Piano refinishing is the highest level of expertise in our profession. Not only is an understanding of the instrument required, but the process of removing the old lacquer to bring back the rich color and finish is a very involved procedure, taking several months and moving through various processes.
The piano must be partially dismantled. The keyboard is removed. The lid and all moving parts are taken apart. The delicate strings and “harp” are carefully covered and protected from damage during the process. All parts and the case are hand stripped and hand sanded. All dents and scratches are removed and all edges are squared. We check for broken casters and legs. The pedal lyre and rods are removed from the grand piano and checked for repairs.
Nine out of ten pianos are veneered in mahogany of various types. A few have walnut veneers. Wood veneers (paper-thin sheets) are used to display the grain at its best. These types of wood must be “paste filled”* to provide a very smooth finish. You will be invited to our facility to see the natural color of the wood, then to work with our finishers to select a color that brings out the best qualities of each particular one. All parts are color blended to achieve uniformity.
The clear coats are applied in thin layers with hand sanding in between. Up to 20 – 30 coats are applied to achieve the desired finish. The piano is then hand rubbed to the desired sheen.
All brass hinges, pedals and hardware are bright polished and sealed with lacquer to help prevent tarnishing of the metal. A new name decal is applied. Rubber bumpers and small felt buttons are attached to areas where wood will touch wood.
*(See our Craftsmanship page for details).