Mahogany Piano - - - HELP ! ! !


  #1  
Old 11-14-01, 10:37 AM
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Unhappy Mahogany Piano - - - HELP ! ! !

I just purchased a 30yr old mahogany piano. Someone painted it ! ! ! . . .UGH! . . . Now I would like to restore it, but I don't want to ruin the wood. Please give me instructions as to what I should use to strip the paint off, tools I will need, and any precautions I need to take. I have only stripped paint from one other item, but it was "free" so I wasn't worried about ruining it. I would like to make the piano look as it did when it was built, but don't know where to start. In addition, once the paint is off, what do I need to do to return it to a glossy shiny mahogany? Materials? Polyurethane? . . etc. . . . . Please advise . . . THANKS, Melanie
 
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Old 11-14-01, 05:07 PM
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Melanie,

I'm undertaking such a project myself, minus the paint. My piano is a mahogany grand, circa 1935.

If you really want the piano to look original, I'm thinking you may want to consult or hire a professional if you have reservations about refinishing it yourself. You can find the products, tools, etc. and probably complete the refinishing yourself, but it will take a LONG, LONG time and...you will have to remove all parts of the piano that can be removed. I have some refinishing experience and I am a part-time piano technician, otherwise I would have hired out the job myself.

I consulted this board myself and received some good advice. A good gel stripper will give you the fastest results, but will require a lot of ventilation. I have used a product named Superstrip, and it peforms quite well. You apply it, wait 15 minutes and it turns the finish to goo that you can remove with a paint scraper or drywall knife. Then, I let it dry and use a lacquer thinner by Parks called Liquid Strip. I let it sit on the wood for about 15 minutes and then brush out the rest of the finish and stain with an abrasive brush and more lacquer thinner. The gel stripper should remove the paint on your piano (I would think) and the lacquer thinner should kick out the old finish and a fair amount of the stain. In my piano, the stain is VERY dark and was probably water based, as it is deep in the wood. If your piano was stained with a water-based stain as well, you will have as much fun as I have had completely removing it...patience will work, but it's easy to run out of. Thankfully, in my case, the veneer on my piano is very think, and I was able to sand a lot of the stain out. BE CAREFUL with the sanding...can't say enough about that.

I haven't decided how to finish my piano when I am done with it. I am replacing hardware with original hardware, and placing a new label on the fallboard, both of which you can order (as well as thousands of other parts) from International Piano Supply. Just punch their name into a search engine and you can browse their site for piano parts. I may go with a water based stain and a poly finish, or another lacquer finish. I plan on taking better care of this piano than the previous owners, so refinishing in a lacquer doesn't concern me.

If you are looking for the "showroom" bright, shiny finish for your piano when completed, I would try a glossy poly. There is no way for you to get the shiny finish that new pianos have from the factory. That is a custom finish in a thermosetting plastic that is not available to consumers. Perhaps a pro could do it for you, but I think a poly of lacquer would do a better job of showing off the wood.

Good Luck!

DJF
 
  #3  
Old 11-18-01, 06:44 AM
hy
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stripping a piano

I would suggest you use the PEEL AWAY 7 product for your project. It is a paste product safe and easy to use. It will take off all of the coatings in one application taking you down to the original wood.
 
  #4  
Old 11-18-01, 06:56 AM
T
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Refinishing piano

You might find www.pianorestoring.com and www.refinishfurniture.com helpful and informative. The Peel Away products look pretty good at www.peelaway.com. I have a sneaking suspicion that hy is in some way affiliated with the company because his only posts are Peel Away recommendations.
 
 

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