Help refinishing drum


Senior Member
Hi guys- i was hoping there was someone out there with a bit more experience in this to give me some advice.

Pictured is my newly won 10 inch SC tom from ebay. It is plain wood and next to it is a tom from my current kit. Not that you would notice from the picture but my tom is actually the small wood grain just in a dark green stain with a clear coat over the top.

Now the new tom is unfinished I think- I can feel the wood texture on it- I was hoping that I could just stain it dark green to try to match my kit? Is there a particular stain I should use for drums? and also for the final top clear coat?

My drum I can tell has a clear coat as it is completely smooth- the new tom I can feel the wood so i dont think it has a top finish- but could I be wrong? should I sand it prior to staining?

My other alternative is to leave it the wood color it is and buy a new snare that 'matches' it so that it will not look- that out of place on my dark kit?

Any help with be greatly appreciated



Platinum Member
A high end hardwood store is probably where you'll have your best luck. Where interior/finish carpenters shop. I, myself prefer water base products. There, they should have a stain that comes close. Matching a color exact is very hard to do, but you can come really close. Better to be "too light" with a coat, than "too dark". You can always throw a second coat on to further darken a wood....harder (if not impossible) to lighten. Read directions, as far as sanding/pre-wood conditioning, compatibility with clear coats, etc. and hopefully you'll have knowledgeable salespeople helping you also.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Sand it down with 200 or 400 sandpaper to smooth out the finish and to make sure there is no clear coat on it. Then rub on a stain. There are rubbing stains that I would buy. And as Harry says start light and get darker. The longer the stain is left on before rubbing the darker it will get.


Senior Member
Thanks guys, I am kind of lucky as from a distance my green wood grain just appears black- so I think I have a little leyway- in making 'screw-up'

I dont want to- but I have never done this to a drum before so I jus wanted a little info before I go and ruin a perfectably nice looking drum!