It is always a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  With many of today’s synthetic finishes, it is very common for the manufacturer to recommend only using either a damp cloth, or a clean, dry cloth.


If this is a modern synthetic finish and there is a need for something more powerful than a damp cloth, or if you need to polish fine scratches out of the finish,  I highly recommend the Cory line of products. 

Select the appropriate product for your finish: High gloss for high gloss, satin for satin, etc.


 Milseks has a great line of products for traditional finishes such as lacquer, varnish, shellac, etc.

Old pianos will often have a dingy look to them.  The finish is sort of cloudy or even grayish. Usually, the problem is not the finish.  It’s wax buildup.  After the wax is stripped off, a beautiful piece of furniture is revealed.

Milsek’s Furniture Polish is a very safe dewaxer.  Just follow the dewaxing instructions on the label.  Apply generously.  Give it time to soften the wax. Buff off with a clean, cloth, turning as you go.  

For old pieces with a lot of wax buildup, you might have to repeat the procedure 2 or 3 times.


If a piano’s finish is badly damaged or simply deteriorated with time, Old English Scratch Cover is worth a try.  It has pigments that soak into the bare sections of the wood, usually giving you a nice color match.

Shake very well. Apply generously. Walk away for a while.. even overnight. Then, buff the excess off with a clean soft, cloth that you will throw away.

It’s important to shake well before you use it for the first time. If you apply OESC without shaking the bottle sufficiently, the bare wood areas will not absorb as much pigment. Once the wood has absorbed the first application of OESC, the wood will not absorb additional pigment as well…the bare wood is already saturated.

It’s worth a try if the piano is of no great value and you want to try to improve its appearance. One thing though… The finish will be somewhat darker after using it.

They make OESC for dark wood and for light wood…. 2 different products. Make sure you purchase the correct one.

This method should not be used on pianos that are for sale.  If a buyer uses other products on the finish after purchase, the seller might very well be accused of deceptive practices if the OESC begins to come off.


Many stores carry sets of touch-up felt tip markers.  These are capable of doing a nice job of concealing scratches in the finish.  

If you cannot find an exact match, always go slightly darker.  The scratch will be less noticeable if it is slightly darker than slightly lighter.

Apply rapidly back and forth with the grain.  Quickly scribble over the scratch. Immediately polish the area with a soft, clean cloth.  

The pigment in the marker will tint the wood.  , Unfortunately, sometimes the chemicals in the marker will permanently bond the pigment to the clear finish covering the wood as well.  This is especially true for some of the modern synthetic finishes.  Polish immediately after application to prevent this from happening.  Have the soft cloth ready in your other hand. Polish with the grain.

It might not be appropriate to use this method on a piano that is going to be sold.  A buyer might accuse the seller of deceptive practices.  Use your best judgment.


You can usually find these products locally.  You can also try their websites. Of course, you are also welcome to purchase them here in the mtp online store.

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