Drum Carriers or Harnesses

hey guys im looking for a way to paint my schools harnesses and im not exactly sure how to do it, they are the basic pearl carrier (not the new version, but the solid one piece carrier with adjustable shoulder rest), white, and are about 7 years old, do i need to sand off the gloss and paint, then prime the carrier, then paint it, and then finally put gloss over the paint? if this is the way i would like some tips, like type of paint, gloss, sanding method, primer, please our drumline desperatly needs these to be black, help if you can
A few years ago my line in college painted our white harnesses black to match new uniforms. We had the solid, one piece vests. They were originally a glossy white and we took some very fine grit sand paper (usually paint supply stores sell this, just tell them what you're doing and someone should be able to point you to the right stuff) and sanded them down until the glossy finish was gone, leaving a surface that the paint could stick to more easily. After giving then a thorough cleaning and letting them dry, we used a few coats of standard black spray paint to get the color to what we wanted. We were going for a matte finish however which was much easier to get I'm guessing. You could try using a glossy spray paint or they may make some sort of post painting gloss spray too.

I'd recommend removing all the hardware prior to doing anything and being sure to clean everything thoroughly before painting.

Perhaps try a few different paints/ treatments and see what works well.... you can always re-sand and try again.

I'm not saying this is the best way to do it but it worked out pretty well for us.
Hope its some help
thank you for the useful tips
I agree with Casey's advice.  You have to decide the look you want (matte {non glossy} finish vs. glossy finish) with your uniform.  And, I have found that two or three coats of the clear gloss spray paint definitely add some protection and longevity to the finished product. 

[u]For future reference[/u]: Our group wears a white tuxedo jacket over a red satin vest so only the aluminum tubing of our current carrier shows through.  The quick and easy solution that we used: wrap red vinyl tape around all exposed metal parts which ";hides"; the carrier from view.
Yea, like southerncomfort said... if you're in a pinch you can just use electrical tape. Home Depot carries a decent selection of colors, when something needs to be black in a hurry that is our go to method.
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