How to Polish a Lacquer Piano
If your lacquered piano is due for a polish, you’ll want to spend a few extra dollars on a good product. Common household furniture polishes (even those with good reputations) are not ideal for a piano, even if the piano’s finish looks similar to the finish on your expensive dining room table. Beware of the following ingredients when polishing your lacquer piano:
- Silicone can seep into the wood and cause costly damage to delicate and (seemingly) distant parts.
- Lemon oils are recommended by some, but can actually weaken the finish and cause a sticky buildup over time.
Some lacquer finishes are meant to have a dull sheen. Attempting to liven up these finishes with a gloss polish will produce the opposite effect. A good product for satin (lower-gloss) finishes is Murphy’s Oil Soap, which can be found in most household cleaning aisles. For high or semi-gloss finishes, look for OZ Cream Polish or check out Steinway’s line of furniture polishes.
Tips for Polishing a Lacquer Piano:
- Use a soft cloth, and gently wipe in the direction of the piano’s wood grain. This is the direction in which the original finish was applied, and following the grain during a polish will benefit both the wood and its finish.
- Be extra gentle on corners and edges. These areas have the thinnest layer of finish, and too much pressure can expose the nude wood.
- If you have a sticky buildup of wax or polish, wipe these areas with a solution of filtered water and mild soap, and dry immediately.
- Do not use polishing products meant for polymer piano finishes; your lacquer piano wood has different needs.
Remember: Dusting is best; keep polishing to a bare minimum. Use these everyday piano cleaning habits to keep your piano looking its best.