French Polishing - the traditional way
Being out on the road tuning you get to see, over the years, many pianos that have been restored.
French polishing is a term that is loosely used. There are many pianos that have had the case sanded back or the surface steel woolled, and have had polish added to the existing polish base. The piano looks shiny but the natural beauty of the timber with its grains and knots, particularly in the walnuts, is forever lost. Labour with this method is quick and cheap.
For the past decade, we have restored pianos to the level as close as to what they would once have looked when they were new, some 80 to 100 years ago.
We totally dismantle the cabinet, strip the panels back to bare timber and then start the laborious task of traditional French Polishing by hand - no lacquers or sprays are used. The grains and timber come alive and are the feature of the piano.
All brass fittings are cleaned and polished and if necessary some pedals are nickel-plated. The piano is then re-assembled with new felts around the pedal traps and behind the keys.
Once assembled, the piano is back to its original glory and all customers are thrilled with the result.