Piano stained red!

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Old 08-23-07, 09:29 PM
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Piano stained red!

As a wedding gift to my brother-in-law, I decided to refinish Grandma's piano. When I stripped in I found four different colors of paint. The most troubling is the red. The red paint has stained the wood!!!! My plan was to try a wood bleach next , but thought I should run this ideas by the pros before starting. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. By the way, my ultimate goal is to strip the paint then stain. I am hoping not to repaint.

Thanks,

Jainek
 
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Old 08-23-07, 10:23 PM
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I'd call in a pro - it's possible you could end up changing the way the piano sounds by doing this.
 
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Old 08-24-07, 03:37 AM
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Jainek: welcome to the forums! I agree with Mitch, that a pro may give the best advice. Pianos are delicate.
Many years ago I had a player piano given to me. It was black with spar varnish, and quite ugly. I used the Formby's system, taking it apart one piece at a time, stamping the edge with numbers. Well, as it turned out, it was not veneered, but solid mahogany. What a beautiful piece of furniture it turned out to be. I actually traded it to a real estate agent for his fees to sell the house.
Good luck with the refinish.
 
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Old 08-24-07, 04:30 AM
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Larry raised a very important point: Pianos have to be taken apart in order to properly refinish them. Aside from the problem of removing the current finishes/colors, you've got to have room enough to lay the pieces out. Normally you'd have to remove the hammer rack and the keyboard as well as the corner blocks (at each end of the keyboard).

As far as the color is concerned, a solvent based stripper such as KWIK will remove SOME of the color, but probably not all. You'll need to do a fair amount of sanding to get most of it.

BTW - pianos are NOT like violins. They don't get better with age - they get worse. I wouldn't be concerned about changing the 'voice' of the piano by removing the paint. Most of that tone/timbre comes from the sound board which probably has only the original finish.
 
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Old 08-24-07, 04:28 PM
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I stand by considering a pro, but George and Larry have made me change my reason for doing so - never knew it would be that complex!
 
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Old 08-25-07, 05:09 AM
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Mitch you're right about a pro - the first dozen or so pianos I refinished I did the 'take-it-apart' bit under supervision. The last ones I've done I was on my own.

It takes a lot of room and the better part of a day just to get an upright ready to strip - not a job for the faint of heart or the less than mechanically inclined.

Another consideration is the dress felt - not the felt that's part of the mechanism, but the padding pieces. You're to destroy some of them whether you want to or not - and they have to be replaced. I would ordinarily expect to replace all the "show" felt because of wear and tear whether I damaged it or not.

There are other 'fun' things I could talk about to dissuade the DIY'er, but you get the idea.

PS: The piano will have to be tuned AFTER it is put in its final place. You can't tune it where it was refinished and then move it.
 
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