How to touch up scarred drums?

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,642
Reaction score
1,600
Location
SF Bay Area
I have a 1983 Tama Superstar in power sizes (but not square) and I'm about to get another kit that's in similar condition. Both are road worn, the Tama much more so. I don't mind that much overall, but some kits with lots of wear on the shells look like they've been touched up nicely. How is that done? I see shells where big scratches, gouges and scars are blended into the finish and they don't look nearly as bad as they would without that help.

I should mention that the finish is a lacquer on both kits. There's a good chance I'll move the Tama after trying out some touch up techniques on it. I love the kit but not a huge fan of the power sizes.
 

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,791
Reaction score
2,069
Location
SE Connecticut
That Tama Superstar finish is a polyurethane + lacquer. Very much like a grand piano finish. It can go through one or both layers before it hits the wood. I've seen a few touch ups on shells and assumed they were done with lacquers, fingernail polish, etc.
I have tried some paint pens from Ace Hardware as they come in some darker red stains. They will do a decent job. If you're looking to get a mirror finish at the top the lacquer paint stick dries a bit flat.
 
Last edited:

Kenwood

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2012
Messages
109
Reaction score
63
Location
Warwick R.I.
This Tama Royalstar kit in the Brazilian grain was quite a mess when found
the zebra look pattern which appears to run through the shell's construction,
is simply applied to the inner and outer plies almost like a decal of sorts
I could have sanded the shells and re-finished them
but since the Brazilian grain was applied like it was, I would have sanded it completely away.
So the numerous scratches and gouges could only be toned down to keep the original Brazilian grain look.
I used Old English scratch cover for dark wood furniture. It worked reasonably well and made a rare but battered old kit much more presentable. Every so often I re-treat the stubborn areas like the patch of tom rash seen here on the bass drum below the 13" tom.
20200102_221824.jpg
51V1lbuI-YL__AC_SX425_.jpg
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,642
Reaction score
1,600
Location
SF Bay Area
I have a friend who touched up his Cherry Wine Superstars with a red Sharpie marker and clear fingernail polish. Can't tell from a couple of feet away...
That's easy enough. There are enough scrapes and scars to give it a try without much risk. Mine are Cherry Wine, too.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,642
Reaction score
1,600
Location
SF Bay Area
That Tama Superstar finish is a polyurethane + lacquer. Very much like a grand piano finish. It can go through one or both layers before it hits the wood. I've seen a few touch ups on shells and assumed they were done with lacquers, fingernail polish, etc.
I tried some paint pens from Ace Hardware as they come in some darker red stains. They will do a decent job. If you're looking to get a mirror finish at the top the lacquer paint stick dries a bit flat.
From stage distance of 10-15 away, it would take a keen observer to find most of the rash on my Tama, but other areas are obvious. I'm going to give a sharpie and clear nail polish a try, and maybe another gash will get the closest matching lacquer paint stick, to compare the two.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,642
Reaction score
1,600
Location
SF Bay Area
This Tama Royalstar kit in the Brazilian grain was quite a mess when found
the zebra look pattern which appears to run through the shell's construction,
is simply applied to the inner and outer plies almost like a decal of sorts
I could have sanded the shells and re-finished them
but since the Brazilian grain was applied like it was, I would have sanded it completely away.
So the numerous scratches and gouges could only be toned down to keep the original Brazilian grain look.
I used Old English scratch cover for dark wood furniture. It worked reasonably well and made a rare but battered old kit much more presentable. Every so often I re-treat the stubborn areas like the patch of tom rash seen here on the bass drum below the 13" tom.
View attachment 486631 View attachment 486632
Definitely a rare kit, but are you sure it's the original wrap? I wonder because where are the badges.
 

Swissward Flamtacles

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
108
Reaction score
119
I've used Polyurethane after watching this rdavidr video. It worked pretty well but not sure how it works in your case, so better try it on the bottom of the bass drum first or wherever you can't see it.
 

Old Dog

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
887
Reaction score
432

I tried this a couple years ago. Honestly, I just didn't really "go through with it". I did a weak/mediocre job. However, I think it's a good way to go.
 

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
2,791
Reaction score
2,069
Location
SE Connecticut
Definitely a rare kit, but are you sure it's the original wrap? I wonder because where are the badges.
Tama 1980's Brazilian grain finish is not a wrap......but a stained wood.

When I used the Ace Hardware paint pens I found that the one labeled "dark mahogany" was way too dark for most of the spots I was trying to stain on a super mahogany finished shell.
The lighter cherry stain would have been a better fit for the super mahogany as that drum has a lot of red in it....and scattered dark areas. And that cherry stain might be too dark for the "cherry wine" finish.

.
 
Last edited:

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,642
Reaction score
1,600
Location
SF Bay Area
Tama 1980's Brazilian grain finish is not a wrap......but a stained wood.

When I used the Ace Hardware paint pens I found that the one labeled "dark mahogany" was way too dark for most of the spots I was trying to stain.
The lighter cherry stain would have been a better fit. And that cherry stain might be too dark for the "cherry wine" finish.
Maybe a shade brighter than the one that looks right for cherry wine will do the trick. I'll try it on the bottom of the bass drum.
 

DrumGuy27

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
162
Reaction score
47
ah, glad I found this thread - so, got a 2021 Ludwig BB - nice but there's some hairline scratches right next to the badge as you can see, not sure if I did those or factory, but is there a way to polish away (so to speak) those annoying scratches? or is the nickel gone from that area and simply can't be cleaned up? Scratches are about 1 inch wide by 1 inch long...

seems the NOB scratches so easily - nothing crucial obviously, just annoying as it's only a few days old

pic.jpg
 

Geardaddy

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
Messages
847
Reaction score
182
Location
Minneapolis
I touched up a Yamaha Recording Custom Cherrywood kit using tinted fingernail polish. I bought several bottles of polish that I thought were close to the correct color and just experimented until I found an almost perfect color match. From a couple of feet away the gouges disappeared. It's easy to apply and dries with a nice gloss that blends very well with the original finish.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,642
Reaction score
1,600
Location
SF Bay Area
ah, glad I found this thread - so, got a 2021 Ludwig BB - nice but there's some hairline scratches right next to the badge as you can see, not sure if I did those or factory, but is there a way to polish away (so to speak) those annoying scratches? or is the nickel gone from that area and simply can't be cleaned up? Scratches are about 1 inch wide by 1 inch long...

seems the NOB scratches so easily - nothing crucial obviously, just annoying as it's only a few days old

View attachment 486928
When I got my LM402 Supra, it looked like there were scratches in a few places and I wasn't happy. It was a brand new drum. When I touched the scratches, it turned out they were actually clear grease and could be wiped away. I don't know if that's the case on your drum, but you might want to check.
 

DrumGuy27

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
162
Reaction score
47
When I got my LM402 Supra, it looked like there were scratches in a few places and I wasn't happy. It was a brand new drum. When I touched the scratches, it turned out they were actually clear grease and could be wiped away. I don't know if that's the case on your drum, but you might want to check.

thank you - I wish that were the case here, but no the Nickel really scratches easily. I'll just live with it as I see no way to get rid of them
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,642
Reaction score
1,600
Location
SF Bay Area
thank you - I wish that were the case here, but no the Nickel really scratches easily. I'll just live with it as I see no way to get rid of them
I found the same with my BB. The nickel finish isn't that robust. I have barely bumped the drum more than once and found marks that won't come out, but they're not visible unless looking up close. No one sees the snare closer than we do, but it'd be nice if they kept pristine.
 


Top