Removing final stubborn bits of paint

DD

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Hello all-
I’m in middle of stripping paint finish from a tom and wondering what might be good option to remove those final remnants of old paint finish? Paint stripper I’ve been using is Citristrip which has done good job. So far. But don’t know that it’ll get last bit out for me…probably not best idea, but trying to get down to bare shell to leave a natural maple finish if possible. Been using just putty knife scraper so far so haven’t gotten down to stripping pad yet.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Pics? I've had great success using Citristrip. Just do multiple attempts and make sure there's plenty on the remaining paint area.
 

DD

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That was my plan. Just wasn’t sure if it’d get me across the finish line!
84140785-6257-4EE5-AFEF-F5C167540924.jpeg
 

cworrick

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If you're going to finish it in its natural Maple, you're going to sand it anyway. Once it dries, start sanding off the remaining paint with 120 grit. This will also get you started on your sanding for the finished look.
 
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DD

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I did a 2nd round with the citristrip this afternoon and made good progress. I was paranoid to leave it on too long so I gave the shell a rub with some Klean Strip after wash. That stuff will also take paint off so I’ll probably give it another go tomorrow with it. Then sanding time!
My biggest worry is the plugs in the holes (I went with the dowel type method) and and anything leaking into the shell… I think I have the lug holes plugged pretty good but the smaller holes are a little trickier…
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I've done plenty of shells that looked way worse than yours. I've gotten them smooth to the virgin wood. For the lug holes and any other holes, I use blue painter's tape from the inside. It should be fine to avoid any leaks.
 

DD

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Well 2nd round with the wash-after-stripper. Getting there! I may just do this couple more times as it is making headway. I think the wash is just a lacquer thinner or really close to it so it is taking paint residue off with each wipe.
6A9A27FB-7D25-471B-AA7E-904015C54746.jpeg
 

DD

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Decided to tackle some smaller areas and slow down the pace since I’m making some progress at least. Tried another citristrip coating on small section overnight and it helped. But I think I’m getting to point of stripping pad with small applications of citristrip and elbow grease getting the best results. Still getting some blue off with each rub so that’s promising! Might have to look at some additional strip pads as well (been using just plain old paper towels too)
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philmets

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Beautiful! Those look awesome.
Cheers! By the way, when it came to sanding, I used 150 followed by 220 grit. Extra fine wire wool rub down in-between tung oil coats, if you go that route.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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You can also try green abrasive sponges ( the $ store has a 5 pack) - they work great ( with Citrustrip) and won't damage the wood.
 
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DD

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So I hit small area again. Another coat of Citristrip, hit it with the green 3M pad and then sandpaper after. It is improving but still have some pesky spots… thought the Citristrip would do it but guess I can try another pass. Wondering if lacquer thinner might be better way to go?
4EDA5FE8-DCB7-4EEA-AD53-8A9E9B8882A2.jpeg
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Yeah. I'd finished the Tom to make it look like the top half and then maybe start with 150 or 220 for a light sanding.
 

DD

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Is there some reason you are avoiding a (reasonably-) gentle sanding?
I actually did hit one area pretty good with sandpaper on my last attempt a couple days ago. I was just afraid of going too deep with the sanding for not such great results. Seems like the last few micro spots are just a bear to get off. It is getting much closer though. I guess those little spots just really bug me and I don’t want to mess the shell up by going too fast or getting frustrated.
 

DD

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Back at it briefly this evening… sanding has made some headway at least. Also tried coarse 3M pad. But after a lot of pad action and sanding, still got some faint embedded paint happening.
I found some interesting advice on a woodworking forum… Recommendation there was that it’s better to use the paint stripper followed up with small brass wire brush instead of sanding to remove the softened paint down in the wood pores. From what I’m seeing, makes sense to me. Seems like the sanding at this point is actually pushing the remaining small bits of paint down into the grain.
Anybody tried the wire brush technique? Other advice I found was dental scraper and going but by bit but that sounds like tedium infinitum!
 

Ludwigboy

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So I hit small area again. Another coat of Citristrip, hit it with the green 3M pad and then sandpaper after. It is improving but still have some pesky spots… thought the Citristrip would do it but guess I can try another pass. Wondering if lacquer thinner might be better way to go? View attachment 522312
Congrats to all of you who do this part of restoration! I am always amazed at the before and after photos of these projects ...I am not sure I would have the patience and skill level to do this work; I limit it to replacing parts and rewrapping drums.
Thanks for sharing and pat each of yourselves on the back for a job well done!
 
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