My name is Jody Hasty, I am 37 years old and have been playing drums since I was a little kid.
I used a Transtint dye that I custom mixed myself then pulled a lacquer job using deft spray can satin lacquer (it is a nitrocellulose lacquer) .
The first pictures shows the first 3 coats. The second pictures of the bass drum is what it looks like after 15 coats. The third picture shows entire set after 18 coats total.
A lot of time is required to do a decent lacquer job. You mentioned the Gretsch look. That’s what I was going after, the old Gretsch lacquer jobs from the 70’s.
The raw shells were provided by the owner of C&C custom drums from his Gladstone shell factory.
I did put the “voodoo” on these. If you will notice the Bose radio in the first picture along with Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys in the background. I vibrated the wood exclusively with Pet Sounds, Brian Eno’s Music For Airports, and The Verve’s A Storm In Heaven as they were drying or just sitting each night. It does make a difference, but that is another story all together. If you have any other questions, feel free to write.
Here’s a good article on wood finishing that may provide you with information you did not not about staining drums.