Silver Sealer

dnt

Member
So, I’ve seen many answers/opinions online...does anyone in here have a definitive answer for what exactly IS the silver sealer Gretsch puts in some of their lines, and does it actually DO anything for the drum or the sound?
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
All the opinions and answers you have found online are the definitive answers. There is no point in asking anymore as the thousands of posts you have already read hold all the information there is.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Silver sealer is a silver secret. It does seal the wood, beyond that it is a silver clear coat.
As to the sound, that is to the ear of the beholder.
 

CompactDrums

Silver Member
It's oil-based, silver-colored paint. It does what oil-based paints do; seals the wood, hides imperfections and looks nice.
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
Back in the day drums were made out of wood. Wood that didn't necessarily match and was not attractive to look at. Ludwig and Gretsch started painting the interiors to make the drums look better. "That Great Gretsch Sound" comes from the silver sealer as well as the construction of the drums...made from...wood. If you've seen a lot of vintage drums you'll notice that many of them look like crap on the inside of the shell. Unless they were painted, and then they look finished. Most of what I've read about the silver sealer says that it was fence paint...magic fence paint with magical powers.
 

RickP

Gold Member
It is Aluminum fence paint, initially adopted to cover imperfections in the inner ply of the shell. Personally I find it hideous and I would never use clear heads on the Gretsch kits I have owned in the past.

Ludwig used white ceiling paint and then trunk paint (Granitone).
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
It is Aluminum fence paint, initially adopted to cover imperfections in the inner ply of the shell. Personally I find it hideous and I would never use clear heads on the Gretsch kits I have owned in the past.

Ludwig used white ceiling paint and then trunk paint (Granitone).
What RickP says.........aluminum fence paint. The look is OK with me and I presume with many other Gretsch owners. Personal taste.

This is my favorite answer.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I'm going to spray the inside of all of my renown with silver glitter clear to jazz up the silver sealer then get all clear heads.
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
I am on board with respecting traditions, but I would say they are nothing special to look at compared to natural sealers used by other companies to bring out the natural grain of maple and other woods.
 

dnt

Member
It all makes sense - whichever is right lol. Doesn't really make a difference to me, since I prefer coated heads and you'd never really see the sealer, anyway... Thanks for the input, everyone!
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
It all makes sense - whichever is right lol. Doesn't really make a difference to me, since I prefer coated heads and you'd never really see the sealer, anyway... Thanks for the input, everyone!
I actually kinda dig the silver finish. I’ve never had a set with a finely finished interior. Most are just plain. The silver finish gives a cool glow when lights shine through it, even with frosted heads.
 

Matt Scales

Junior Member
So, I’ve seen many answers/opinions online...does anyone in here have a definitive answer for what exactly IS the silver sealer Gretsch puts in some of their lines, and does it actually DO anything for the drum or the sound?
So the simple answer to this question is, as always, no!! There are so many conflicting views on this matter, and I'm sure the actual paint itself has been changed over the years to meet with certain environmental regulations, but we all agree it is indeed some kind of silver coloured, aluminium oil based paint, but still we have no definitive manufacturer and/or finish.

There are a couple of contenders to try...

Rustoleum, Galvanized Fence Paint, Aluminium

Chain Link Fence Paint.png

Tremclad Rust Paint, Aluminium
Tremclad_RustPaint_GlAluminum_946ml_EN_254904.png
Others say just some kind of Aluminium Radiator Paint, similar to smooth Hammerite I would guess?

Who knows...? To further muddy the waters, later drums appear to have more of a 'Matt/Satin' flatter primer kind of finish, Acrylic?!

Hycote Aluminium Coat...

Hycote.jpg

This is a very good match shade wise, not too sure on the pros/cons for using an Acrylic paint over an oil based though??
 
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justadrummer

Junior Member
I can tell you this. I recently visited the Gretsch factory in South Carolina. The application of silver sealer is one thing that is behind closed doors.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
The application of silver sealer is one thing that is behind closed doors.
Separate room = maintenance of myth & marketing equity. It's a paint, it therefore seals, & it's silver.

They go to even greater lengths to shield their shell making methods from prying eyes ;)
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
The Ridgeland factory only has five workers and the manager Paul Cooper stated after the extensive nitro lacquer heating and sanding "the shell now gets Silver Sealer applied to its inside. The application and composition of the sealer are kept secret, but Cooper assures us it’s more than just bells and whistles. “The Silver Sealer has been the same since the mid-’50s. I’m not sure why they started using it, but it does have an effect on the sound of the drum because of its reflective principles. It’s just another Gretsch nuance.” And that's why he's probably the manager to blow smoke up peoples butt that these are "magical". So if we can just discover the silver sealer then we can turn any drum kit into a Gretsch USA custom-magically by just spraying the interiors. I'm not too far from them-I'll sneak over and "borrow" a touch of paint for mass spec analysis, etc to figure out what gives it such wizardry. Next I'll buy all this magic formula so Gretsch will have to pay me for their magic paint and I'll have a nice little retirement egg. I may even sell the magic paint to their competition if they don't pay up big time. Business is ruthless-they'll call me the Silver Surfer-yeah dude and dudettes! If the deal is a reflective surface why not use a harder surface like polyurethane for the inside-I guess they didn't have it a hundred years ago. So now I'm going to make Art's drums with a magical clear sealer formula ROFL-
 
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RickP

Gold Member
Gretsch Silver sealer appears to have changed formulation I’ve the years as well . My first Gretsch kits from the 70’s had silver sealer like that pictured in the bottom picture . Shinier and more silver looking . The Top picture is how Gretsch does their silver sealer now . It is flatter , less shiny and has more of a grey colour than silver like in the past .
I added the picture of the Brooklyn shell and it seems the silver sealer they use for the Brooklyn appears to be a mid point as it has properties of each of the other examples .
 

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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I can tell you this. I recently visited the Gretsch factory in South Carolina. The application of silver sealer is one thing that is behind closed doors.
Wouldn't the paint booth have to be behind closed doors? Because of fumes and whatnot? :p

Granted, it's also a convenient way to perpetuate the myth. So it serves several purposes, haha.
 
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