How to Maintain an Antique Piano?

Antique Piano

The joy of possessing an antique piano is one that a relatively small number of people get the chance to experience in their lifetimes. However, in order to maintain the antique piano in the best condition possible, you will need to adhere to a specific set of requirements that come along with this circumstance. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.


1. Tune the Piano on a Regular Basis

If you own an antique piano (or any piano for that matter), you want it to produce the best possible quality sound it can. This is why every piano has to be tuned regularly in order for it to keep delivering high-quality sound. As time passes, the piano strings start stretching because of built-up tension that causes the piano to become out of tune. The good thing is that if you are a hard worker, you are rewarded. If you tune your piano regularly, it will always be easier to keep tuning it, the piano will stay in better condition, and it will maintain a better overall value. Not to mention, regular tuning will also prevent any damage from being done when playing overstretched strings. It will be harder and it will consume a lot more time to tune it properly if you don’t do it on a regular basis.

2. Water Exposure and Spills

Older pianos require extra care in order to stay in top shape. Pianos that have been made from the previous century and earlier require soft exposure to water in order to regulate expansion and contraction. It has a simple solution. Just placing a bowl of water below the piano is good enough to keep the old wood still in top shape. Do not, however, directly apply the liquid to the piano. If you spill water over the piano, it can cause the wood to warp and the interior and exterior elements to sustain damage. The liquid can also seep into the piano keys, causing them to stick or even grow mold inside the piano.

If liquid does get spilled on your piano, the best way of dealing with it is by wiping it up immediately with a soft, absorbent cloth. This is a bit trickier with piano keys. If the spill is on the keys, you have to wipe it off without pressing the actual keys; otherwise, you risk the liquid seeping further down into the interior. But if you get a spill on the keys, it would be wiser to contact a professional.

3. Always Keep a Balanced Temperature in the Room

The base temperature of your room can affect the longevity of the piano. Due to the material of most pianos, you want to avoid placing them near a window. Films like to place the piano behind a window that gets perfect lighting over it while someone is playing, but this is actually a really bad idea. Even just a few hours under the sunlight can have serious consequences for the piano. This can result in 3 major things happening:

1) The Piano Finish Will Fade Away Faster

2) The Soundboard Will Sustain Damage and Become Worn Out and Cracked Sooner

3) The Glue Joins Can Weaken All Over the Piano

So, avoid placing the piano in spaces in your house that are hotter more than usual, as well as near any air conditioners, fireplaces, or any other source of a temperature shift. Aside from temperature, you should also make sure that the room does not have high humidity. You want to always keep the piano in a room that has a balanced temperature and a humidity of around 42%. In some cases, you will need a humidifier to reach this percentage, but if you want to take care of the piano, this is what you need to get.

4. Restoration Will Always Be a Preferable Alternative to a Fresh Purchase

You might think that a restoration of an antique piano would be very costly in comparison to buying a freshly-made piano. You would be wrong in thinking so. If you want the antique piano to retain its value and not just have it stand as a large decoration, you can still restore it to its former glory. Many restorations can really bring an antique piano back to life. So, don’t be afraid if the piano is in really bad shape, it will still be a much wiser financial choice than simply buying a new one.

5. Always Make Sure You Have a Warranty

If you are considering updating or refinishing your piano in any way, you need to make sure that the assigned professional will give you a long warranty for the job they do. This will usually include a warranty lasting anywhere from 5 to 15 years. The scope of the job requires a form of quality insurance, and when dealing with a valuable, antique piano, you want to make sure that the best personnel handle it. Thankfully, if you need good, high-quality work to be done, you can rest assured that your piano will get the best care at Sydney Mobile French Polishing, so stop by.

6. A Restoration Can Impressively Extend the Piano’s Lifespan

Restoration of an antique piano can have really positive consequences on the overall lifespan of the piano. According to some estimations, a proper restoration can extend the lifespan of a piano anywhere from 50 – 70 years. This is an accumulation of the sound quality, exterior, and interior elements improving and extending the lifespan of the piano. Now, you may think that you shouldn’t care about the lifespan of the piano that much, but if you have an antique piano, it was passed down to you by somebody that did care for it quite a bit. Why not make sure that the antique piano will live to see another generation as well? Worst case scenario, you restore it but don’t want it anymore.

In this case, you can sell it for a much better price than you would originally get prior to the restoration. Not to mention, restored pianos hold a lot more value (both sentimental and monetary) than brand-new pianos do. The legacy that they carry with them is priceless. So, look to the future and give your antique piano the love and care it deserves.

7. Dust the Piano Regularly

Dusting the piano is necessary in order to avoid dirt building up and clogging the keys. You can clean the exterior of the piano with a feather duster or a soft cloth. Always wipe towards the direction of the wood grain by doing long strokes. After you finish the dusting, use a mild soap solution to remove the smudge and fingerprints from the piano (not including the keys). Use soft microfiber in order to avoid scratches on the piano finish.

Regarding the piano keys, you need to clean them with a dry cloth that does not contain any lint. Never use the same cloth to wipe down the black keys and the white keys at the same time. It is important to refrain from using any kind of furniture polish or alcoholic cleaners, as doing so may cause the finish on the piano to become softer or the keys to crack.


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