Renovation Tips: How to restore an old piano

Restoring a Grand piano can be a fun and gratifying task. With only a few tools and some helpful guidelines, you can give your piano a modern new look. Not only will your restored piano make a stunning addition to your home, it may even be possible to get it actually playing again. Firstly you will need to find a second hand grand piano for sale. The restoration process can be a lengthy one so set up a work space somewhere where your project will not be disturbed. If you are looking for a smaller project, you can use a baby grand piano.


Preparing for Restoration

Once you have found a suitable piano for sale, you can start preparing for the restoration process. If this is the first time you are attempting to restore a piano, it is not advisable to try and restore an antique model on your own. If your piano has a high value, it is worth your while to leave the restoration up to a professional. The first step is to evaluate the worth of your piano. If you are unsure of its value, consult with an expert to determine whether it is an antique or not. Once you are satisfied that your piano is not an expensive model, you need to assess whether the piano is worth restoring.


Generally pianos which are less than thirty years old make a good restoration project. Unless the piano is a valuable antique, restoring an older model may be a waste of your time and money. If you don’t want to get the piano back to working order, you can repurpose older models. You can find out how old the piano for sale is by looking up the manufacturer and serial number. If your piano has intricate design work, it may be an indication that it is an expensive model which is worth taking for professional restoration.

Dismantle the Piano

Once you have decided to restore the piano yourself, you will need to dismantle the piano. Label the parts as you remove them so that it is easier to put them together again once the restoration process reaches its final stages. It is advisable to take photographs or make notes along the way to save you the hassle of trying to remember where each part goes. It is important to protect the interior of the piano by covering it with a plastic sheet.



Next, you will need to remove the varnish from the grand piano parts with furniture paint stripper. It may take a while to get all of the varnish off. You should pay extra attention to parts of the piano which have intricate carvings and designs. Some pianos don’t have a varnish coating, so check first before you apply the paint stripper. Once the varnish is removed you will need to clean the wood with paint thinner and steel wool. You can complete the process by wiping the wood with a dry and clean lint-free cloth. Next, lightly sand the wood. Set your hairdryer on cool and use it to get rid of the excess dust. Once the bulk of the dust is cleared away, wipe the piano pieces with a tack cloth.


If there are nicks or scratches on your piano, you will need to use wood filler for a smooth finish. It is crucial to make sure that the wood finish is compatible with the lacquer finish that you will apply later on. Decide on what effect you want to create and pick a wood stain that is compatible with the finish that you plan to use. You should apply the stain section by section and wait for the first coat to dry before you apply another. The number of coats that you apply will determine the brightness of the colour that you end up with. Choose a finish such as Polyurethane which acts as a protective layer.


Reconstruct the Piano

Once each piece is completely dry, you can reconstruct your grand piano. Use your original notes and photographs to guide you.


Repair your piano

Once you have restored the outside of your piano, you may want to try and repair it. If the problem is something simple, you could get your piano back into working order yourself. Sticky piano keys can be the result of objects that are stuck between the keys or damaged action parts. Often keys will stick due to moisture and you might be able to solve this problem with the right guidance.


You may need to replace damaged action parts such as the hammer shanks or flanges. Piano keys may also need to be replaced. If your grand or baby grand piano is not working properly, you can try to clean the piano action as well as the inside case. If your piano needs to be restrung or repined, it is advisable to contact a repair shop so that it can be repaired in a fully equipped workshop.


Repurpose Old Pianos

Another idea is to repurpose your old piano. You can create an attractive feature in your home through repurposing. Not only are repurposed pianos a stylish addition to your décor, they can also serve functional purposes. You can turn your piano into a bookshelf or a workbench. Another option is to make a garden feature out of your grand piano. For a more eye-catching and modern design, you can give your piano a metallic purple finish. Broken pianos can be turned into an awesome desk. If you add LED lights it will create a bolder effect. Another option is to paint the piano a colour of your choice and then add clear acrylic paint for extra protection.


Once you have found a suitable piano for sale, you can choose to repair or repurpose it. With so many fantastic repurposing ideas, making a new feature for your house is a fun DIY project.  You can use a grand or baby grand piano or look for smaller models if your time is limited.


Looking for a piano for sale? Junk Mail has a range of pianos for sale – from a grand piano to a baby grand piano, we have it all. Selling your piano? Place your free ad on today.


Bruce Ungersbock

Bruce is an SEO guy that has his eye on the prize and traffic on his mind. A lover of good music and a connoisseur of all things awesome.

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