Faded/yellowed finishes

timmdrum

Silver Member
I figured this warranted a new thread, but this post in another thread inspired it:

Been playing a wrapped, white sparkle DW kit that has lived its entire life in a trailer. Each drum is in a separate SKB hard case. The wrap has yellowed somewhat from 10 years or so of stage use, but the wrap and seams are 100% fine, and will clean up to new if someone puts the time in. We're in Michigan, where summers often get hot and humid, winters are cold, and the temperature and weather change frequently. That trailer gets very hot, and it gets very cold!

It's the sun, and/or the greenhouse effect inside a car, that will wrinkle the wrap. If it's in a case, and in a trailer with no windows, you're good.
When I was 20 and shopping for my first new kit, I was advised to avoid light-colored finishes because they'd turn yellow over time. I don't recall if I was ever told it was due to smoky environments, simple lack of cleaning from most people, UV rays, just the nature of the finishes, etc. So, Brentcn, do you feel your white sparkle tubs have faded just from being exposed to light, both indoor and outdoor? And, I would posit that the sun, through windows or not, will also fade a finish- I've had the spines of CD's and shirts/towels left exposed to sunlight in cars fade. To everyone else- who has experienced yellowing of light finishes (wraps or stains/paints/lacquers), or fading of any color/shade? What do you think caused it?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
UV causes it for sure. There is a way to reverse the yellowing on wraps to bring them back to original condition. Sounds amazing right? It's true. I did them on a set of 76 WMP Luds. They came out great. It involves 35% peroxide, oxyclean, xanthan gum and distilled water. Basically a peroxide gel is made, smeared on the drum shell, lugs and all, and then the drum is set out in the sunlight for a full day, rotating the shell so it all receives sun. It chemically reverses the yellowing using the same process that yellowed it in the first place. UV yellows it, peroxide gel and UV unyellows it. Wild. It really works.

UV will yellow lacquer too. This process doesn't work on lacquer, I tried it. It only works on wraps.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
The white sparkle DWs aren’t mine; they belong to a band I play with. But 99.9% of gigs are indoors, and out door festival gigs are shaded. Still could be UV damage, but the discoloring is all over, even under the bass drum, which means it’s probably from fog machines and dirty stage hands, mostly.

The 10” tom is still bright white, because previous drummers preferred a one-rack-tom setup, using the 12” tom, and leaving the 10” in the case for years on end. So we can rule out age as a factor, at least.

Larry, I’m glad to hear about your peroxide solution, maybe I’ll use it one day! But first I’ll just try some Windex and see how far it goes.

I have older champagne sparkle kits (60s Ludwig and 60s Gretsch), and the yellowing makes the overall color more peach-gold than pink, which I like.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
The white sparkle DWs aren’t mine; they belong to a band I play with. But 99.9% of gigs are indoors, and out door festival gigs are shaded. Still could be UV damage, but the discoloring is all over, even under the bass drum, which means it’s probably from fog machines and dirty stage hands, mostly.

The 10” tom is still bright white, because previous drummers preferred a one-rack-tom setup, using the 12” tom, and leaving the 10” in the case for years on end. So we can rule out age as a factor, at least.

Larry, I’m glad to hear about your peroxide solution, maybe I’ll use it one day! But first I’ll just try some Windex and see how far it goes.
Are you going to attempt the cleaning soon? Please come back & let us know the results, with before & after pics if possible. I kinda want a white sparkle kit (not seen as often as silver, and I want a neutral color that will take on different colored lights), and in the event they yellow eventually, if restoring the white is fairly easy, I'll pull the trigger. My current kit is a 2006 blue to white fade paint/lacquer, not yellowed yet.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I’m a be in the minority, but I love a yellowed white marine pearl drum set. There’s actually a wrap these days that has this finish from the get-go. I really like it a lot.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Drum Workshop had a finish, "Midnight Glass." It was a dark blue glass glitter finish. They had a batch of wrap that was defective and faded out extremely fast. My understanding is that there was a previously unknown issue in applying the UV protectant at the Delmar factory. They had a recall and either rewrapped the kits or replaced the shells (which is what they did for me).

Here's my kit w/ the defective wrap set up to show the LEAST faded side:
Full Kit.jpg

Here's one of the toms:
20170430_145212.jpg



And this is what the finish is supposed to look like:
MTMzMTIxZjhkMjgyMDBjYTk0NmFiNGY2ZWRkYzE0NjGcDqqV-2s4SLqXFTwYq5IEaHR0cDovL2Itc3RhdGljLmFkc2ltZy...jpg


Any type of finish exposed to sunlight will eventually be affected. Even best UV protection breaks down over time.


Also add me to the minority that appreciates the slightly yellowed marine pearl.

edited for grammar.
 
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brentcn

Platinum Member
Are you going to attempt the cleaning soon? Please come back & let us know the results, with before & after pics if possible. I kinda want a white sparkle kit (not seen as often as silver, and I want a neutral color that will take on different colored lights), and in the event they yellow eventually, if restoring the white is fairly easy, I'll pull the trigger. My current kit is a 2006 blue to white fade paint/lacquer, not yellowed yet.
I wasn’t, but I will now. :)
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member

FFWD to about 21 mins.

