Paint your own drum!

These instructions were made to paint a vegan Remo drum - both the Remo Buffalo Drum, as well as the Remo Fibreskyn Drum. They have the same vegan material they are made of. The Remo Bahia drum I would not recommend painting as the vinyl coated surfaces does not give the paint a good ground to stick.

However, you can lightly sand it - just enough for some more grip - and give it a try.

Materials you will need to paint your drum:

  • Remo Buffalo Drum or Remo Fiberskyn Frame Drum (You can also paint animal skin this way but it is important to make sure the drum skin has not been oiled, so check in with the maker of the drum!)
  • Pencil, eraser, sharpener
  • Paper in the size of your drum - for a 16" drum you need A2 or glue smaller papers together
  • Optional: Compasses and ruler to measure your design if you go for something symmetrical
  • Carbon Tracing Paper in black for a white drum and in white or yellow for tracing on a darker color
  • Masking tape or washi tape to mask areas you do not want to spray (for the Remo Frame Drum rim for example) and to fixate your template onto the drum
  • Acrylic paint with a good lightfastness rate or Acrylic Markers (I use Molotow Acrylic Markers)
  • Acrylic varnish (I use Molotow UV Acrylic Varnish Matte - make sure your varnish is compatible with your paint or markers - ask in art store and do test runs!)
  • Brushes in different sizes
  • Paper towels or tissues to mask head of mallets for spraying

The painting process step by step

  1. The first pic shows the Molotow One4All marker colors that I have. You can also mix your own colors but I haven't tried that yet.
  2. Plan your design and create a template on paper.
  3. Fixate template on your drumhead and trace with tracing paper. You can also directly draw on it with pencil or paint it if you feel brave.
  4. Remove template and start coloring with Acrylic markers or paint.
  5. Let it dry. If you have lots of different colors, let one color dry before you apply the next so they do not run into each other. A hair dryer can help speed this process up.
  6. If you paint a Remo Framedrum mask the wooden rim with masking tape as you do not want spray on that part. If you paint a Remo drum, no masking needed. For painting the mallets, cover the heads, as you do not want spray on them.
  7. Go outdoors and spray a thin coat of varnish on your drum. Follow spraying instructions in the bottle.
  8. Let it dry. Then remove masking tape.
  9. Celebrate your awesomeness and enjoy your new drum!

Drum Painting FAQ

Can the Remo Buffalo Drum be painted?

Yes, it can and I have painted many drums and they have been in use for around two years by people from all over the planet and so far the paint is holding well. Just make sure you spray it at the end with protective acrylic varnish.

Most people use acrylic paint, I have also heard of people using oil paint but I have no experience with that.

How to get rid of the REMO logo on my drum?

I haven't found a safe way to remove the logo. However, I do paint over it with the acrylic marker by MOLOTOW in nature white. Usually, I do this in two rounds - I fully cover the logo, let it dry and paint over a second time.

There is also a signal white one marker - the nature white works better. You can also use regular acrylic paint, however, you would need to mix a slightly creme / eggshell color to match the drum as it is not plain white.


If you plan to paint your drum with acrylic paint, you might not need to cover the logo. That depends on if the color you are using is going to be transparent, semi-transparent or opaque. For example, if you paint over the drum with a dark blue, purple, brown or red, the logo will likely be covered by those colors. If you cover it with yellow, orange or pink, the logo might shine through and it might be a good idea to simply cover it with paint paint first.

Can the REMO Bahia Drum be painted?

The Remo Bahia Black Earth Drum is the same size as the Buffalo drum but has an additional vinyl coating that produces a strong bass. Also, that means less overtones. I have tried to paint that model but gotten mixed results, so I no longer paint it. If you do want to try, you need to lightly sand it first. Due to the soft surface, tracing from a template will not work well. So you will need to hand draw your motif on the drum or find another way.

Apply paint not too thickly. At the end, spray with varnish. The problem I had was that the varnish would remain tacky. You might be able to find different paint and varnish brands. I use Molotow. But due to the difficulties with this drum type and the fact that I cannot trace my templates, I have let it be.


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If you'd like to show your appreciation for my work, feel free to send me a love offering:

Thank you from my heart!