How to refinish golf club drivers

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are an avid golfer, you know the value of a well-maintained driver. Not only does it up your game play, it improves your mental outlook as well. A shiny driver in your hands makes you feel better than a beat up piece. Golf pro Jeff Jackson states you must decide what type of finish the driver has before working on it. Some pieces, such as a Callaway driver, have a tumble finish. Drivers with a tumble finish require professional refinishing. However, if you have a common metal driver, refinishing at home is possible with a little work.

Soak the driver head in warm, soapy water. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of dish washing soap, such as two or three drops. Submerge the head of the driver into the bucket and let it sit for one to two minutes.

Scrub the head with a toothbrush. Soaking the head will have loosened the dirt. Use the toothbrush to scrub any loose debris off the driver head. Work the brush around grooves and engravings to eliminate embedded dirt. Dip the head into the water as often as necessary to remove the surface dirt while scrubbing.

Wipe the head down with a clean cloth to dry it.

Unscrew the sole plate off the dry head if removable. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws securing the plate. Pull the plate off after removing the screws.

Set up a shallow pan with paint remover. Soak the sole place in the remover for one hour. After soaking, buff the plate with a steel wool pad and set it on a cloth to dry.

Remove the tape around the ferrule that holds the driver head onto the shaft. Apply paint remover to the driver head and leave it. Read the instructions with your paint remover product for recommended application times.

Use a bristle brush to scrub paint off the driver. The paint will come loose after applying the paint remover. Keep scrubbing until all the original finish comes off the head.

Dry the head off with a clean cloth once the finish is free.

Sand the head with a #240 grit sandpaper to smooth out any worn areas. If necessary, step up to #400 grit paper for stubborn areas. Sand the entire head, working areas with nicks to smooth them out. Wipe the head again with the cloth to remove any debris from sanding.

Use a steel wool or "Scotchbrite" wheel on a drill if the sole plate does not come off the club. This special attachment for drills aids in cleaning metal surfaces. Turn the wheel on and set the club with the shaft downward. Move the sole plate upward against the wheel, only sanding in one direction. Move the club upward against the drill, pulling the club away and moving upward again until the plate has a smooth finish.

Cover a fixed sole plate with masking tape to protect it when working on the driver.

Apply a coat of spray on metal primer paint to the head and let it dry. Repeat this step to apply a second coat of primer. Wipe the dry head with a tack cloth.

Spray on a dark colour metal paint, such as black or dark blue to the head. This cuts down on glare when using the driver. Once dry, rub steel wool against the painted area to remove bumps in the paint. Use the steel wool lightly. Wipe the driver off with a tack cloth.

Paint the sole plate if removed using the same primer and metal paint. Once dry, reattach it to the driver. Remove the masking tape covering fixed sole plates.

Cover the head and sole plate with a coat of spray on clear gloss.

Apply quick dry enamel model paint over any engravings or score lines. Apply the paint and then wipe it off immediately with a paper towel. The paint will settle into any scoring and dry there.


Let the driver sit, untouched for three days before using it.


If you can not determine what type finish your driver has, take it to a golf store and ask. A tumble finish may be ruined with this method of refinishing.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Dishsoap
  • Toothbrush
  • Clean, dry cloths
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Shallow pan
  • Paint remover
  • Hard bristle brush
  • #240 grit sandpaper
  • #400 grit sandpaper
  • Steel wool attachment
  • Drill
  • Masking tape
  • Steal wool
  • Tack cloth
  • Spray on metal primer
  • Spray on metal paint black or dark blue
  • Spray on clear gloss
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About the Author

Writing since 1999, Darla Ferrara is an award-winning author who specializes in health, diet, fitness and computer technology. She has been published in "Mezzo Magazine" and Diet Spotlight, as well as various online magazines. Ferrara studied biology and emergency medical technology at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.