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Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
#3025460 09/15/20 06:42 PM
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Hello all! First post and new to this forum.

I just bought my first piano, an upright Shafer and Sons. I grew up with a Shafer and Sons and decided to buy one due to sentimental reasons.

I bought some sticky bubble protectors to prevent the fall board from scratching the body. In the process of trying to move them around, I noted some sticky residue and tried cleaning with soap and water, and eventually used the rough side of a yellow sponge (big mistake). I didn’t realize these ebony finishes are extremely delicate and sensitive.

Now there’s an evident and scratched up cloudy region on my piano. Any recommendations on how to help clean this up? Any recommendations besides using sticky bubbles to help protect the fallboard from scratching the body of the piano? Here are pics

[img]http://postimg.cc/gallery/ws1dFSb[/img]

Thanks in advance,

Mike

Last edited by Mikey408; 09/15/20 06:45 PM.
Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
Mikey408 #3025471 09/15/20 09:13 PM
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Welcome to Piano World!

Ouch, that is an ugly, scratched up area. Was the sponge a scotch bright pad? Just kidding... smile

I don't think the polyester finish on the modern pianos is that delicate, I think the sheen is so clean, shiny and highly polished, it shows those very fine scratches easily. They (fine scratches) will occur over time in the gloss finish just from dusting with a clean cloth.

If you have any kind of mild/fine polish, that should take care of that milky looking area. I purchased some piano polish from the Piano World store here, "PianoSupplies.com" that worked really well for me. But any similar polish should work. Meguiar's is good, or 3M. Try the fine polish first, and if doesn't achieve the result you want, try the next level down courser polish, and follow up with the fine polish. It can be a process.

The secret to the polishing is in the elbow grease. smile

Others here know a lot more about piano finishes than I do. Maybe they will chime in and share some suggestions. Or, you could just all a piano restorer or technician to fix the finish for you. But where would be the fun in that?

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
Mikey408 #3025476 09/15/20 10:12 PM
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I'm more used to taking care on my car than messing up piano polish. Polished ebony is one of the easiest thing to show scratches and are pretty fricken delicate to maintain.

clean microfiber towels should be the only thing that ever touches the finish if you want to avoid scratches.

Anyways, for something of this level, maybe something like automotive scratch remover would work. Something like Meguiars Scratch X or Swirl X. There might be something more specific for piano finishes that is more appropriate but it should function similarly.

Note stuff like that is essentially a compound that emulates wet sanding and removes some of the clear coat to smooth it out and reduce the appearance of scratches. I've never used Scratch X on a piano and so I have no clue if that might damage the finish more.

Maybe one of the more experienced members would chime in.

Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
Mikey408 #3025489 09/16/20 01:24 AM
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For minor scratches I use ghs guitar gloss that I think fills up the tiny scratches.

But this looks much deeper. If it's deeper then the guitar gloss will recover some of the shine and color but maybe not enough for you.

I think you willl need an expert to assess. Maybe it's recoverable with repolishing the panel. If not then they would have to re-do the entire panel which would be very expensive.

If you sanded completely through and the bare wood is reached, then definitely you would need to re-do the panel and then also you should not try the guitar gloss or other stuff as it would soak into the wood.

You may also try posting in the technician's forum on PW


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Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
Rickster #3025589 09/16/20 10:13 AM
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Thanks Rick! And I did use a scotch brite... I’m ridiculous

And thanks for the responses everybody

Last edited by Mikey408; 09/16/20 10:17 AM.
Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
Mikey408 #3025599 09/16/20 10:37 AM
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There is a product I used called Meguires PlastX for a car’s plastic parts finishes that works great on the high polish finish. Thankfully I didn’t have too many scratches to fix. Did you purchase the piano used?

Last edited by j&j; 09/16/20 10:37 AM.

J & J
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Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
Mikey408 #3025604 09/16/20 10:52 AM
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The repair is extremely similar to car polishing, using similar methods and products. The risk is going too deep and through the finish, exacerbating the entire problem. Most finish pros should be able to repair that in an hour...less than the cost to buy the needed equipment and polishing compounds.

Self adhesive rubber buttons are the easiest solution to protect the panel from the fallboard, but the type of adhesives isn't always permanent. They can slide or come loose as the rubber is compressed.

