Staining natural lacquered birch

wackjob

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Hey there. I am currently looking at a 18" inch Pearl DLX floor tom. It is natural birch with lacquer over the top.

If i remove the lacquer would it take a green stain like a virgin birch shell or will Pearl have put something on under the gloss coat that will prevent this from working?

Many thanks for your advice. Stu
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I don't know but I have a Dixon 12" snare (piece of junk) with a natural coat on a very thin maple shell. Got it for free and was going to strip it just to mess with my shell fixing techniques. I have tried to strip it 3X using Citrustrip and I can't make a dent in the finish!

I also recently scored a Ludwig 3x13 (white/black badge - overseas model) - with the same type of clear thermogloss finish. It barely came off after numerous stripping attempts. I tried to hand sand it with no luck so I used an orbital sander which did the job finally! But when I tried to stain it, the maple did not take the color at all.

The point is that these Asian "lacquer" or clear finishes are extremely durable, a pain to remove, and leave the underlying wood, even when exposed, resistant to stain! So, I don't know what will happen to your shell.........it will probably be a crapshoot.
 

Fat Drummer

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Most likely the reason that raw shell was resistant to accept the stain was that it was over sanded (often referred to as polished or burnished) when removing the old finish and leaving the wood fibers sealed. But to this specific drum, you could always add a thin veneer of new fresh Birch and finish that to your desired color.
 

wackjob

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Thanks for the advice. I am going to leave well alone and forget about the dlx. Seller dropped the price last night and now has put them up even more than they were originally. Bonkers
 

Mongrel

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Thank you for asking-and answering this question.

I have a set of birch Tama Starclassic Performers finished in "Translarent Black" I bought new in 1999. After 20 years I'ma little bored with that finish and I had considered stripping and refinishing them. The finish is in great condition, hardly a mark on it, so it's not like they need to be refinished.

Looks like it would be better to wrap them if I did anything at all.

Thanks guys!
 

MillerMav

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Just a tip for people reading this thread about general refinishing tips. One good way to strip the lacquer from older shells is with a heat gun. Fan the gun back and forth over the finish until it bubbles then just simply scrape it off with a putty knife. Do this outside or while wearing a respirator, FYI. I did this when I converted an old Tama birch 15" rack tom to a floor a few years back. I went over the raw shell with a tamo ash veneer but could have just as easily sanded it down to bare wood and restained it. Once I removed the clear the wood underneath was in really good shape.
 

blueshadow

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One thing to keep in mind as I've learned the hard way, there's a difference between Stain and Dye...Stain sits on top dye soaks in and will give you a much better finish...but needs to be on a new shell at least in my experience any glues or lacquer removed will have an effect on how dye penetrates
 

blueshadow

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Here's a link to a couple shells I did a couple years ago. 8x12 is factory and 14x22 and 16x16 painted to "match"


Both the 22 and 16 had to be stripped of the glue, these were previously wrapped drums. The 22" had been painted black after that inside and out. The 16" was really really nice but covered in glue which I removed. After the 22" didn't take stain I didn't even try on the 16" The 22 looks ok from 10 feet away the 16" looks good up close (except I ran out of paint and it's a little light on the back side) I bought some raw hoops yesterday to stain to match.
 

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