Piano finishes are intimately fused with the idea of a piano. Pianos are not only musical instruments but they also become a part of a living room or larger musical ensemble. Size is a big factor that distinguishes a piano from other musical instruments as it takes up a lot of space in a room and is therefore a significant part of the things that make up the entirety of the room.
This calls for a bit of attention to how the piano is sitting in the context of the room. If the piano does not go well with the vibe of the room, it may end up looking out of place. This is where the type of piano finishes that is used in the piano matters. Everyone looks for a certain aesthetic appeal in the piano which adds to its elegance.
Importance Of The Type Of Wood For Piano Finishes
The piano is a complex instrument and is made by taking intricate measures in each part of the manufacturing process. The selection of the type of wood used for different parts of a piano is an important factor as a mix of different woods for different parts is required to make it optimized for the best performance. The soundboard mostly uses spruce while the bridge uses maple wood. There are parts where a particular wood is more suited for it than others.
However, the most visible type of wood used in the piano is the one that is used in the exterior. The best thing about the material used in the exterior is the choices it provides to the players. Mahogany, maple, rosewood, oak and cherry are some of the options that the buyers can choose from to form the exterior of the piano.
There are only two considerations when it comes to the wood used in the exterior. The first is that the wood needs to be sturdy enough to provide the requisite structural strength to the piano and the second factor is that it should provide the scope of using good quality piano finishes to make the product more appealing to the eye.
Types Of Piano Finishes
The lacquer finish is quite the popular choice among piano players. The word itself is derived from a French word that translates to some sort of sealing wax. The reason lacquer finish is popular is that they are very easy to apply and cost-effective as well. On top of that, lacquer finishes also take less time to dry and are the perfect option if longevity is an important factor for you. You can find lacquer that is either coloured or clear and they are dried out using a curing process.
Lacquer finishes can provide a lot of variety for the consumers. They can go from less shiny to a lot shiny depending on individual taste. One of the downsides of lacquer despite being considered as a superior finish by a majority of piano owners, they are susceptible to getting scratches pretty easily. Lacquer provides a hard and durable finish but at the cost of a little discolouration over time. It is advised that proper cleaning techniques be used to maintain the finish. Soft brushes or soft damp clothes are to be used for cleaning purposes. This will make sure that they are not susceptible to unwanted scratches sustained during cleaning.
Satin piano finishes have a more natural look than other finishes with a high percentage of sheen. Since the glossiness in this is a bit toned down, one cannot clearly see a reflection off the surface of this polish. It gives off more of a natural wood look that is not artificially enhanced in appearance.
One of the upsides of satin finishes and their toned down gloss is that scratches and minor damage are not easily visible to the viewer. It is not advised but one can afford to be a little more careful around a satin finish than with a lacquer finish. The polishing requires a bit of extra care as wax residue can be easy to leave out in this type of finish.
High Gloss Finish
As the name suggests, these piano finishes are highly glossy and reflect a significant amount of light. The surface almost has a sort of a mirror effect in these pianos. The surface needs to be smooth and even as well otherwise it would interfere with the flawless glossy texture. Lacquer polyester and shellac are mostly used to attain this finish. Water-based pore fillers are used to fill up the pores in the surface to further enhance the smoothness of the surface. Caring for a high gloss finish includes wiping it down using a damp cloth and then wiping it down again with a dry one.
Polyester piano finishes give a mirror-like effect to the surface of the piano. This is considered the most durable of all the available options out there. They are highly resistant to scratches as well as cracks developed from solvents. A higher level of resistance however ends up making the surface of the piano a bit difficult to accommodate repairs.
Water should be kept away from these surfaces. A little spillage is fine but you should make it a point to wipe it down immediately. The surface needs to be squeaky clean as dust is easily visible with the mirror finish. A soft duster will go a long way to maintaining a clean look.
Open Pore Finish
This finish sounds exactly like what it actually is. It leaves out the natural pores of the surface leaving a natural look. A little bit of lacquer is used for the finish to provide it with an element of shine but any sort of water or oil-based fillers is left out from the operation. Petroleum is a great tool for maintaining these finishes as it will help bring back any lost shine from the initial finish.
These are the piano finishes that are usually used for pianos. As you can see there is a lot of range available for owners to choose from. Each of the finishes has its speciality as well as drawbacks. Measure out the pros and cons for each finish and go for the one that tempts you the most.