Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by WGing, Dec 18, 2009.
I would like some help on how to paint my trumpet and if it will harm the finish.
Why in the world would you want to paint a trumpet?
Normally when you paint something, the paint becomes the finish. So, the fact that you are concerned about the (original?) finish, suggests that you desire to paint it only temporarily - perhaps red and green for a Christmas program? If this is the case, there are water-soluable paints that can be used for this - it is the type they use for painting cars, airplanes, etc. for the movies. As long as it is applied and then removed carefully without abrasives or scratchy materials, the original finish should be unharmed. Just be sure none goes inside the valves or other openings of the trumpet. And, good luck on the program.
If the trumpet is raw brass, you can use just about any paint that sticks to metal. Those paints are relatively thick and will dampen the vibration of the metal and change the sound of the trumpet.
Instrument finishes are often applied electrostatically to keep the thickness uniform, thin and minimize the overspray. The types of lacquer vary, but are selected for their durability and sonic properties when professionally applied. For the DIY, there are never guarantees. Just make sure it is not your main horn that you are experimenting with. Then a mistake means your music suffers!
ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN "B" BEFORE TACKLING A DIY PROJECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rowuk (as usual) has great advice on this point -- as a repair technician, I just want to point out that a lot of DIY projects on musical instruments end up in the repair shop anyway, only it ends up costing more as we have to undo what the customer did in the first place and then redo it the same way we would have done it had the customer simply brought it to us in the first place.
Painting metal isn't like painting a wall -- and painting an instrument has a lot of extra "baggage" with it as well. You don't want the paint to stifle the resonance of the instrument, nor to interfere with the movement of any of the moving parts.
My suggestion is to ask around if anybody has a junk trumpet that doesn't play anymore and experiment on that first before attempting anything on a working instrument.