Can You Paint a Trumpet?

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If you own a trumpet that could use an aesthetic pick-me-up, you might consider applying paint to it to give it a new look. There are a few things you should know before you paint your trumpet, as well as some information about the process and some alternatives that can be helpful to you when contemplating this project.

Before You Paint

  • Before you take on the project of painting your trumpet, understand that this is a permanent change that could alter the performance of your trumpet. There is no guarantee that your trumpet will sound as it did originally after you paint it. Be sure you are comfortable with making such a modification to your instrument before you allow any alterations to take place.

Prepping

  • Begin by wiping your trumpet down with acetone to remove as much of the lacquer or finishing as possible. Finishing on brass instruments will cause the paint not to adhere properly and could lead to flaking on the finished product. Once the trumpet begins to take on a dull appearance, wipe the trumpet with a damp cloth to ensure there are no dust particles or residue that would affect achieving a smooth paint surface.

Painting

  • Using spray paint is the best way to achieve an even color on every part of the trumpet's surface. Because there are so many nooks and crannies on a trumpet, the mist that spray paint provides will ensure that no part remains unpainted. Also, spray paint for plated brass is available at most hardware and home improvement stores. This paint may be better suited to your project and give your trumpet a better long-lasting finish.

Alternatives

  • If you are attempting to paint a trumpet for decorative purposes, look for older trumpets at second-hand stores or pawn shops. If you want to paint a trumpet and still maintain its sound and playability, consider having it painted by a professional. Consult companies that refinish brass instruments, as there are some that also provide custom painting services as well. Then you will be left with a beautifully painted, working piece of art.

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