Home Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

The traditional finish on pianos was nitrocellulose lacquer, coat after coat, very time intensive. Now as

far as modern substitutes go there are a few options.

Much of this depends on if you are actually refinishing a piano or you just want that type of finish for something else?

Most of the new low cost pianos have high-gloss, also called high polish, polyester or polyurethane based finishes. This is to save time and labor cost over traditional finishing methods.

If you wish to use a lacquer finish it should be noted that it will not actually polish to as high a gloss as the polyurethane based finishes. That said however, the lacquer finishes will have better tone than the modern plastic polyester/polyurethanes.

As with any finish the key to a high quality appearance is the surface preparation. Careful sanding and tack cloth use between each grit of paper is important. Start with 120 grit and slowly work through each grit up to 600 or even 800 grit for the final sanding stage.

The whole process is too involved to go into here but a short introduction article on the subject is available at the following;
Piano refinishing

You might also wish to read up on the lost art of hand “Coach Painting” as many of the steps are similar. Basically, several coats of lacquer are applied and then hand sanded down, dust removed, more coats applied and sanded down, repeated again and again until many coats of lacquer have been slowly built up, a clear coat is applied, cured and then the finish is buffed to a high gloss.

H. Behlen makes many of the products one would need for professional finish results.

A link to their catalog is as follows;
H. Behlen

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  • The traditional finish on pianos was nitrocellulose lacquer, coat after coat, very time intensive. Now as - cfb 10:50:26 03/20/12 (0)


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