How to French Polish a Piano

13 mins read

Last Updated on September 16, 2022

Before you begin the process of french polishing your piano, you need to understand a few key points. These are: the Preparation, the Technique, and the Finish. These steps will help you finish the project without any hiccups. If you’re unsure of the process, read on to learn more. Using a finishing pad is a great way to preserve your piano’s surface. It consists of two layers of cloth, an inner one and an outer one.


There are several steps to French polish a piano to bring out its true beauty. First, you must purchase a good quality furniture polish. Consult a piano specialist to know the best piano polish to use. Avoid polishes with silicone or lemon oils, as these substances will ruin the finish of your piano. Once you have purchased a quality piano polish, apply it to your instrument with a soft polishing cloth. Use the same direction as the grain of the wood when polishing the piano. Doing so will ensure a good finish. The wood will benefit from the polish, thus enhancing the instrument’s lifespan.

The next step is to remove the old polish. To do this, wrap the inner cloth in a second fabric, and then tie a tight knot. During the polishing process, the inner cloth should be kept in place with the weight of a cloth to avoid it slipping out. Repeat this step every time you polish a piano, until the entire surface is shiny. This method will result in a shiny finish that will make your piano look new.

Shellac is an excellent option for French polishing a piano. The mixture of oil and shellacilla gives the finish a buttery flavor. Apply a few drops to the pad before French polishing, and let it dry between coats. Then, buff the piano using a polishing pad to remove any loose shellac or oil. This step will give you an idea of how much shellac you should apply, and how much lubricant oil should be used. If the finishing pad sticks to the wood, you have used too much shellac or not enough lubricant oil. Adjust the amount of both ingredients until you achieve a smooth finish.


A technique for french polishing a piano is a highly traditional finishing method that is used by luthiers and woodworkers. It is a complex process, but can be mastered with a bit of practice. This instructable explains how to apply the French polish. Here are some tips to help you begin your process. Follow the steps carefully to get the desired finish. If you want to achieve the high-gloss finish, you’ll need a good polishing pad.

The main ingredient of a French polish is shellac, which can be applied to the surface of the piano using rubbing pads lubricated with oils. The cloth is typically made from cotton, wool, or a blend of the two. Make sure to follow the grain direction of the cloth when polishing a piano. This will ensure a longer-lasting finish and enhance the design of the piano. The technique is best suited for restoring older instruments.

The process involves multiple sessions, each lasting a few hours. Depending on the wood of your piano, the technique may require several sessions. However, it is worth the effort because the results are worth it. French polishing will add luster and shine to your piano, and it is a great way to make it look more expensive. For best results, French polishing a piano should be performed by a skilled technician with the proper training.

The technique of French polishing a piano is an old method for applying shellac. It involves several coats of shellac, each one requiring a period of drying time between them. There are a few tricks that artisans use for applying shellac to pianos, but the key is to ensure that the rubber is not too wet. Too dry, the rubber will not apply shellac properly, while too much lubricant will leave a sloppy finish.


Pianos can be finished in a number of different ways, including high gloss, satin, open pore, or a combination of these. Over the past century, wood-finishing materials have evolved dramatically. Earlier finishes were made from shellac, oil-based varnish, and rubbing oils. Then, lacquer became popular, and in the twentieth century, synthetics were made. Now, many pianos are coated with water-based coatings. To know how to French polish a piano, you should first identify the type of finish on your instrument.

French polish is considered a beautiful finish, especially on highly figured woods. It is, however, a fragile finish and is especially susceptible to heat and alcohol spills. The good news is that, compared to a damaged varnish finish, French polish is relatively easy to repair. The polishing process involves carefully applying multiple layers of polish to the piano’s surface and then spiriting away streaks. This requires several sessions, and you’ll need a dedicated space with a steady hand to complete the work.

Before sanding, inspect the piece. Look for high spots, uneven shellac buildup, or any other marks. In addition, you should dampen the surface before sanding it. Lastly, polish the piano with a special linseed oil to protect the lacquer finish. A piano polish made for this purpose is very different from that for regular household furniture. Certain household products can cause damage to piano lacquer.

After preparing the piano, the finishing pad should be applied to the piano using a dabbing pad. Shellac is usually applied in three coats. The finish should dry between each coat. It’s possible to use olive oil on the dabber. Open-grained woods can be filled to achieve an even French polish. Using ultra-fine FFFF-grade pumice powder can also help smooth out the finish.


Many people wonder how to French polish a piano. It is a process that takes many hours and involves a lot of preparation. The process is highly repetitive, and requires precise rubbing motions. After a week or so, the piano will be ready to be polished again. After the polishing process, the piano will need to be spirited to remove any streaks and clean the surface. This step is one of the most important parts of the process.

Before beginning the sanding process, examine the piece to remove any heavy marks or blemishes. Make sure the surface is free of dust and other contaminants. If there are any marks or blemishes, a high-gloss polishing agent will help eliminate them. If your piano is made of polyester, you can also use a high-gloss polishing agent. However, if you have a piano with a lacquer finish, you will have to wait a bit longer for it to dry.

French polishing is an advanced process that requires several days of preparation. You can use it on most woods, but it is best performed by a professional. If you are not confident in your French polishing skills, you can always opt for a more simple technique. A few apples soaked in warm water and scrubbed on the piano with a soft cloth can remove sticky marks and restore the French polish. You can also use wax polish sparingly to prevent over-wetness.

Shellac is an excellent choice for French polishing wood, but you should be aware of its risk of leaving your piano’s finish tacky. It is important to note that the oil and shellac must be applied in a thin layer and allowed to dry between coats. You can also use olive oil as a lubricant to prevent the polish from sticking to the wood. When applying shellac and oil, you should always move the dabber in small circles or figure-eights, making sure not to overdo it.


French polishing a piano is not a job for a professional, as this can end up costing more than the piano is worth. If you’re unsure of how to french polish a piano, there are some basic steps to follow. First, you must examine your piece to determine whether there are any heavy marks or cracks. Once you’ve determined the extent of the damage, you should apply a fine-grade wet-and-dry sandpaper to smooth out the surface.

Next, you need a dabbing pad with shellac. You can get a reusable dabbing pad by buying one online or purchasing one. You can get one with olive oil as well. Use the dabbing pad by applying a thin layer of shellac to a section of the wood, working in small circular motions or figure-eights to avoid leaving any marks. You should also be careful not to use too much shellac or too little lubricant oil. You can adjust the amount of both materials until you get the look you want.

After that, you can apply a layer of new polish. The resulting finish is extremely high gloss, so the previous polishing job will be more visible. The finish can be restored by repeating this process as needed. For more detailed work, you can also apply a layer of refinishing wax or varnish. Just remember that you should allow the piano to dry between sessions so that it doesn’t shrink during the process.

Then, you should clean the surface with a mild solution of water, ethanol, or wax. You should use a cloth made of soft cotton or a blend of wool. The grain of the cloth should follow the direction of the wood’s grain when polishing. This will ensure a longer-lasting finish on your piano and enhance its design. Once you have completed all of this, you should be ready to polish the piano.

About The Author

Fernánda Esteban is a food fanatic. She can't go more than a few hours without eating, and she loves trying new foods from all over the world. Her friends know that they can always count on her for a good conversation, and she's an animal lover who will never turn down an opportunity to pet a dog or cat. Fernánda also enjoys learning about random facts, and she's a social media practitioner who loves to share what she knows with others.