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How To Care For A French Polished Piano

A French Polished Walnut Grand Piano
A French Polished Walnut Grand Piano

French polish is often hailed as the pinnacle of piano finishes, and for good reason. This exquisite technique not only accentuates the natural grain of the wood but also allows the timber to radiate a mesmerizing shine. However, like any finish, it requires proper care to maintain its luster over time. With years of experience in polishing pianos, our team has compiled these top six tips to help you keep your french polished piano in impeccable condition.

1. Say No to 'Off the Shelf' Furniture Polishes

It's crucial to avoid generic furniture polishes like Mr. Sheen when it comes to your french polished piano. Many of these products contain silicone wax, which may create an illusion of a well-maintained finish, but in reality, it can lead to problems in the long run. Silicone buildup can be exceptionally challenging to remove and can make future piano repairs much more complicated and costly.

2. Be Mindful of Heat and Moisture

French polish can be sensitive to heat and high moisture levels. Avoid placing hot drinks on your piano, as this can leave unsightly white ring marks. While plants can add a touch of natural beauty to your home, they can pose a threat to your piano's finish due to the moisture they release. Avoid using your piano as a shelf for indoor plants. Over time, the moisture emitted from the plant pots can lead to the formation of stubborn black ring marks on the piano's surface. These marks can be particularly challenging to remove and may necessitate the expertise of a professional.

3. Humidity Control

Humidity is the number one factor in maintaining a healthy environment for your piano. Excessive high humidity can cause piano parts to swell and warp, and low humidity and cause the panels and soundboard to shrink and crack. Ideally, Maintain consistent humidity levels in the room around 40-45%.

4. Do I Need to Wax My Piano?

One common query among piano owners is whether they should wax their instrument. The answer is, it depends. French polish is know as a patinating finish, meaning it ages gracefully. Unlike synthetic lacquers that often require a full refinish once they wear, french polish can be rejuvenated and waxed over many decades, giving rise to a stunning antique patina. Wax can be used to add colour to a faded finish and revitalizing areas dulled by excessive sunlight or water exposure. However, it's essential not to overdo it. Routine waxing can lead to an excessive wax buildup. Instead, apply wax as needed, which typically amounts to once or twice a year. If you're unsure, our experts are always available to provide free advice on piano care and maintenance.

5. Periodic Professional Maintenance: A Wise Investment

Periodically, have a professional piano technician inspect and maintain the piano, including the polish, to ensure it stays in optimal condition. In your journey of caring for a french polished piano, never underestimate the significance of periodic professional maintenance. While there are many steps you can take as a diligent owner, the trained eye and expert hands of a professional piano technician are irreplaceable when it comes to maintaining your cherished instrument in optimal condition.

The process of professional maintenance goes beyond routine cleaning and occasional waxing. It involves a comprehensive assessment of your piano's health, including a meticulous inspection of the french polish finish.

6. Enjoy Your Piano

A french polished piano is a true work of art, and it should be cherished and showcased. French polish is more durable than you might think, so you needn't constantly cover your piano. In the event of any damage, remember that French polish is easily repairable, especially in the hands of an expert. If you encounter marks or issues you can't resolve at home, don't hesitate to contact your local french polisher for professional assistance.

Your french polished piano is not just a musical instrument but also a stunning piece of craftsmanship. With the right care and attention, it can continue to enchant you and your guests for generations to come.

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