Rattle Cans...

D. B. Cooper

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Is it possible to get a decent looking finish with rattle Cans? I was thinking about a few coats of gloss black and then maybe a clear coat over top to add some depth?
Anybody have any advice?
 

TrickRoll

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I passed my 1967 Ludwig Club Date kit in Pink Champagne along and the buyer painted it black with rattle can paint.

Tragic, I know. I should have held on to it...

Not recommended.
 

D. B. Cooper

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Yeah. Maybe I'll have a cabinet shop do it or something. Trying to not spend a bunch of money on the project. Shipping these drums somewhere would be expensive and I don't have any drum builders around...
 

Vicegrips

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I think latzanimal has the problem stated correctly. And I'd agree that multiple coats and a full grit-change sanding protocol will do the job. In my own efforts, I have not spent enough time on surface prep. Even knowing that, I spend less time that I should sanding with multiple grits BEFORE i apply finish. But it's a lot more fun to run an airbrush than a sanding block, and I'm an impatient old man.

So, you can do the sanding thing yourself, but that's a lot of surface area.... You could buy an airbrush/paint compressor and spray gun/airbrush and learn to apply the paint evenly yourself. Much less sanding since you'll start with more even coats than rattle cans. And you might paint something else some day... I'll guess a couple hundred for a basic compressor and spray gun. Harbor freight has tools that should last at least long enough for one to learn on and a full set of drums :). Maybe more! My compressor from there was $120, going on 5 years homeowner use...

Hire the job out if you can get a local to do what you need. Cabinet shop is a good idea. How about someone who paints cars? Not a custom airbrush mural person, but a step up from Earl? I'm Earl Schieb and I can paint those tubs for $29.95! Any local person driving a custom car will probably talk your ear off about their car's paint job, who did it, how many coats of what, the 3 zillion grit final sand, and so on. Maybe they'll paint drums.

I also found a wealth of wood knowledge, including finishes, at a local Woodsmith (or something like that) shop. Lots of high end woodworking tools, plans, hardwood materials. I went at slower retail times and the staff and even other customers answered any questions I had at the time. Someone there will probably know where to get a really nice finish done locally, and who charges how much.

Got some local "starving artists"? With an airbrush outfit? I'll bet they aren't all that busy at the moment, and if they know their airbrush they know surface prep, what to spray and how. Perhaps there's a resource.

Safe travels!
 

Rockin' Billy

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I have painted 5 snares w/rattle cans and loved the outcome. Did them for a local drum shop years ago.
Prep is important! Technique also. Sweeping motions side to side pressing on and off sprayer. Light coats with slightly heavier for final. I also buy a extra can of color in case aerosol starts to ‘spit’...it happens unfortunately.
 

D. B. Cooper

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I think latzanimal has the problem stated correctly. And I'd agree that multiple coats and a full grit-change sanding protocol will do the job. In my own efforts, I have not spent enough time on surface prep. Even knowing that, I spend less time that I should sanding with multiple grits BEFORE i apply finish. But it's a lot more fun to run an airbrush than a sanding block, and I'm an impatient old man.

So, you can do the sanding thing yourself, but that's a lot of surface area.... You could buy an airbrush/paint compressor and spray gun/airbrush and learn to apply the paint evenly yourself. Much less sanding since you'll start with more even coats than rattle cans. And you might paint something else some day... I'll guess a couple hundred for a basic compressor and spray gun. Harbor freight has tools that should last at least long enough for one to learn on and a full set of drums :). Maybe more! My compressor from there was $120, going on 5 years homeowner use...

Hire the job out if you can get a local to do what you need. Cabinet shop is a good idea. How about someone who paints cars? Not a custom airbrush mural person, but a step up from Earl? I'm Earl Schieb and I can paint those tubs for $29.95! Any local person driving a custom car will probably talk your ear off about their car's paint job, who did it, how many coats of what, the 3 zillion grit final sand, and so on. Maybe they'll paint drums.

I also found a wealth of wood knowledge, including finishes, at a local Woodsmith (or something like that) shop. Lots of high end woodworking tools, plans, hardwood materials. I went at slower retail times and the staff and even other customers answered any questions I had at the time. Someone there will probably know where to get a really nice finish done locally, and who charges how much.

Got some local "starving artists"? With an airbrush outfit? I'll bet they aren't all that busy at the moment, and if they know their airbrush they know surface prep, what to spray and how. Perhaps there's a resource.

Safe travels!
All good advice, so far.
I'm going to search around for a cabinet shop!
Thanks guys!
 

