Friday, June 23, 2006

Adventures in staining a piano...

First of all I'm not very handy. It took me about 2 hours to install a mailbox, and I went through 2 different ones, and I even used a jigsaw...don't ask.

Anyhow, approximately last February of 2006 I took on the effort of refinishing a piano. That is a ridiculous idea for someone who is so challenged in industrial arts! Well if you're interested here's the story (as concise as I can get it).
· One Sunday morning about 2 years ago I woke up to see that our groundskeeper, at our apt at 3914 University Ave in Des Moines, "Chip" had strapped an upright studio piano to his trailer. Lindsey and I assumed he was going to trash it and we were correct (he said he had planned to back up to a landfill and let it roll over the end of the trailer!). We left a note on the piano as we left for worship service that if he was entertaining the thought of throwing it away...not to, because we would like it. So he held onto it and we arranged a group of about 5 strong men (not including myself) to carry it into the apartment.

· Linds had a piano all growing up and about a month prior to this we found out her parents sold it cheaply to someone. She was pretty upset, and after going to a local piano retailer we found a new one would cost approximately $3,000...ouch! Needless to say we were excited to get this one.

· So after we moved it to the apartment we noticed it was scratched up like you wouldn't believe by a cat or some other animal.

· We tried to give the piano away all last Fall and nothing ever worked we were faced with three options. (1) Trash it (which I wasn't about to do), or (2) keep it the way it was (which Linds wasn't about to do), or (3) Refinish it (which I thought it was worth a shot).

· So approximately February of 2006 I started to sand the puppy down. Zach Kapfer came over to help. It was awesome! Then it started to take what seemed like forever. Then a ton of guys and some ladies' fathers from our Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) offered advice on how to stain too.

· So here's the process
(1) Sand w/ 60-80 grit, then 120, then 240 grit (use tach clothe between each step to take of excess dirt, sawdust, etc.)
(2) One coat of clear sealer (to even out the future coats).
(3) Rub it down well with steal wool.
(4) First coat of stain...
(5) Use 240 grit sand paper...
(6) Second coat of stain...
(7) Use steel wool to rub the entire thing down.
(8) Third coat of stain...
(9) Let it dry... (which is where I'm at and it looks GOOD!!) and then...
(10) Top Coat (which I haven't done yet)

Thanks to everyone who has helped me. It really looks good and I think Lindsey's really happy!


Anonymous said...

Yes - Lindsey is VERY happy. Good job honey!

BLM said...

The piano looks really good. I thought you were a little crazy when you started, but it's really looking great! Well done bro!