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MMD > Archives > May 2006 > 2006.05.24 > 06Prev  Next


Painting a Piano
By Robert Moore

I had a customer who wanted a player piano to match the decor of his
living room.  The area it was to occupy was stark and ultra modern,
consisting of black, white and chrome.

The player I had looked like it had been in a wreck.  The case had
several deep gouges and scratches and the veneer was damaged in several
places.  The piano was structurally sound and had a nice tone but was
a cosmetic disaster.

I did a total rebuild of the player and piano actions and then attacked
the case.  I used "Bondo" auto body filler to fill in the gouges,
scratches and missing veneer pieces.  I sanded the case until all the
surfaces were smooth and the edges were clean and straight.

Then I used "Mirrorplex" on the upper and lower front surfaces and the
fall board.  Mirrorplex was also used inside the case on the upper left
and right sides.  They reflected into each other so that when you
looked inside, the row of hammers appeared to go on forever.  The rest
of the exterior was painted black.

Interior lights were installed and the wood roll doors were replaced
with smoked Plexiglas.  When the piano was shut off these doors appeared
almost black.  When the piano was playing, the interior lights allowed
the roll to be seen with the doors closed.  An electric vacuum unit was
installed along with automatic rewind and shut off.  A mandolin rail
completed the job.

The customer built three roll cabinets out of black Plexiglas and white
PVC pipe.  Two of the cabinets were in the shape of a cube with one
side open in the front.  16 pieces of pipe were fitted inside and one
roll could be inserted in each pipe.  The third cabinet was in the
shape of a triangle, open in front with 10 pieces of pipe for the
rolls.  They sat on top of the piano in a row with the triangle cabinet
in the center and the two cubes on either side.

When the piano was in my shop I thought it looked terrible, but after
it was delivered and placed in the customer's living room, it didn't
look bad.  It certainly fit in.  This was a case where the customer
got what he wanted and I was able to use a piano that would have been
extremely difficult to refinish.  Sometimes painting a piano may be the
best course of action to take.

Bob Moore
Orlando, Florida


(Message sent Wed 24 May 2006, 16:25:52 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Painting, Piano

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