Installing Piano Fallboard Decals
How to install Fallboard Decals
- Make sure hands are free of oil or perspiration. Wipe new surface with Benzine to remove oil or polish.
- Fold corner of decal about ¼” and split heavy paper away from tissue corner to fold.
- Trace tacky varnish on letters and all gold work with fine brush, or felt sliver from old piano hammer, and allow to become tacky (generally requires 2 – 6 minutes). Apply to properly centered location and smooth firmly while holding in place. Rolling from center to top and bottom, rather than lengthwise of decal, you’ll get better results if you use a roller.
- When thoroughly set, carefully remove hard paper while dry, starting at corner previously separated. (Allow to set as long as possible overnight if convenient.)
- Soak in water (It is the only way to activate the adhesive) until thin paper slides off easily without disturbing gold.
Piano Decals are not water transfers anymore, even the most experienced, spoils a decal now and then.
Test tackiness after two minutes drying by touching varnish portion lightly to the end of nose. If it tends to stick to nose, you should wait a while longer before applying to fallboard.
While not absolutely necessary, a camel’s hair artists brush to trace tacky varnish on gold work of decal will give a professional touch and better results as opposed to smearing entire surface and then having to remove excess at risk of spoiling decal.
Remember too, that a small jar or can of varnish should be deliberately left open for use in applying decals by puncturing the dried surface each time. You will gradually create the tackiness much sought after by experienced old-timers.
Article courtesy Gemm Piano Supply
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