Tommy D

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I rattle can painted a motorcycle back in my day. Came out looking good. Like any paint job, it requires lots of prep work to make your surface perfect. Then after the paint and clear is on it takes a lot of wet sanding and polishing to get that smooth, glassy finish.

The one thing I would recommend for spray paint is buying 2K clear instead of a standard spray paint clear coat. Regular spray paint clear coat is slightly milky and lacks depth. It is also a "soft" finish. The 2K clear is a 2 part catalyzed paint that is much like an automotive clear coat. It hardens like a real automotive finish and has a much "clearer" finish for greater depth.

Don't mistake 2K clear for 2x clear. 2x is just regular spray paint that it supposedly 2 times the thickness.
 

fibes3

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I did this Ludwig piccolo with Hunter Green stain.
As it's been mentioned, shell preparation is the key.
It was a fun project.
Sorry I don't have better photos (its on top of the ever so stable stack of snares) and unfortunately the drum is gone.
 

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thin shell

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I have done a lot of painting with rattle cans. I sprayed a dresser and nightstand for my daughter's room with a white satin spray paint and it looks like a factory finish as one example. You have to know the proper technique for spray painting to get a good result. If you don't know how to spray properly you will not get a good paint job. One of those snap on handles makes a world of difference. It makes it feel much more like a spray gun and thus, makes it easier to control. There are different qualities of spray heads on spray cans. The ones that have an oval spray pattern that can be adjusted for up and down or side to side are best but I used tons of the standard ones with the round pattern.
 
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Old Dog

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I did spray lacquer on my recent build. I had to re do it, do to the runs. But it came out looking great! Feels silky smooth with all of the wet sanding I did.

I have not read the other posts, but a lazy susan setup help tremendously.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I have had much success spray painting Hoops in matte black but I've never done it on a shell with success. I prefer applying stain using a blue shop paper towel or foam brush and then hand applying satin poly when I refinish wood drums.... it's pretty easy.....
 

D. B. Cooper

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I have had much success spray painting Hoops in matte black but I've never done it on a shell with success. I prefer applying stain using a blue shop paper towel or foam brush and then hand applying satin poly when I refinish wood drums.... it's pretty easy.....
Cool. Yeah, that is an easier way to do it.

I want to refinish a set of Slingerland Stage Bands and would prefer them to look as close to professional as possible. I won't attempt it if it's going to look like crap, no matter how I do it.
I've got a decent amount of finishing experience on everything from cabinetry and furniture to drums and trim carpentry. I'll be able to navigate complicated techniques, just don't have professional equipment like an air brush.
I'm currently thinking cabinet shops may be the way to go. I'll start calling them tomorrow!
 

Old Dog

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Suggest you get a spray can grip of some type. Doing lots of rattle can work can tire your finger pretty quickly. Also easier to control pattern of spray


View attachment 440713
Definitely agree with that. They are helpful for sure. I got a 4 pack on ebay for less than $10.
 

thin shell

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Cool. Yeah, that is an easier way to do it.

I want to refinish a set of Slingerland Stage Bands and would prefer them to look as close to professional as possible. I won't attempt it if it's going to look like crap, no matter how I do it.
I've got a decent amount of finishing experience on everything from cabinetry and furniture to drums and trim carpentry. I'll be able to navigate complicated techniques, just don't have professional equipment like an air brush.
I'm currently thinking cabinet shops may be the way to go. I'll start calling them tomorrow!
Painting a drum is more like painting a car than painting cabinets and trim. Cabinet shops don't really go for mirror finishes like we see on drums. Our kitchen has maple cabinets that have a really good finish but up close it isn't anywhere near what the finish is on a natural finished drum is.

You might have better luck getting a body shop to spray them for you. If you are going with black then you could buy some rattle can black automotive primer and mask off the inside, making sure to put tape on the inside at each hole, then spray several coats of primer then sand with a sanding block and fine grit sandpaper. If you do all the prep then it may be pretty inexpensive for a body shop to paint them for you.
 

D. B. Cooper

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Painting a drum is more like painting a car than painting cabinets and trim. Cabinet shops don't really go for mirror finishes like we see on drums. Our kitchen has maple cabinets that have a really good finish but up close it isn't anywhere near what the finish is on a natural finished drum is.

You might have better luck getting a body shop to spray them for you. If you are going with black then you could buy some rattle can black automotive primer and mask off the inside, making sure to put tape on the inside at each hole, then spray several coats of primer then sand with a sanding block and fine grit sandpaper. If you do all the prep then it may be pretty inexpensive for a body shop to paint them for you.
Yeah. Good points.
I'm wondering about how hard it's going to be to get a nice straight tape line by the bearing edges. Good news is that 99.99% of the drum's life the edges will be covered up by the heads and hoops.
 

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