2012 Lawton Drum Company

Bumpy or Uneven Finish

Q: I recently tried refinishing a drum in green sparkle wrap and was not pleased with the results. I used contact cement but the wrap looks bumpy and uneven. Where did I go wrong?

A: Without seeing the drum, or knowing more about this project, its difficult to say exactly where you went wrong, but there are several things that could have caused the results you described. First, if when you were removing the old finish you also removed some of the outer ply or damaged it in any way, then failed to fill in and smooth out the damaged areas, you would definitely get an uneven looking finish. Or, if you didn't damage the outside of the shell, but didn't bother removing the old glue, you could expect a bumpy and uneven look also, because you must start with a smooth, clean surface for the best results. Lastly, if you did a good job removing the old finish doing no damage to the shell, and stripped all of the existing glue off, down to bare wood, and had the outside of the shell as smooth as possible, you could still end up with an uneven finish if you didn't follow the directions for the contact cement. In order for the contact cement to bond properly, you must apply an even coat of the cement to the outside surface of the shell, as well as the back side of the finish (and the edge of the wrap that is going to be overlapped). Then, you must let 'the contact cement dry completely, on both surfaces before putting the wrap on the shell. The wrap will bond instantly upon contact with the shell. It may seem
tempting to apply the finish while the cement is still wet, so you can shift it around a little, but you won't have a good bond with the shell, and you'll probably end up with a wavy uneven finish. The best thing to remember is just take your time, avoid short-cuts, and follow all directions and you should end up with a professional looking project.