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How to Paint Drum Heads

Updated March 23, 2017

Designs on drum heads are common in many rock bands. The designs are typically on bass drums and usually consist of a logo or some element relating to the band. Some of the designs are stickers, but many drummers prefer to paint designs on their drum heads instead. Painting on a drum head is a way to make a more permanent design, but should be done properly to avoid affecting the tone of your drums.

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  1. Remove the head you want to pant from your drums using the drum head key that came with your drums. Place the drum head on a flat surface with an old sheet beneath it. Decide whether you want to use acrylic paints and a paint brush or an airbrush to apply the design. Spray paint will work in place of an airbrush.

  2. Choose a stencil to place your artwork on your drum head. If you can draw, use a pencil and draw the design you want on the drum head. A stencil is the best option if you don't have drawing ability. It can help ensure you don't mess up your drum head.

  3. Paint your design on with either acrylic paint or an airbrush gun if you have one available. Use a 0.9mm nozzle if you use an airbrush and keep the nozzle five or six inches from the drum head to apply a light coat of paint. If you apply acrylic paint with a brush, use a medium flat brush and paint thinned with paint thinner to keep the application light. The key is to avoid a heavy coat of paint that may dampen the tone of your drums.

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Things You'll Need

  • Drum head
  • Stencil
  • Acrylic paint or airbrush paint
  • Paint thinner
  • Spray Paint
  • Airbrush gun
  • Paint brush

About the Author

Carl Hose

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.

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