Your piano's exterior, also called the cabinet, doesn't go out of tune and doesn't have moving parts like the piano's interior. But it can still need careful handling and, on occasion, maintenance or repairs. Here are some of the basics you need to know about piano finishes.

Types of piano finishes

Since pianos are typically made with solid wood exteriors, a finish that shows the wood grain (such as a satin finish or an open pore finish) is a popular choice. However, the classic black finish is also extremely common.

Beyond that, some people prefer a more daring white piano or even one with some other color of paint or finish. If you're considering having your piano painted a different color, be sure to talk to your piano experts in advance about any potential pitfalls or ramifications.

Care and keeping of finishes

Gentle cleaning and maintenance are typically required for piano finishes. Everyday care doesn't vary too much based on the type of finish. Typically with any piano finish, you'll want to avoid any usage or situations that could cause damage and keep the finish clean (by wiping with a slightly damp, soft cloth). 

It may sound too simple, but as long as the finish isn't already damaged, this is all you need to do. Don't start using furniture polish, waxes, or other products on your piano's finish. These could cause buildup that would need to be removed later. Or worse, they could actually damage the finish.

Common dangers to finishes

Since guarding the finish against damage is an important part of everyday care, you'll need to know what can damage it. Common hazards that could damage the finish include:

  • Direct sunlight
  • Changes in humidity
  • Solvents or cleaners
  • Water sitting on the finish
  • Furniture polish or similar products
  • Abrasive cleaning cloths
  • Objects set on top of the piano
  • People or furniture bumping into the piano's sides

You'll want to avoid any of these hazards in order to keep your piano's finish in pristine condition.

Repairing piano finishes

Accidents happen, and you may find yourself with a piano finish that's scratched or otherwise damaged. In this scenario, you'll want to have a professional piano repair technician address the damage. They may need to buff the damage out or even patch it up with an exactly matching material and then sand it to perfection.

These are some of the basics you'll need to know about piano finishes as a piano owner. For more information about caring for your piano's finish or choosing the best finish for your next piano purchase, get in touch with a local piano shop today.