A more permanent solution is a button with a brad or nail back. To install, you need a very fine drill to pre-drill the holes. A useful technique when starting the hole is to run the drill backwards until it scores the outer poly finish. That reduces the risk of cracking...and cracks can grow.

Likely the finish tech you hire can handle both jobs if you explain it correctly.


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Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
PianoWorksATL #3025606 09/16/20 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
The repair is extremely similar to car polishing, using similar methods and products. The risk is going too deep and through the finish, exacerbating the entire problem. Most finish pros should be able to repair that in an hour...less than the cost to buy the needed equipment and polishing compounds.

Self adhesive rubber buttons are the easiest solution to protect the panel from the fallboard, but the type of adhesives isn't always permanent. They can slide or come loose as the rubber is compressed.

A more permanent solution is a button with a brad or nail back. To install, you need a very fine drill to pre-drill the holes. A useful technique when starting the hole is to run the drill backwards until it scores the outer poly finish. That reduces the risk of cracking...and cracks can grow.

Likely the finish tech you hire can handle both jobs if you explain it correctly.

Nice advice PianoWorksATL. thumb +1


J & J
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Casio Privia PX-330
I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
j&j #3025614 09/16/20 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
The repair is extremely similar to car polishing, using similar methods and products. The risk is going too deep and through the finish, exacerbating the entire problem. Most finish pros should be able to repair that in an hour...less than the cost to buy the needed equipment and polishing compounds.

Self adhesive rubber buttons are the easiest solution to protect the panel from the fallboard, but the type of adhesives isn't always permanent. They can slide or come loose as the rubber is compressed.

A more permanent solution is a button with a brad or nail back. To install, you need a very fine drill to pre-drill the holes. A useful technique when starting the hole is to run the drill backwards until it scores the outer poly finish. That reduces the risk of cracking...and cracks can grow.

Likely the finish tech you hire can handle both jobs if you explain it correctly.

Nice advice PianoWorksATL. thumb +1

Yes, Sam always gives excellent, professional advice.

Mikey, since the sponge you used was indeed a scotch bright pad (which is pretty aggressive...think sandpaper), it sounds like you may need to use some fine wet or dry sandpaper (1000/1500 grit?) and lightly wet sand the area first to remove the deeper scratches. Then, do the polishing to get a matching sheen with the rest of the piano. But as Sam mentioned, you don't want to burn through the clear coat finish (which is pretty tough).

Sam is probably right about the cost of paying a pro to fix it vs. buying all the stuff you need to fix yourself, if you can find someone in your area to do it.

If the piano was purchased used, and you didn't pay a lot for it, it might be more logical to try and fix it yourself, if you have some of the stuff already. We know you have a scotch bright pad already. smile

Sorry, my DIY instinct is strong, and although it has gotten me into trouble at times in the past, it has also given me a lot of personal satisfaction and I've learned things I would never have learned otherwise...

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
Mikey408 #3025631 09/16/20 11:53 AM
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I don’t have experience with piano finish yet but I have done enough repairs on surfboards with polyester resin. In order to polish, you need to start with medium grit sandpaper and gradually move up to very fine grit. Wet sanding is a good idea and the polishing compound toward the end helps. But if not done well, you’d get more swirly scratches! I have looked into professional piano finish repair kits, but for the cost and the experience needed it would be much efficient for non-pros to just hire a technician.

Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
Mikey408 #3025632 09/16/20 11:58 AM
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If you have any doubt at all about your ability to do this yourself, I'd definitely recommend hiring a pro! Personally, I'd be scared stiff to do a job like that. Put the cost down to experience...

Best of luck, and welcome to PW!

Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
Mikey408 #3025784 09/16/20 06:23 PM
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Since the cost of hiring a pro to make the repair is the same or less than buying everything needed for the repair, I think it would be absurd for the OP to do the repair himself even if he has done a similar repair ten times. The pro will have done it probably many hundreds of times. Whose results do you think will be better?

Re: Large scratch on ebony finish Shafer and Sons
Mikey408 #3025805 09/16/20 07:58 PM
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Very appreciative of all the advice. I bought the piano used by the way... and will be careful with how I use my scotch brite sponges from now on. smile

I’ll definitely look into a technician to help me out with all this.

Thanks all!


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