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  • Gloss black "piano" finish

    I've got a project from a customer to make a room divider frame. He wants a gloss black finish, like you find on pianos. So far, I've found a couple how-to's on the subject, but nothing really concrete as to products. One guy says to use automotive lacquer. Another says to use stain and then many thin coats of poly.

    My question is, has any of you ever tried this finish? Anyone have any suggestions on actual products? I'd prefer not to use stain, as I don't want any of the wood grain to show. I'm rather stumped!

    I'm going to make the frame from 3/4" (finished mill thickness) poplar. Each frame will be approximately 5&1/2feet tall by 18"wide, a total of 3 frames joined together with dual-swing hinges. I am going to use mortise and loose tenon joinery for the rails and stiles. There will be a dowel run through the top and bottom of each rail to carry a fabric panel. The rod will be removable so the customer can remove and clean the fabric when needed.

    Any suggestions are welcome! I appreciate all the help I've gotten here. Sorry to keep asking these silly questions, but I find the advice I get here is always spot on! Thanks all!!
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

  • #2
    Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

    I believe that pianos today are finished with some type of polyester resin and put on quite thick.
    In the past the finish was typically lacquer.
    You might want to find a musical instrument making forum for better advice.
    www.TheWoodCellar.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

      Sandy

      Try calling Jordan-Kitts (The big piano dealer for the Mid Atlantic)

      or Schaffer Piano of Rockville, MD
      http://www.schaefferspiano.com/

      I would just call Schaffer as they are a small but very well run family owned and operated business. You can chat with the people that actually do the restoration work. I've seen what they can do and I can say that they do very nice quality work. Sadly (owners) have to report that thanks to the new Made In China concert grands that sell for under $10K brand new that sales for quality pianos (new, used and recond) have really dropped other than for people willing to pay big $$$ for a lifetime of pleasure and beautiful music. The Made In China ones don't sound bad but next to a really good piano, I sure hear the difference. The feeling of keying is junky too. Here I am and I really can't play anything other than grade school cords and simple scales. I do have pretty good ears thankfully.
      Last edited by Woussko; 06-01-2008, 10:17 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

        I saw a New Yankee Workshop episode for this mahogany dining room table, which had a very glossy "piano finish". I recall it took several steps to finish....it wasn't just stain and poly.

        It looks like it's re-airing on DIY network on June 28th, if you can wait that long.

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        • #5
          Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

          Got this off the Internet may be of help.

          Back in the car I think, hey, I have to pass by Benjamin-Moore any way, I know I already checked their web site and they don't carry any lacquer, but I'll stop by there....just-in-case.
          Pull up into the parking lot of the small but neat looking BM paint store. I walk in and am promptly greeted by TWO associates in the store.
          Me: Howdy, I'm wondering if you happen to carry any Lacquer?
          BM-Them: YUP....Shore-do.
          Me:
          Me: Do you have it in Gloss?
          BM-Them: Yup, shore-do.
          Me: Do you happen to have.....(I swallow hard out of the pending fear of an answer of no)......Gloss Black Lacquer?
          BM-Them: Yessir we do. We have to carry it for a local boat company that uses it for their consoles and such. How many gallons do you want?
          Me: (You could have blown me over with a feather about now.) - Uh, how about 2 gallons of Gloss Black Lacquer.
          BM-Them: Awrighty sir....what else can I do for you?
          Me: Do you happen to have Clear Gloss Lacquer?
          BM-Them: Yessir, shore-do. How many gallons you want?
          Me: (Repeat same emotions as I reflected with the Black Gloss Lacquer) How about I take 1 gallon for now and if I need another I will come back and pick up another?
          BM-Them: Shore-thang. We carry it all the time, just drop by when you are ready for more.....Will that be all for ya today?
          Me: Yessir, I believe that will be it for today.
          BM-Them: Ok sir, that'll be $73.47 including tax.
          Me: (Catch me Margaret, I think I'm about to faint....remembering the previous $300 at SW to get a clear lacquer finish). Sounds good sir. Thank you!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

            Sandy,

            I was worried you were doing a piano. Wheeew ... For room dividers the finish won't change sound. The black high gloss lacquer should work fine if you can stand the fumes. You'll need thinner for it too. Only use outdoors and upwind. The fumes will really get you if you're not careful. Only use true hog bristle brushes. The thinner eats up nylon and blends.

            Hint: If he really wants shine, use some paste wax and hand buff it up nice. For this I would save the &^%$#@ work and use a good liquid auto wax. Just try it on a scrap so you can see how it goes. Good paste does work better but to hand rub and buff it all.... (*&^%$# time.

