It takes a discerning musician to eschew the popular but amateurish "do-it-yourself" piano painting and give your piano the professional refinishing it deserves. As a musician, however, you are rightfully possessive of your piano. This may lead to being a bit wary of entrusting it to the hands of a technician or furniture professional.
Here are four ways refinishers take special care of your piano during refinishing to ensure that its musicality is enhanced rather than hindered by the experience:
The keys and entire action mechanism are removed from the piano before stripping to keep them out of the way of chemicals. However, vital musical components such as the soundboard remain inside. In a full restoration these would be cleaned and possibly repaired, but in a simple refinishing there may be no need to remove them.
Covering these with materials such as paper and cardboard can seal them off from the chemicals used to strip and re-apply finish to your piano. Gentle masking tape, judiciously applied around the edges, ensures nothing can drip beneath.
2. Gentle techniques
The method of stripping used on such a valuable instrument is crucial. One stripping method, called dipping, dunks pieces of furniture into the stripper repeatedly to remove the finish. This can result in overexposure to stripper, posing a threat to the integrity of the wood. The only right way to strip a piano is to use the hand stripping method, which gives a personal touch and is much gentler.
3. Wood repair
Before applying new finish, a professional refinisher will repair any gouges and other small injuries to your piano's case. A badly damaged case can affect your piano's sound, which is why it's so crucial to keep it in good condition. Normally, only minor wood repair is included in a refinishing. This is because if you've kept your piano in reasonably good condition, minor repair should be all that's needed. A piano that's been through a natural disaster or a house fire will probably need more extensive rebuilding.
4. Your ideal finish
In modern times, you have not only a variety of colors but also many different types of finishes to choose from. Some of these may not have been available when your piano was made, so it's not necessary to duplicate the original finish. You can also make a request based on your piano's use or style, such as requesting a French polish for a highly carved piano with lots of detail.
Anyone lucky enough to have a piano worth refinishing (in a world where many aren't) shouldn't have to worry about damaging its action while trying to refurbish it. Whether it's your concert grand piano or the upright you practice on at home, your piano deserves the careful attention and experienced handling of a professional refinisher.
To learn more, contact a company like JFC Furniture Refinishing with any questions or concerns you have.