Rusty Tanks & Industrial Painting – PennCoat

Industrial Painting – Tank Rust Removal and Recoating Project

At Penncoat we have an interesting outlook on the term degree of difficulty. Give us rust spots – no problem. Put those rust spots 60’ in the air on tank silos – OK. Surround the area around the tank with grass and landscaping that isn’t meant to be driven over with lifts and other equipment – now we’re talking.

Every ‘less than ideal’ project that we encounter is a way to expand our portfolio and show potential customers our capabilities. It also gives our problem solving skills a workout and lets us know if we need to expand our equipment, tools, training, etc.

That is exactly what arose when a customer came to us needing a makeover for their exterior silos. They are in the packaging industry and the silos were in need of some overdue treatment. The tanks were rusty, the color had faded and they gave off an overall drab feel. Since they were so large and prominent they were also the focal point of the building’s exterior so they had aesthetic value in addition to just functionality.

Working With Tanks and Silos

The challenging aspect to painting tanks is access. In this instance not only would we have to find a way to get vertical, we also had to watch our horizontal movements because of the landscaping that was situated in front of the tanks. Tearing up the grass with trucks and lifts would be walking in circles of trying to upgrade the tanks for aesthetics reasons.

To be able to take our equipment as close to the tanks as possible for safety and efficiency reasons, we created a ‘plywood road’. The wood bore the brunt of the lift tires turning and cranking and left the landscape relatively unscathed after we left.

Once we had a route laid out, we used two articulating boom lifts. The multiple sections of the articulating lift allowed us to wrap around the tanks for complete coverage.

Repair and Re-coating

Of course access is only a part of the job, in this case we needed to apply a product that would have longstanding durability against the elements while improving the tanks’ appearance. We also had to remove rust spots that were starting to corrode and oxidize.

For the rust spots we used a product called POR-15®. It is a very high-performance coating designed specifically for rust spots that have become seasoned for application on both metal and concrete. The POR-15® is non-porous to provide a seal against water, chemicals, salt, weather, and contaminants.

Once the sub-surface was prepped and rust-proofed, we applied two coats of PPG’s Urethane Mastic. One of the major features of this coating is its direct-to-metal application including tightly adhering rust. The product features superior gloss and color retention and has excellent UV stability. When using an accelerator the mastic can dry in under an hour.


Our customer was very happy with the end results, not just the makeover of the tanks but our attention to detail in preserving their landscape and property. The success of the project was just another example of our dedication in raising the bar when it comes to ‘degree of difficulty.’

PennCoat, Inc. has been providing industrial painting, commercial painting, epoxy flooring, and polished concrete services for nearly 30 years.  Our experienced installers are trained and equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to ensure that every installation is installed efficiently and safely.  PennCoat, Inc. provides service to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.  And we cover York, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Baltimore, Harrisburg, Dauphin, Bucks, Berks, and other counties in the surrounding area.