Bringing a beat up set back to life?


Junior Member
I just joined today after doing a google search trying to seek info on refinishing some drums.
I'm not a drummer, but I'm the creative member of my band and we just reaquired our drummers old set of PDP CX drums (they sound better than what he's actually playing right now) but they look like crap.

It's a long story, but they've changed hands about a dozen times.. and thus have gone through the ringer. The wraps are scratched and nicked/pitted pretty bad and they are just in semi rough shape. The shells themselves are fine.

I took the smallest tom home to experiment, and it looks like the wraps on these things are totally glued down.. instead of the strip of glue where the ends meet like on some kits.

Any hope for this plan to make these things look nicer without spending more than it would cost to just buy a new kit?


Senior Member
I am not by any means an expert.. but you could take the wrap off, sand the wood and put a finish on it..

The Old Hyde

Fisrst make sure you set a budget that doesnt excede the cost of a new kit. Depending on sizes and the number of drums as well as the type of wrap you will be spending over 300 for the wrap on a five piece kit. Go to and look up the type and sizez you need to get an idea. if you find that the cost of the wrap and the cost of the drums are more than they are worth, try taking off the wrap and refinishing the wood. Use a heat gun and a small scraper to remove the old wrap and take off any old adhesive with something like googone. then sand with 220 grit paper and apply your fish. good luck.


Junior Member
Here's where i'm at with this.
I took the smallest tom home to experiment with.

Here's some photos of it. So far I've tried to get the wrap to come off.. no luck at all.

I tried using an iron to heat it up, and its on there solid..

I'm wondering if its even a wrap? Did they all have wraps? It has a seam like it would have one, but I can't get it to budge...



Platinum Member
That's not a wrap buddy. The seam you are speaking of is the seam of the shell. You are trying to remove the outer ply. You should probably stop doing that.


Platinum Member
That's definitely not a wrap.

If you want to re-finish that drum, it's going to require a thorough sanding of the shell.

You might do well with some chemical stripper like Nitro-Mors (if you can get that in the US), I've had good luck with it in the past on a slightly different job but it's very good.

Start with a medium-coarse grade (after some chemical stripper) and work down to a very fine grade. Using white spirit when sanding to take the dust off the drum at regular intervals is highly recommended - especially as you get further into the finish. Carry on until you get to bare wood - this will take a lot of patience and effort.

Needless to say you need to take the hardware off first.

If you're going to do a whole kit it will take a long time. Do not be tempted to take short cuts or hurry anything because that will lead to issues - I've learned the hard way in the past. Take your time and do it in small bursts. Doing a lot in a day will tire you out and your results will suffer as a result.

Then you can think about refinishing.


Junior Member
Ok, so that makes sense. Good thing they weren't coming off then lol...

So shouldn't I be able to sand down this clear coat, fill all these nicks with wood putty sand it down and restain?

Paint is not good to use is it?


Platinum Member
The issue with the approach of not sanding the whole finish off is that it'll be nigh-on impossible to get a colour match for the original finish. It will probably be very obvious where you've made these patch and repairs.

I would recommend taking the whole finish off down to the bare, then applying the wood putty to fill in the gaps.

Depending on how you apply the paint, it could work. A brush doesn't produce a good finish but aerosols will - e.g. spray or using an air gun. You'll have to do a lot of masking if you're going to do this. A stain is most likely the easier route and probably the one that most people would recommend here.

Getting a 'professional-looking' finish is a very skilled and difficult process. Remember to think about everything before you do it!

john gerrard

Senior Member
That series of PDP are good drums and worth the time to refinish. Another work of caution, when you sanding out the scratches and gouges be careful not to sand too much and go through the outer ply. Also if you use a chemical to remove the outer finish be sure to mask off the hardware holes from the inside to keep the remover from seeping through the holes and staining the inside ply.

It is a pretty tough job, but as I see it you should be in no rush because the drummer already has drums to use. It's not rocket science and I'm sure you can do it. Keep us posted and ask lots of questions along the way. Good luck, John