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Piano French Polishing


The casework is an important area of the piano that is often neglected and badly maintained. We can sometimes avoid stripping the case and losing the original finish but in some cases, due to bleaching etc, we have no choice but to remove all the finish. This gives us a better opportunity to carry out repairs to the veneer and colour the wood to how the customer would like it. It is easy to darken a colour but not very easy to lighten it with the original finish still there. The colour of the piano is decided and staining carried out. We can spray a finish or hand apply it depending on the type of finish required. All of our colouring is applied by hand which is the only way to achieve the best results. Colouring well is a sign of a good polisher as some less experienced, or in most cases poorly skilled polishers, get the colours wrong, have un-even panels or just lose detail in the veneer.

Furniture is also worked on by us. Our polisher spent 30 years on antique furniture, in repair and renovation. It is quite common for us to deliver a great finished piano and take back some furniture to also work on for the customer.

With all finishes, preparation is very important. As we specialize in pianos, we can carry out other jobs which other finish companies cannot. We replace all the case felts with the same high quality felts. Clean all brass work located on the piano including the pedals. Clean and buff the piano keys to really make the piano look like new! It is all part of the service we provide.

French polish is a traditional finish using shellac and is applied by hand. It is a skillful job which amateurs try to accomplish but fail towards the end of the process where the real skill and experience comes in. Our expert finisher can build up the body of polish on the wood to achieve an outstanding piano finish. This is a time consuming process and will result in higher costs, however the results are worth it. French polish is easy to repair unlike modern finishes but does require looking after as it is a delicate finish compared to modern finishes.

Spray finishes that we use are bar top lacquers and pre-cats. These finishes result in a good finish and are less time consuming to apply than traditional French polish. It does not have the depth of French polish but is more cost effective. With pre-cat lacquers we can spray any colour, so if your looking for a white & pink grand piano, TVR purple or any other colour, we can do it! Modern finishes are more robust, they are resistant to water & alcohol and won’t scratch easily.