Polishing Laquer Finish

fixxxer

Senior Member
I tried to search this but found nothing. I want to give my drums a good cleaning (it's been awhile). Does anyone know a good polish for laquer finish? I was thinking of something that's similiar to cymbal polish (apply, let haze and buff) that would leave a protective coat as well.
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Car wax isn't too harsh?
No idea. But duco isn't lacquer....that'd be my only concern.

Honestly, I've never needed anything more than a damp micro-fibre cloth to clean my lacquer finish....but as I've always been content with "clean" as opposed to "shiny", then I guess it depends on how much you want out of it.
 

pwrplay

Junior Member
I use a product called Woodpecker hardwood floor cleaner with a micro fibre cloth. It easily removes finger prints etc.. and leaves a nice shine on the laquer finish. This is a non wax product so it will not build up with use. It even does a nice job shining up the lugs as well.
 

tard

Gold Member
Car wax isn't too harsh?
Nope, cars used to be painted with acrylic lacquer before base clear and were actually a stronger more durable product than the clear coats used today, car wax is fairly mild product but will build up over time.
 

ddrumman2004

Senior Member
Johnson's Furniture Wax in paste form works for me.

Treat the finish as you would any other fine piece of furniture.

I would think cymbal polish would have an abrasive in it......no?
 

fixxxer

Senior Member
Thanks for the suggestions! I'm leanining toward the furniture polishes that are suggested. Those are probably the safest for the application.
@ ddrumman2004- Yeah, I wouldn't use cymbal polish as it would be too abrasive (I think). I was just thinking in terms of a polish that applies like that.
 

tard

Gold Member
Did some research and found this on another site:

NEVER use furniture polish on drums. Drums are sealed with a clear lacquer. Like an automotive finish, not furniture. Products like pledge will damage a finish over time. Windex has ammonia, ammonia will discolor a lacquer finish. And do not under any circumstances use any type of cymbal cleaner on a lacquer finish!!!!

I am amazed at some of the suggestions i see for people to clean drums. Many will actually destroy a finish. A 100% COTTON towel or cloth dampened with warm water and a mild car wash soap is all you need to clean the shells. Then dry them with a clean cotton towel. You can use Carunuaba type paste wax to make them easier to clean later.

Never, ever use any type of chemical on lacquer finish drum shells.
Never use furniture polish. Drums are not furniture! the finish on a drum is identical to what is used on cars. Would you use Pledge on your car? Furniture is typically not sealed. It's stained and waxed. So furniture polish is absorbed into the wood. On a drum with a lacquer finish, this will damage the clear coat over time. The search function is not working now but i posted a large link to a drum and piano finish restoration expert who went into great detail about he damage caused by furniture polish on drums.
Nothing with ammonia! No Windex.
NO PAPER TOWELS, EVER! They scratch the finish.

Most high end lacquer drum kit's are painted with automotive type lacquer finishes. Treat your drum kits finish like you would a high end sports car.

Drums are painted almost identical to piano's so the care and upkeep is pretty much the same. Many higher end drums are painted with automotive grade lacquers. Masterworks get sprayed with House Of Kolor lacquers. The same stuff used by most custom motororcycle and hot rod builders. Again, would you spray Pledge on your car? I would'nt. And the same goes for newer lacquered furniture. You should not be using Pledge on it either.

A link to a piano refinishing site:
http://www.ptg.org/resources-pianoOwners-finishCare.php

another quote from a Piano shop FAQ section:

Should I use furniture polish on my piano? This is one of the biggest mistakes people do with their pianos. The finishes of modern pianos often react poorly with furniture polish. Worst case scenario is a chemical reaction that discolors the finish. Best case scenario, the wax in furniture polish builds up on the piano and dulls the original beauty.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I have posted this many times. I emailed Johnson & Johnson and they don't recommend Pledge on lacquer finishes. Word to the wise.
 

tard

Gold Member
I have posted this many times. I emailed Johnson & Johnson and they don't recommend Pledge on lacquer finishes. Word to the wise.
I guess I will be sticking to my usual cleaning with guitar polish when needed and the annual car wax job when I change heads. BTW sabian liquid cymbal cleaner works really good on hoops and hardware, I figured I give it a try a while back as I had a bottle left over after I found that the Zildjian cleaner seems to do a better job on cymbals although not as good as the old Zildjian clean cream paste that used to come in a tube, that stuff was awesome.
 

fixxxer

Senior Member
Wow! Thanks for the research, Tard. I'll stay away from the harsh chemicals. Maybe just the soap and water with the Carunuaba for now. This is exactly why I wanted to check this out before just using anything on my drums.
Speaking of cymbal polishes, I just found a new one that works great. It's called MusicNomad. You can check them out at www.MusicNomadCare.com. A guy at GC turned me on to it a few weeks ago and it is sooooo much easier to buff off than the Zildjian polish that I have been using. It leaves a nice protective finish as well. As with most, you have to take it easy on the logos as it will take them off if you go crazy on them.
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
Gotcha... However, people have been using Lemon Pledge on everything for years and years and years and I have yet to see any actual issues with it.

I own a Les Paul that's worth more than my DW kit and I'm not the least bit worried about using Lemon Pledge on it (and I don't think others should be either.)

Just my opinion.
 

tard

Gold Member
I've been using Lemon Pledge on motorcycles and guitars for years and never had any issues either.
I know a guy that used it on his motorcycle for years and never had a problem either till he had it repainted and it had penetrated the finish and the new paint products would not bond to the old paint, kept getting fish eyes and runs, had to eventually strip it to bare metal to get the paint to adhere properly, cost him several thousand. I also saw a usa strat at the local music store that was all yellowed and weathered and looked really old but wasnt and was trying to get warranty from fender on the finish. The manager of the store told me that he didnt think fender would do anything because they had seen this before and it was from using furniture polish instead of guitar polish. Just for the hell of it today I rummaged thru some stuff in the shop and there was a johnsons furniture polish and a treewax polish and cleaner and they both had warnings on them not to use on lacquer finish products.
 

Big_Al47

Senior Member
That's not cool.....maybe I will stop using it then. Don't want to ruin my bike or my drums. Thanks for the heads up!
 

tommapex

Senior Member
Lemon Pledge.......
+1...I've been using this for years.

I just read the can of Lemon Pledge I have and there are NO warnings about using it on lacquer finishes. I only use it on my drums about once a year. I spray the Pledge on the rag first then wipe it on. I then go over the drum with a clean dry cotton cloth.

One more thing. According to the Pledge label there is NO wax in the product. I have never noticed any kind of buildup or discoloration. YMMV.
 
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