How to refinish a piano?

Laurie Beck
by Laurie Beck
I have never refinished any furniture before. The piano is a blond color and I would like to darken it to a medium oak color. What is the best way to do this? Thank you
  5 answers
  • Carole Carole on Nov 26, 2014
    I just stained a dining table top and sealed with polyurethane. First you need to get rid of whatever varnish or shiny protective coating there is on the timber. I would think the best method is to use sand paper or a an electric palm sander for this. If you are buying a palm sander, buy one that has the dust collector attached. Dust in your piano would be bad for it. It is after all a musical instrument. Whatever you can do to protect the keys and inner workings from dust when sanding. Use a rougher grit sand paper to start then go over it again with a finer grade. The rougher papers have the lower grit numbers on the pack or the reverse of the sanding sheet. The finer ones will have a higher grit number. This denotes the number or particles to the inch or whatever. The more particles the finer the finish on your woodwork. The less particles, the rougher the paper is. When you are happy that the varnish or coating is removed all over and you have a reasonably smooth clean surface to work on, you can apply your wood stain. If you want medium oak, then ensure you buy a tin of stain that says medium oak. You will need some soft cloths. You usually apply liberally with a soft cloth and then wipe it up. You are just gently mopping up the excess so that you don't get any puddles or streaks, not trying to clean it off altogether. You may need to apply several coats. A gentle wipe on action in the direction of the grain is the way to go.You might be able to apply it with a brush, but generally building up the coats with a cloth is the safest way to go. If you want the natural wood grain to still show through, don't keep going till it looks like a paint job though, leave some wood grain on show through the stain. Once the stain is all dry and set (it may be a little sticky for a couple of days - make sure you let it dry thoroughly) you can them use a paint brush to apply the polyurethane. If you apply more than one coat do a gentle sand between coats with a fairly fine grit sandpaper. If you don't do this, the surface will be too shiny for the second coat to adhere to properly. Use the right paint brush for the job - ask in the hardware store if you are not sure and brush in the direction of the grain. Two thin layers are better than one thick one. Once the poly is on, don't be tempted to touch it. Also make sure you don't leave it anywhere that will pick up pet hair, dust or stray hairs as these will stick to the poly while it is drying and you will have to sand a little and do another layer of poly to get rid of these. Good luck.
  • Darla Darla on Nov 26, 2014
    You can use gel stain right over the existing finish. Just scuff it up with fine sandpaper first.
  • Kelly Patterson Kelly Patterson on Nov 26, 2014
    You have to be careful when re-doing a piano, Especially If the piano is one that you play and not just for decoration any stain or paint could actually alter the tone of the piano. I would definitely advise you to do some research first and make sure you use the make and model so you are given accurate information
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Nov 27, 2014
    Go over it with a deglosser first, that will get rid of the shiny surface and clean the piece. You can give it a very quick go over with sand paper if you want. Then use a gel goes on beautifully..just follow the directions. The gel stain will have the stain and sealer in one, I use Minwax and have always been happy.
  • Cynthia Jensen Cynthia Jensen on Nov 27, 2014
    Here ya go.. she did it and I was thinking of doing the same thing. This lady gives the whole take-down. Here is another one with a little pizzazz