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21 October 2008

What would you use to paint a mylar-like plastic surface? [More:]
I'd like it to be glossy, and not to crack with movement, because the surface is somewhat flexible.

I was thinking of just going to Home Depot and finding some glossy spray paint and doing a couplefew very very very very light coats, but does anyone have a specific recommendation or instruction?

This is for my bass-drum head, so it will be taut when put on the drum, but I don't need it to be super-ultra tight.

Thoughts, handy men/ladies?
Mylar surfaces are tricky at best. Here's my tip: lightly sand first. Use several very very light coats, as you mentioned, allowing to dry thoroughly between applications.

Eeesh, the flexible part is tough. Maybe acrylic is the best way to go...?
posted by Specklet 21 October | 10:48
They make metallic pens/markers that people use to write on mylar balloons. Is the surface small enough that you could color it, rather than paint it? (Or maybe you could just decorate it with the marker?)
posted by occhiblu 21 October | 10:54
Marker's not gonna be enough. I need to have an opaque surface, as I'm laying down a black layer (on mostly black mylar) and then a red design on top of it. The white brand name of the head I coloured in with black marker right away, but it isn't well-hidden.

What you say, Specklet, is the direction I was leaning, but I hadn't thought of sanding. Good thinking. It never hurts, I guess.

My other option (haven't totally decided yet) is to just get a good black coat down, then cut out the design I have planned as a sound-hole, or otherwise, replace the cutout part with some transparent red plastic, which I have already from an inflatable heart I had long ago. That could look neat. (As you can tell I'm not a sound fanatic, I just want it to be pretty.)

Hmm hmmm hmmm.
posted by loiseau 21 October | 11:27
My other option, of course, would be to just buy a plain black head and add the design from there... It would cost me $40 though, and I really can't manage it.
posted by loiseau 21 October | 11:48
Specklet has the answer, I think - given that (as I understand it) this is the side of the drum that faces out, it's not going to be hit and won't move very much, it should be fine. You will need to make sure it doesn't get scratched or rubbed by anything, as the paint will still come off easily and you won't be able to remove the head, because it will lose tension, and the paint will flake off. Obviously, you will need to paint it with the head in place for the same reason. I think (I'm not a drummer, but don't you tension the skin when you put it on?).
posted by dg 21 October | 15:26
How about using the material that makes up self-adhesive signs? You can go to any sign shop and buy a small portion, cut out the design and adhere it?
posted by mightshould 21 October | 15:48
Yeah, this is the outside-facing or resonant head.

So, I found this yesterday: Krylon Fusion for Plastic.

I'm going to give it a try tonight, I think. I'm still not sure I will paint it with the head on and tightened. The paint says it's chip-resistant after seven days... I wonder if that means the slight flexing of the head won't crackle it?

(There is a surprising amount of flex due to the air/sound being pushed through.)
posted by loiseau 23 October | 11:04
While the skin may flex, there is no "sharp" flexing - the actual bending of the surface of the skin is very slight at any point, so I don't think it will make the paint flake or crack. Chip-resistant does not mean crack-resistant - they are two different properties.

I really think painting it loose might be a bad idea, though. I'm not sure how much the skin stretches when you tighten it, but anything more than a bee's dick will lead to a much increased risk of the paint cracking if it is unable to stretch at the same rate as the skin. Conversely, if the paint is strong enough and is more flexible than the skin, it may affect the even stretching of the skin and create wrinkles or a "wavy" appearance to the skin. Paint it with the skin stretched, is what I'm saying.
posted by dg 23 October | 17:07


Okay, I getcha DG. I can put the head back on pretty loose -- like I said, I'm not super awesome drum-tuning lady. Plus painting it on the drum means inconvenience (because I don't think I can paint in my airlock of a practice space)... Still thinking...
posted by loiseau 23 October | 21:51
PS. BEE'S DICK!!!!!!
posted by loiseau 23 October | 21:52
Okay, I painted the black on Friday night, removed from the drum.

The Krylon stuff worked really well in terms of coverage, and based on how it feels at 48 hours I'm actually not that worried about putting it back on the drum -- it really doesn't feel painted. Maybe that's because I put down a bunch of really thin coats.

The only complaint I have is that it's 'gloss black' paint and it's not looking glossy at all. I can't figure out why not. It also rubs off a bit when I run my hand along the surface (though it doesn't damage the surface). Is this normal for spray paint?
posted by loiseau 26 October | 12:27
In preparing the crockpot this morning, || We made puppets!