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#2248845 - 03/19/14 11:54 AM Help with decal color on Steinway
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
The lyre part of the Steinway and Sons decal on my piano came off. I got a decal from unlimited decals, and applied it just to that area, leaving the original Steinway and sons name on the piano.

So then later I go to check it, and I see that it is of a different color than the original logo. I have found out that the original seems to be brass, while this one is a different type of material and more golden looking.

My question is, is there any type of sealer or lacquer that I can put on top of this new logo in order to dull the color little bit and make it seem more like the original? Any ideas? Picture in the link

Edited by CrashTest (03/19/14 11:55 AM)

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#2248883 - 03/19/14 01:25 PM Re: Help with decal color on Steinway [Re: CrashTest]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1735
Loc: Old Hangtown California
Why don't you try wiping it with a damp cloth to see if it may tarnish just a bit to tone it down?
After you get the color close to what you want you should spray some lacquer over it otherwise it will not stay on there very long.
Then you will need to texture to match.

#2249036 - 03/19/14 07:37 PM Re: Help with decal color on Steinway [Re: CrashTest]
Jon Page Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 397
Loc: Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massac...
Those small, thin brass letters will probably start falling out too. However, in the meantime, polish them with your favorite auto detailing compound and dull to a patina with gray Scotch Brite. The two will never match until they are both the same material.

What I do in a case like this is to chip out the brass letters and fill the impressions with a suitable putty. Sand the entire fallboard surface, spray sanding sealer, then black, then install a new decal and spray clear to seal. Then they match.

This is not for the DIY'er.

Edited by Jon Page (03/19/14 07:40 PM)

Jon Page
Piano technician/tuner
Harwich Port, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA

#2249042 - 03/19/14 07:51 PM Re: Help with decal color on Steinway [Re: CrashTest]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23202
Loc: Oakland
If the lettering was inlaid brass, it would have been evident. The brass falling out leaves the cavity where it was. (You could probably get a new inlay from Steinway.)

The original was probably a varnish transfer decal. They often do not transfer well. The new decal is not the same. A coat of orange shellac might make the color more similar, but exact matching takes experimentation.
Semipro Tech

#2249136 - 03/19/14 11:26 PM Re: Help with decal color on Steinway [Re: CrashTest]
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
The original was brass, and there is an indentation in the wood.

I'm going to try and order that brass decal from Steinway, and scrape off the decal I put on the lyre. It should come off easily right?

#2249264 - 03/20/14 05:09 AM Re: Help with decal color on Steinway [Re: CrashTest]
pianolive Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 332
Loc: Europe
I have some originals from Steinway. They are of different size. They are made to press into the varnish while it is still "wet" so it might be easier for you to use the decals from Decals Unlimited. How old is the piano?

#2249285 - 03/20/14 05:58 AM Re: Help with decal color on Steinway [Re: CrashTest]
compianist1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/13
Posts: 121
Loc: Banned

#2249368 - 03/20/14 09:02 AM Re: Help with decal color on Steinway [Re: CrashTest]
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
It's from 1979.

#2249395 - 03/20/14 10:26 AM Re: Help with decal color on Steinway [Re: CrashTest]
Silverwood Pianos Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/10/08
Posts: 4263
Loc: Vancouver B. C. Canada

The lacquer over top of the old decal has tarnished and that is why it looks dull. The old lacquer can possibly be removed carefully, or the new decal can be tinted with coloured lacquers to look more the same.

Either way that kind of colour matching is done by an experienced finisher. Without masking the black around the lettering spraying something over top could damage to old finish causing it to wrinkle.

Would have been better to replace the entire decal.
Dan Silverwood
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."


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