Saturday, March 29, 2014

Piano Refinishing: Quarter Oak colour and tinting

Yellow oak sawn on the quarter or “quarter oak” was a popular finishing veneer for the vintage tall upright pianos.

During the time period when quarter oak was used the late Victorian and Edwardian home furnishings were all dark in colour; usually mahogany or dark walnut.

Many of the pianos finished in quarter oak were stained dark to match the furniture and home living during the time period.

Over time the colour has been stripped away by use, time, and UV light from sunlight, leaving the piano a light colour of yellow and orange.

Quarter oak presents two problems with replacing the colours. First the grain lines need to be darkened once again. Then the colour of the white quarter cut lines needs to be tinted back to original.

In order to do this I use a two-step process. First I use an oil based stain which highlights the grain lines by making them dark.

Then I use a tint coat of lacquer where colours are added to the lacquer to make the overall colour even and tint the white quarter oak cut lines.  With some of the photos there are instructions for making tinting colour coats.

I have often considered placing the photos inside the blog postings. However this would reduce the photos to a much smaller size and a lot of the detail in each picture would be lost. I decided to leave the blog postings as text only and add a link to photo albums in the usual way.

When viewing the photo album it is best to right click the mouse. A new window will open and please choose “Open in new tab”. Done this way it is easy to toggle back and forth between the blog posting and the photo set.Go forward and back using the arrows beneath each photo.

If there are any problems viewing the photos please contact the blog author.  

Below is a link to the photo album of the process used to make quarter oak back to dark walnut.

Quarter Oak Cabinet Tint