automotive paint on snare drums ??


Silver Member
hi ! I am restoring an old metal snare drum and I want it to look like a ludwig black beauty .

I thought that automotive paint would be the best option to achieve that finish

any thoughts , experience or adies would be very helpful!



Pioneer Member
Might look into getting it anodized. Just keep in mind anything you do to it will probably effect the sound of the drum


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
There are many types of auto paint. some acrylic, some lacquer, some polyurethane. All are put on over some sort of primer, after some surface preparation. Take it to a auto shop and see what they would charge to prep, prime, and paint the drum. They will do a better job than the average joe. Some acrylics and polys are thinned with a product called "dryer" than chemically allows the paint to dry quicker and harder. Talk to them about the process. They may blow you off, but in slow times they may help.


Paint doesn't like to stick to metal all that well. Especially chrome! One of my kits is painted with auto paint and even clear coated. But it is wood. You might also look into powder coating. Don't know how much it will effect the sound though.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Cars are metal and that is why it has to be prepped and undercoated with primer first and then the paint will stick. It can also be etched, then primered, and painted. But spray paint out of a can will only cause you problems. Do it right and it will not only look good but last. Urethanes are very hard paints.


Silver Member
going by the picture (i've never really seen a black beauty or payed close attention to one anyway) but it looks like it's black chromed, which shouldn't be all that expensive to have done.

powder coating will make the shell thicker and heavier but you may like what it does to the sound, who knows.

i know a lot of drum builders use auto paint cuz it's cheaper, easier and you can get that chip resistant clear coat that's supposed to hold up better than the lacquer does.

i would say out of all the options, if your shell is in good condition with no pitting and scratches, go with the black chrome. that would look awesome.


"Uncle Larry"
Putting automotive paint on your drums will make you "drive" the band better.
It was there, I had to take it.