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            • #7
              Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

              Thanks, guys! I'll check our local BM store and see if they carry the gloss black. Great idea.

              Woussko...I can't cut corners on this. This particular customer is very good, and I want to keep him as a reference. Having this thing in his home as he shows it off will be a major plus for me. Auto wax would be harder, but with a few coats of clear over the gloss black, and a couple hand-rubbed wax applications, I think it'll come out fine. Besides, I can use the workout!
              I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

                Sandy

                In that case please call up Schaffer Piano of Rockville, MD. I've personally seen their very high quality work. They would know just how to make the room dividers look like piano lids as far as the finishing goes.

                (301) 424-1144 You need to call in the middle of the day and on weekdays.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

                  here is a hint to lose that wood grain, get some hight quaity body filler (not bondo) and lay a thin coat on, then sand smooth and aply 1-2 coats of sandable primer.

                  good luck
                  9/11/01, never forget.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

                    I'll stop by a body shop and see what they say about body fillers. I take it Bondo brand is not a real good thing for wood? I like that idea to smooth out the grain. It'll make the pesky fibers lay down and quit messin with the finish.

                    I'll give those guys a call, Woussko. Thanks for the info!
                    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

                      Originally posted by VASandy View Post
                      I'll stop by a body shop and see what they say about body fillers. I take it Bondo brand is not a real good thing for wood? I like that idea to smooth out the grain. It'll make the pesky fibers lay down and quit messin with the finish.

                      I'll give those guys a call, Woussko. Thanks for the info!

                      bondo is fair but i perfer the stuff in the gold can from napa
                      9/11/01, never forget.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

                        Don't forget to post some pics when you're done.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

                          Sandy

                          Do you have access to a Porter-Cable #330 1/4" high speed orbital sander? You would go wild at how one of them in trained hands and with good sand paper in several grits ending with 150 or 220 can do to make wood nice and glass smooth. Unlike the &^%$# China made models, this thing runs like a dream.

                          I'm not sure it they even still make them but every now and then you can get lucky and find a NOS (unused old one) and snatch it up. They get a little stiff and need a careful breaking in before it takes off and runs really nice. You'll know when it does.

                          Remember that practice makes perfect so run it on scrap bare wood and get the feel of it. Look at the results. You don't want to see swirl or scratch marks. After practice you'll get the hang of how to just slide it around but let it float on the wood. The machine has to do it's thing as you just guide it. NO pushing it into the piece. Let it's own weight and mass (they are pretty light) do all the work. Hold it just tight enough. You're hands will feel wonderful if you hold it just right. Awwwww Relaxing

                          Please note that it really pays to buy high quality sandpaper too. Normally I use different kinds from Norton, but there's a special brand real woodworkers just love. I'll try to find out more and will update soon.

                          KLINGSPOR from Germany
                          Last edited by Woussko; 06-03-2008, 09:21 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

                            I have LOTS of Klingspore, thanks to Dad! Amazingly, sandpaper makes a GREAT Christmas gift.

                            I have the Ridgid ROS, and it works really well. It stays plugged in, actually.

                            I'll start later this week after I pick up the materials. I'm going to do some sample pieces first, to make sure I get the process down and so the fabric person can see the finished look.

                            I may just "blog" this process. I know....I'm probably the only computer person that doesn't blog...just call me old-school! (you all can stop laughing now... ) There will definitely be pictures of the process.
                            I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Gloss black "piano" finish

                              IF you want to brush lacquer you will probly need to use a retarder in it to get it to dry slower, and I do not recommend brushing it.

                              and if it was me I would not even think of brushing it, use a quality air gun, IMO, and get is stet up correctly and make sure it is spraying a even pattern,

                              use a quality sanding sealer and sand it down until all the pours and imperfections are filled and then top coat it, with the colored lacquer,

                              I am self have normally used Sherwin williams lacquers, as it is the "only paint store in our area". yes I can get one of the lumber yards to order it in. and did at first, but the product was crap and did not stand up, you may want to look into catalyzed lacquers as well, (you add some hardener to the lacquer, (you can't save what you have left over is the draw back as it will set on its own),

                              on automotive lacquers or paints may stand up even better, and then use the "clear coat" to give it that shiny or wet look, (talk to the dealer and see what they would recommend if you chose that rout) the last time I painted any cars was back with lead based paints, so that is how long I have been away from automotive finishes.
                              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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