Drum Making: Spraying a Sunburst Finish




Introduction: Drum Making: Spraying a Sunburst Finish

An easy drum building method is to achieve a sunburst finish with aerosol cans for a simple DIY Drum Making project.

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Step 1: Prepping the Shell

Sand the drum shell with 320 grit paper, and then wipe it to remove the dust. Wiping the drum with a shop towel, and then a Tak cloth is the preferred way to properly remove all the dust.

Step 2: Prepping the Inner Shell

Prep the inside of the shell to protect it from overspay. I do this with tape and tin foil. Newspaper works also.

Step 3: Spray the Base Coat

Apply 4 nice sanding sealer coats and let each coat dry thoroughly. Let the last coat dry overnight. You'll see in the picture how long I wait for each coat.

Step 4: Sand the Drum Shell Again

In the morning lightly sand the drum shell with #320 paper for a nice and smooth surface. Drum making is all about prepping: the finished product is only as good as the start... so make that baby nice and smooth.

Step 5: Apply the Dark Edges

Apply the dark colored (usually brown) Sunbursting Aerosol Can to the edges of the drum shell. Make this as dark as you wish (many coats will get it black) and as large as you want. Lay the first few coats on very lightly and let it dry thouroughly, then following coats can be laid on thicker.

Step 6: The Yellow Zone

Apply the amber/yellow Subursting Aerosol Can to the rest of the drum. The yellow color will not effect the dark edges, so overlap the yellow into the dark edges to make sure you're not missing any spots. You'll see in the picture that my dark edges are very straight and stripe like... I simple did this in the Guerrilla Drum Making DVD to show that you can also stripe drums. Your edges will look a little more blended and less linear.

Step 7: Apply Lacquer

Hit the entire drum with a tleast 2 coats of gloss lacquer aerosol. I know... when youre making drums it's tough to be patient... but if your not in a hurry, I would do 4 coats or more. This locks in the amber zone and protects it. Any overspray from our next step can be carefully smoothed off with #0000 steel wool.

Step 8: Apply the Transition Zone

Add the transitional red zone. This is achieved by applying the brown Sunbursting Aerosol right where the black edge meets the yellow/amber zone. This zone can be as big or as small as you want your burst or fade to extend. I went through the most drastic example in my Guerrilla Drum Making DVD to show how big of a burst you could actually do.

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    5 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Can you please tell me the names of the cans ? im from sydney so i dont know where to get them from here? and also when you said

    " Apply 4 nice sanding sealer coats and let each coat dry thoroughly. Let the last coat dry overnight. You'll see in the picture how long I wait for each coat. "

    do i sand it after every coat lightly?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Something else that makes this job easier is to place the shell on a 'Lazy Susan' (rotating table). Now you can turn the shell without having to move your body around it. If you can motorize the rotating table, so much the better. Variable speed, even better! Also, I would go with a paint sprayer. Much more control over the paint flow. Even an airless would suffice.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Right. In the Guerrilla Drum Making DVD, all drums being sprayed are on a lazy susan. But it's even better than a lazy susan because it's something all drummers already have. Regarding the paint sprayer, the use of Aerosol cans opens this finish option up to many more potential drum makers. This way the person doesnt need spray equipment and to invest in it.