Pianos are expensive items and usually remain in the family for many years, even for generations. The reasons why go far beyond the initial expense; pianos often hold important memories for a family. The piano is more than a piece of furniture or a musical instrument. It represents memories of our children, of learning and accomplishment and of days that are long past. In the same way, piano restorers must be much more than furniture refinishers.
A good piano restorer must have a working understanding of the mechanics of the piano. Piano restoration usually involves much more than just sanding and re-staining the cabinet. The professional restoring the piano will often have to disassemble the entire piano in order to complete the project. A thorough knowledge of the mechanical workings is essential in order to avoid problems.
In cases where complete piano restoration is needed, the piano restorer may have to re-make some parts and pieces from scratch. This will require skills not just in finishing, but in crafting cabinetry and furniture. This may occur when there is water or fire damage, or where age has been allowed to cause serious deterioration to the wood. If the piano restorer is truly skilled in crafting new cabinetry, the piano will be returned to its former glory, with no telltale signs that some materials are new.
In addition, depending on the condition of the piano, it may be necessary to replace the original decals or metal pieces, such as handles and knobs. The goal is to return the piano to its original condition, as much as is possible. This is certainly well worth the time and effort, especially for a piece that holds great sentimental or historical value. Once fully and properly restored, the piano can provide several more generations of use and beauty to your family and your home.
It's important to discuss your goals, needs and budget with the piano restorer, before beginning or agreeing to begin the work. If your budget is tight, the piano restorer may be able to restore the piano quite well, though not to showroom condition, within your budget constraints. Once the piano restorer has assessed the piano, you can agree on what you can afford to do and what is most important to you in the restoration process.
If you would like more information on piano restoration, please feel free to visit Paul's Furniture Restoration. Paul Kolbisek, formerly of Steinway Pianos, has been a passionate piano restorer for over thirty-five years. He is a one-man operation and takes an artisanal approach to piano and furniture restoration, using the quality materials and craftsmanship of old to bring antique pieces back to new. He welcomes questions and inquiries and would be happy to discuss your possible project with you or to send you any information you may need about furniture and piano restoration.
A family piano deserves respect and care, as both a musical instrument and a sentimental family heirloom. Paul understands this and treats each piano as though it holds his own family's memories.