Polyester High Gloss - The Classic Piano Finish

The classic high gloss piano finish on modern instruments is a polyester lacquer with the famous mirror gloss ‘still water’ finish. This maintenance-free hard finish is a resin coating of polyester and is selected for its high wear resilience compared with traditional gloss finishes. Polyester is highly praised for its to high impact threshold, and tolerance to wear abrasion, chemicals and moisture.

If your piano is finished in polyester high gloss, there may be some need for polishing, sanding, repairing small chips or more significant damage repair. Additionally to polishing your piano with the gloss finish, polyester high gloss lacquer may be refinished in a brushed satin finish for a gentle sheen.

Piano Polyester Repairs

Damage to your piano? Big or small, we can help. Small nicks, deep scratches or a more significant impact – such as a crushed corner – can be repaired. The degree of repair required will determine if it can be an onsite repair or at our workshops. For clear gloss with wood veneer, it may be necessary to re-veneer the damaged area. For a solid gloss such as black, white or other – we can repair without need to re-veneer. Deep scratches, chips and dents are cut out and filled with polyester, planed back, sanded and polished. Deep dents, smashed corners or crushed edges will need to be cut away and rebuilt with timbers before then being fill repaired or resprayed. We have onsite and offsite facilities for polyester spray repairs. This is highly specialised work and not a standard procedure for a bodyshop or automotive smart repair.

Cabinet Hardware Polishing

Hinges, cabinet screws, castors, locks, retainers, fallboard letterset (logo), pedals and perimeter bolts can be highly polished to a perfect mirror finish and protected with a coat of metal lacquer. Some customers may prefer a ‘brushed’ or ‘satin’ finish.

Rotary polisher with a twisted lambswool mop in use on a clear high gloss polyester lacquer finish

Sanding and Polishing

High wear areas of the piano will become scratched with ‘skating’ and dulled with micro abrasions. This can usually be wet sanded and buffed to a scratch-free result. Provided there is sufficient coating thickness a flawless ‘new’ finish is achieved from the original coating. 

A process of sanding with good extraction and a special finishing disc (superior to wood and automotive types) at grades deemed necessary to remove imperfections, with refinements through to pre-polishing stage. Compounding and polishing follows to bring up the deep lustre and glass like gloss of the polyester lacquer.


Naturals (white keys) are usually topped with acrylic on modern pianos. The surface will become scratched, creating an opportunity for a superb finish to be restored. The sides of the naturals will be scraped clean also, removing years of dirt and oils which have discolored the sides of the spruce keys which are exposed when the adjacent keys are depressed.

Sharps (black keys) are with a 12mm keytop made of phenolic resin, ebony, or composite. The spruce key itself, beneath the 12mm top, sides of the keys are painted black. This paint can be reapplied to cover the worn area, so the spruce is not visible on a sharp. While phenolic resin keytops usually only require cleaning, the ebony or composite keytops can be sanded, stained and sealed.