Last weekend I painted the gas tank. First I had to spend some time building a tent-like structure in the garage out of plastic sheeting. It pretty much fills one half of the garage, and is big enough to hold the entire car.
The actual painting didn’t come out so great. There wasn’t enough bright light to see the dark paint well, and I got some runs on the bottom of the gas tank. I also ran out of paint after putting only 2 of 3 coats on the top.
Once it dried, it was insanely glossy, like the entire tank had been dipped in liquid plastic. It also had (despite the plastic) lots of little bits of dust and a significant amount of orange peel. After it dried for a day and a half, the paint was quite hard, and I sanded off the orange peel and most of the runs, and buffed the paint. It looked pretty good then, but the paint on the top was a bit too thin and the underlying primer was starting to show on one spot, so the top of the tank will need another paint application.
By the way, good acrylic-urethane paint (I am using PPG Concept) dries insanely hard in a short amount of time, much better than any single-component paint you could buy in a hardware store. It would probably be good for lots of things besides cars. Unfortunately, it’s really expensive, and a pain in the ass to apply.