Piano restoration

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Project by kayakguy posted 10-10-2009 11:39 PM 1832 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Piano restoration
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This is my wife’s grandmother’s old piano. When we received it, it had been exposed to the weather for years, there were rats nests in it, the finish was completely destroyed, and was generally in sad shape. Surprisingly enough it still played great. We decided that even though it would have very little monetary value, even if restored, it did have great sentimental value.

I found an old two volume set of books on Piano restoration in the library. The first task, was to determine if the mechanicals were in good enough shape. A quick check through the restoration books chapter on evaluating old pianos confirmed that it was ok.

Then came months of finish stripping, sanding, patching, some veneer replacement, staining and lacquering. Finally this weekend, we wheeled the finished piano info the house. My Wife has been “tinkling the ivories” all weekend since moving it in.

We are both please with how the project turned out. And learned a whole lot more about lacquering than I ever wanted to learn.

-- Andy -- No animals were harmed in the posting of this entry, although the terrier next door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you.

5 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4181 days

#1 posted 10-10-2009 11:53 PM

As both a woodworker and a pianist (term used very loosely), this is a project close to my heart. The finish looks absolutely fantastic, and a piano as tall as this one should have a pretty good sound as well.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View kayakguy's profile


51 posts in 3414 days

#2 posted 10-11-2009 02:08 AM

Thanks Charlie.

The piano has that old ‘honky tonk’ type sound. Unfortunately, I don’t play (well), and my wife does not know any Scott Joplin, or any tune that you might hear in a saloon like you see in old westerns. So we can not yet put it’s sound to it’s full potential. But we love how it looks in the house. And it will certainly get good use.

Now to find a piano tuner in the area…..


-- Andy -- No animals were harmed in the posting of this entry, although the terrier next door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you.

View ahock's profile


102 posts in 3287 days

#3 posted 10-11-2009 04:36 AM

Looks good! This is a project that’s on my to-do list. The biggest hindrance to it happening is the fact that it is on the 2nd floor and my shop is on the 1st floor…not fun.

-- Andy, PA ~Finding satisfaction in creation

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3235 posts in 3675 days

#4 posted 10-11-2009 04:37 AM


This is a beautiful restoration. We can only imagine all the work.

The very first furniture stripping I ever attempted was our grand piano when I was 12 or 14 years old. The piano was old and the black lacquer finish looked like cracked mud. I managed to strip it and did a little sanding. My father finished sanding it and it sat like that for 20 years. I rescued it from my folks’ garage after I lost my piano in a house fire, but it needed major work, including total restringing. The man who rebuilt it, also finished the refinishing at that time. We loved the exposed wood so we didn’t go back to the black lacquer.

Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your new piano.

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117060 posts in 3540 days

#5 posted 10-11-2009 04:38 AM

This looks better than new Andy great job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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