Member
A salt and vinegar mix works well. Just make sure you sand through any rust inhibiting layer, some tanks get zinc plated before paint. Getting it to look good is the hard part though, nothing worse than forced and unnaturally even rust.


Buy a rusty old fuel tank, use rust-a-way on the inside for 48 hours, then leave the outside alone.


New Member
I stripped mine down and just painted distressed stripes, you can use boshield on it, developed by Boeing to protect metal, been on it for 2 years and no rust but some on the inside, will have to fix that before I put gas in it.


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