I always wondered how people dealt with the yellowing. I actually watched this vid last week. Never thought that sanding the wrap was a possibility. But being from the 50's, it had to be a bit thicker I guess? Has anyone went full on wet sanding?
 

timmdrum

Silver Member

FFWD to about 21 mins.

I always wondered how people dealt with the yellowing. I actually watched this vid last week. Never thought that sanding the wrap was a possibility. But being from the 50's, it had to be a bit thicker I guess? Has anyone went full on wet sanding?
Not to diverge much from my own thread topic, but did anyone else who watched this cringe when he talked about the good edge, then the edge he worked on, and then proceeded to scrub them both around on his tile floor? :oops:

I noticed the wrap ends (not the bearing edge sides) were under a pair of lugs. Is that common? Apparently there's no issue with having those two lugs sit a bit higher off the shell than the others. Maybe wraps are thinner than I thought? I haven't really observed them up close. I'm considering rewrapping my rehearsal kit so these things are on my mind lately.
 

roncadillac

Member
I’m a be in the minority, but I love a yellowed white marine pearl drum set. There’s actually a wrap these days that has this finish from the get-go. I really like it a lot.
With ya here buddy. I came here just to say that I actually really like the look of a yellowed WMP lol. I fully understand why someone wouldn't like and want to prevent/restore it (especially with very rare or expensive drums) but on a "banger" old kit I'm all about it.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
With ya here buddy. I came here just to say that I actually really like the look of a yellowed WMP lol. I fully understand why someone wouldn't like and want to prevent/restore it (especially with very rare or expensive drums) but on a "banger" old kit I'm all about it.
The only thing that gets a little funky is that so many kits have different levels of aging on them as mentioned before. I love the antique pearl wrap as a new wrap. While I prefer sparkle wraps over everything, I'd be hard pressed NOT to get these on a new build.
 

roncadillac

Member
The only thing that gets a little funky is that so many kits have different levels of aging on them as mentioned before. I love the antique pearl wrap as a new wrap. While I prefer sparkle wraps over everything, I'd be hard pressed NOT to get these on a new build.
Totally, my last 4 kits have all been some type of sparkle/glitter with two of them being a black sparkle.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I'm with Larry. I don't mind aged-looking wraps, for those who want the fast track to Antiqueville. It's pretty cool. I just wouldn't want my WMP/White Sparkle/just white drums to become yellow/faded and not be able to be brought back.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Not to diverge much from my own thread topic, but did anyone else who watched this cringe when he talked about the good edge, then the edge he worked on, and then proceeded to scrub them both around on his tile floor? :oops:

I noticed the wrap ends (not the bearing edge sides) were under a pair of lugs. Is that common? Apparently there's no issue with having those two lugs sit a bit higher off the shell than the others. Maybe wraps are thinner than I thought? I haven't really observed them up close. I'm considering rewrapping my rehearsal kit so these things are on my mind lately.
Yes! I was wrinkling my head A LOT during the video. But the results of sanding the wrap was impressive. I really didn't think wrap would be thick enough for that kind of work. It was a 50s Ludwig though. I'm sure the coverings got thinner and thinner to a degree over the years.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Totally, my last 4 kits have all been some type of sparkle/glitter with two of them being a black sparkle.
Green sparkle for me. The color is 'Wheel of Fortune Million Dollar Space" green. It's a beautiful sparkle.

I'm not a fan of actual yellowed drums, but I love that new "yellowed" wrap.
I have a yellowed white kit. It's gross. It will eventually be rewrapped black. I thought about the whitening treatment, but if I rewrap it black it will match my other kit.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I'm with Larry. I don't mind aged-looking wraps, for those who want the fast track to Antiqueville. It's pretty cool. I just wouldn't want my WMP/White Sparkle/just white drums to become yellow/faded and not be able to be brought back.
So I just took a few min to try and clean the DW white broken glass kit. Glass cleaner does does nothing to remove the yellowing. What I thought was simply dirt is actually yellowed wrap. I’m told the 10” tom wasn’t purchased with the rest of the kit; it was added on much later. So that’s why it’s still bright white. Underneath the lugs of the yellowed drums, the finish is bright white as well.

The drums have been gigged outdoors, but not excessively, and only on shaded festival stages (no backyard parties or anything like that). Yet, even the underside of the bass drum is yellowed. So it’s not the white part that has yellowed; it’s the clear layer on top

So it seems simple exposure, and time, are to blame. It would be necessary to sand off the clear layer that has yellowed, and re-buff to get it smooth again, which, even with the right tools, is labor intensive and time consuming.

It would be worth contacting Precision Drum and asking them how their white wraps hold up over time. Quite possibly, all wraps will yellow, given enough time and gigging exposure. You’d of course notice it the most on white.
 
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