How to Paint Drum Rims

Written by jensen johansson
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How to Paint Drum Rims
Painting a drum rim can be fun and rewarding (drums image by agno_agnus from

Drum rim painting differs depending on the material of the rim. Basic types are wooden and metal (die cast and flanged) rims. Wooden rims are usually made of maple wood and are easiest to paint. Die cast rims are made of molten metal poured into a mould. Flanged rims are made of folded metal strips. Painting metal rims may prove a challenging task, since the paint may chip off. Some of the options are powder coating and electroplating, best left to experts.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Screwdriver
  • Drum key
  • Drum rim
  • Paper/ Cloth
  • Water
  • Detergent
  • Brush and paint
  • Varnish
  • Plating kit

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  1. 1

    Remove the rim. For wooden rims: unscrew lug tension rods with a screwdriver. For metal rims: unscrew lug nuts with a drum key.

  2. 2

    Put the rim on a piece of paper or clean cloth -- on a large table preferably outside the house. If you have a backyard, install the table there. Paint has a sharp odour and it takes a lot of time to air the house.

  3. 3

    Clean the rim. Apply water and detergent with a sponge for wooden rims. Leave the rim to dry. For metal rims: apply baking soda.

  4. 4

    Paint the rim. For wooden rims: use a soft brush with wooden handle. Use wood paint of desired colour if you wish to dye the rim or varnish if you wish to give it shine.

  5. 5

    Apply a thin layer of varnish after the paint to add both colour and shine. For metal rims: use a plating kit. There are various kits to be found in specialised shops: nickel, chrome, gold, cobalt, tin, bronze and composite. Follow manufacturer's directions. The process is not easy, so take your time.

  6. 6

    Allow the rim to dry.

  7. 7

    Clear the rim with dry cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • It is cheaper and easier to leave the painting of metal rims to professionals. Search for powder coating and electroplating workshops and compare prices.
  • Do not use spray paint metal rims. The paint will chip every time you hit the drum.
  • Do not paint the rim while it is attached to the drum. You may damage the hide.
  • If the rim has scratches, they will be visible after painting. Use sandpaper to level damaged parts (for wooden rims).

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