This page gives detailed information about our upright piano restoration packages, as well as some “before & after” photos of recent upright piano restoration projects. PRICING INFORMATION IS LISTED BELOW
In other words, the GRADE 1 PACKAGE restores your piano to historically correct specifications while utilizing as much of the original mechanisms as possible. Materials that deteriorate such as felts, leather, strings, etc., are replaced, while the durable mechanisms like action parts are restored rather than replaced. The GRADE 1 PACKAGE includes a good quality cabinet repair and high quality refinishing job, all new strings and tuning pins (because a 100 year old piano will always need new strings). Uprights get re-drilled pinblocks with new tuning pins. Upright actions get new hammers, dampers, necessary bushings, felts & leathers, straps, and all necessary action refurbishing, repair and regulation necessary to make the piano play like new.
The keyboard is either restored or replaced with new keys as necessary. Soundboard cracks are glued and set as needed, and bridge repairs are made as needed. Upright plates are cleaned and re-gilded, and soundboards are cleaned and clear-coated. Piano is then tuned and regulated as needed.
It is very important to understand with a GRADE 1 PACKAGE is that pianos that are in terrible condition may need more than what is offered with a GRADE 1 PACKAGE. Most pianos in decent original condition will restore nicely with GRADE 1.
We find that most clients can compare our GRADE 1 PACKAGE to the average restoration shop’s best package!
With the GRADE 2, the cabinet gets a high quality, grain filled lacquer finish with great pains to repair all broken/missing carving, molding, etc. The keyboard is restored. If ivory is present, all possible effort will be made to restore and save the ivory. If ivory is not present, faux ivory will be used in restoration unless a new ivory or bone keyboard is requested (at an additional cost). NEW ACTION PARTS such as butts & flanges, shanks and hammers are included in the GRADE 2 PACKAGE. In all pianos, the harp (plate) is removed from the piano, re-gilded, and the soundboard is repaired, shimmed and refinished. (Any original internal art-work or stenciling on the plate will be saved and clear-coated if possible.) All internal decals are replaced as necessary. New strings and tuning pins are included. Upright piano pinblocks are plugged and re-drilled as needed (which prevents the pinblock from being cut from the case, weakening structural integrity). Lots of special attention to detail is included – all hardware, hinges, pedals, etc., get polished or re-plated to perfection as needed. Overall, our GRADE 2 is a top quality, prime restoration throughout.
The GRADE 3 PACKAGE is our premium package where cost is of no consequence where quality is concerned. GRADE 3 includes a new soundboard, new pin-block, all new action parts, and absolute perfection in every detail. Due to the immense detail involved, the GRADE 3 PACKAGE involves nearly double the amount of time and labor to complete! GRADE 3 isn’t usually necessary for most pianos, and is generally reserved for exceptionally rare, valuable and historically important instruments.
Grade 1 Package: $15,000 – $18,000*
Grade 2 Package: $19,000 – $23,000*
Grade 3 Package: $25,000 and up*
*Our website grading system is set up for the majority of conventional vintage instruments we encounter (mostly North American brands). The website grading system may not apply to very early or otherwise obscure instruments (including many instruments built in European countries). Parts for many of these instruments are no longer available and must be custom made by our artisans on a case-by-case basis.
*Steinway brand pianos are generally more expensive to restore than other brands; However their values post restoration are generally higher.
Piano Stools & Piano Benches
REPAIR: One of the most important parts of a finish is the condition of the cabinet including the carving, veneer, etc. All of our finishes include cabinet restoration so that carving, veneer and moldings are repaired/replaced as necessary. One of the most obvious weaknesses in the refinishing industry is the lack of proper repair and restoration of missing or damaged wood/carvings, etc. We often see beautiful finishes that have been applied to instruments that have had obvious poor quality repairs that stick out like a sore thumb – a finish will only look as good as the surface it is applied to. Our finishing crew is amazing at replacing missing pieces of carving and moldings.
SEMI-CLOSED PORE FINISHES: A semi-closed pore finish is a lacquer finish that is widely used in the furniture industry (and on piano finishes as well) which has a softer, satin look to it and leave the natural wood grain showing in the finish. The labor involved in this type of finish is less than the grain-filled finishes offered in the more expensive packages, which makes a very nice looking finish more affordable. In fact, some people actually prefer this type of finish over more expensive finishes saying that it looks “old world” or “antique”. Customers have the option of this finish if desired.
GRAIN FILLED FINISHES: The grain-filled lacquer finishes are traditional high quality lacquer finishes that are standard in fine finishing throughout the industry. This is a “factory new” finish which would be closest to what the instrument would have looked like when it originally left the factory. Unlike the semi-closed pore finishes, all the grain is filled with this finish creating a silky smooth solid surface. Most of our clients prefer a “hand rubbed” matte or satin finish, but we do offer gloss and semi-gloss finishes as well.