Do vintage drums have lead paint?

thin shell

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I’m not sure. Lead was used in house paint because it helped it go on smooth, gave better coverage with less coats, and made it more durable.

Auto paint used to be nitrocellulose-lacquer-based, which is nasty stuff in it’s own right. If the “trunk paint” they used was actual paint for car trunks (and no reason to believe it wasn’t) it would be more likely an industrial enamel. That’s what the modern stuff smells like, anyway.

House paint isn’t made for extreme temperature cycles, and a drum manufacturer wouldn't use something specially formulated when off-the-shelf would work.
Lead was commonly used as a pigment, specifically white so it could very well be any paint. If it is concern to someone the best thing to do is assume that it contains lead and take all necessary precautions or get it tested.
 

K.O.

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I'd bet that white resocoat inside 60s Ludwigs, which was reputed to be white ceiling paint, might contain lead.
 


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