Canned Heat: 12 Folk Art Painted Residential Propane Tanks

Those popular home propane tanks that look like colossal cold capsules or dry-docked mini subs can be unusual showcases for unique folk art creations.

Ranging in capacity from 250 gallons up to 500 gallons, residential propane tanks typically sport white finishes or are left unpainted because, y’know, dark gas tanks under bright sunlight and all. Not all propane tanks are so exposed, however, and their sizes and shape invite an unlimited range of creative solutions. One of the most popular, it would seem, is turning the tank into a Beatle-esque Yellow Submarine.

Flickr member jhk&alk captured one such psychedelic homage to the 1967 film at Shelter Cove, on California’s “Lost Coast”, in August of 2014.

Flickr member istartedi snapped a very similar rendition (could the same artist be responsible?) featuring the Yellow Submarine’s iconic Nowhere Man on a propane tank situated some 240 miles south in the North Bay area.

Kitten of the Sea

It’s yellow, and it’s a submarine, but even The Beatles in their most trip-tastic moments couldn’t come up with the “USS Catattack”. We’re SO glad Pinterest member Jacqueline Faust (theArtisticFarmer) did, however, because this cat-themed backyard propane tank isn’t just awesome, it’s… clawsome!


Do watermelons give you gas? This one does, but we’re sure there’s no connection with the re-purposed toilet planter right beside. Flickr member vinky captured the above charming outdoor scene, possibly hailing from the tiny town of Washington, CA, for posterity in May of 2012.

Then there’s this watermelon-themed propane tank, complete with a faux-frog “guardian” in case the local gas pirates (is there such a thing?) get any bright ideas.

Animal Tank Farm

This pair of porcine propane tanks from Orangeville, Ontario don’t appear to be functional, unless one considers their prime function to be pieces of intriguing folk art. Flickr member Will S posted the above image of the heavy metal petting zoo in April of 2015. While we wouldn’t even think about welding a propane tank, empty or not, some folks ARE qualified to do just that. If you’ve got an hour (yes, an hour) to spare, check out this video from BILLSTMAXX in which the photographer/welder/artist creates one of the gas tank piggies.