Refinishing

The process begins by completely dismantling the piano and hand stripping each piece individually. After it is stripped of all old finish, we wash the wood to remove any residue left from the stripping process.

 

If your piano is finished in a natural wood color, parts are bleached to even the color. Frequently a piano is sun bleached and this process allows us to correct that problem and start with a completely even colored surface. No splotchy wood here!

 

Next any imperfections, such as veneer damage, are fixed and the finishing begins in earnest. The natural finished piano is now dyed, not stained. We use aniline dyes, much like Old World craftsmen did for two reasons, first, dyes are much more colorfast because they penetrate the wood fibers. Stain just sits on top of the wood and tends to fade. Secondly, dyes give the wood a depth of color and a richness that can't be found in a regular stain. Once the dye is applied then we give the entire case a coat of sanding sealer to lock the color in.

 

At this point the ebony and the naturally finished pianos meet up and both finish styles get paste filled. This process is similar to spreading mud! The paste filler fills the pores on both finish styles, but on the natural finish, it adds darkness to the pores creating a three-dimensional effect.

 

Once dry, sanding sealer is again applied, this time 4 or 5 coats, and we sand out the entire instrument. Next comes the lacquer applied one layer at a time, until we determine that the piano has sufficient lacquer on it. This usually amounts to 9 or 10 coats. If you choose to have a no rub finish, then at this time we would assemble your piano. If, however, you choose to get your instrument hand-rubbed, we begin a nine step process to achieve the desired result, a perfectly smooth, glass like finish. After finishing the task of the rubout, the assembly begins. By now all the hardware has been either polished or replaced and is placed back on the piano. All the felt that acts as a cushion or as decoration is replaced. And of course, a new decal goes on during the finishing process.

 

If you opt to have the piano hand-rubbed, you may notice a slightly hazy appearance when delivered. This is completely normal and while it is beautiful at this point, as the finish continues to breathe and cure, the instrument will take on a deep luxurious patina and shine.

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