Piano restoration is much harder, compared to regular furniture restoration, because it involves various steps. In order to make the piano look brand new again, it will have to be stripped down; the cabinet will have to be taken out; and various layers of oil will need to be applied to its surface. All this hard work is worth it in the end, for the aspiring musician.
Most furniture refinishers use oil in their refinishing processes. They use three coats to seal the surface and to serve as base levels for the lacquer. However, you need to know that oil won't shield wood from moisture and water. Although many oil manufacturers might claim that it will, water can still get through the wood after it’s oiled. Because of this, it is best to avoid getting your piano wet and to keep it away from humid rooms.
The Refinishing Process
Phase One: Removing the old finish.
To get rid of all of the chemical residues on the piano's surface, it will need to be washed completely clean.
Phase Two: Assessing the surface's overall damage.
Check the case to see whether there are any breaks and scratches to the veneer. If there are, they will have to go through the necessary repairs.
Phase Three: Sanding the wood.
The piano needs to be sanded before staining or priming.
Phase Four: Refinishing the piano.
During this last stage, the piano will be sprayed with three different layers of coating. During the very last coat, the surface will either be machine polished, or hand rubbed to perfection.
In general, antique restorers typically take about three to four months to get a piano refinishing job done. If you want to get the best kind of piano finish, you shouldn't settle for anything that takes a shorter time than that. Before sending out your piano to be refinished, it is vital to ensure that you choose the best refinisher you can find, as you wouldn’t want to entrust your special instrument to amateurs.
A lot of people choose to buy a new piano instead of refinishing their old piano once they look old, but it would be highly advisable to refinish it instead -- especially if your older piano already has a lot of history attached to it. Besides, pianos tend to get a much richer sound with age, and old ones will therefore sound much better than new ones. Of course the choice is yours to make, but you should consider the artful sounds that you might lose, should you give up on your old piano while it still has a voice.