Piano Restoration Cost: Refinish, Restring, & Repair (2023)

Pianos can be very expensive to buy and maintain. But over time, even the best-kept instruments may suffer from damage, weather, age, or poor storage conditions. So, how much does it cost to restore a piano?

Depending on the condition of the piano, the cost to restore an upright piano can range from $2,000 to $10,000. Grand pianos can cost even more, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. The cost of restoration depends on the condition of the keys, soundboard, strings, and wood finish.

Whether it’s an antique family heirloom, an older upright piano found at an antique store, or even just regular maintenance for your current instrument – understanding what goes into restoring and maintaining pianos can be overwhelming.

From grand pianos to uprights; from refinishing to restringing; new soundboards, hammer replacement, loose tuning pins to minor repairs – there is no one-size-fits-all answer when considering how much it will cost for restoration.

In this article, we’ll explore each component of a piano restoration project as well as discuss if buying new might be better than restoring old.

Table of Contents:

piano restoration lg

Grand Piano Restoration Pricing

When determining the cost of a grand piano restoration, various factors must be taken into account. The typical piano holds between 220-240 strings and the industry standard for a full restoration is:

  • $14,500-$27,500 for baby grands (4’6-5’6)
  • $16,250-$29,500 for larger grands (5’7-6’2)

The price of reviving aged, classic, or concert grands may differ significantly depending on the state of the instrument.

If only minor repairs are needed such as restringing or refinishing then the cost will be significantly lower than if you need to rebuild entire sections of the instrument.

Replacing the strings can cost between $1,000 and $3,000 depending on the wire used and how many are needed. Refinishing costs will depend on whether you choose lacquer or polyester finishes but typically range from $2,500 -$8,000.

In addition to these costs, you may also have to factor in additional expenses such as tuning services which could add another couple hundred dollars to your total bill. It’s important that any work done by a professional technician is guaranteed so make sure they offer some kind of warranty before signing off on anything.

Ultimately when deciding whether it is better to restore a piano or buy a new one depends largely on your budget and personal preference.

While restoring an old instrument can certainly bring back its original beauty and sound quality, it may not always be worth it financially speaking compared with buying something brand new off the shelf that already has all those features built-in from day one.

Because the price of reviving a grand piano can differ substantially depending on the age and state of the instrument, so getting an exact appraisal before beginning any restoration work is essential. Upright pianos require different types of repairs and may have additional costs associated with their restoration that need to be taken into consideration.

We’ll get into that next.

Key Takeaway: Restoring an old grand piano can be a significant investment, with costs varying from $14,500 to over $29,000 depending on the size and condition of the instrument. Piano tuners could also add another couple hundred dollars to your bill.

Upright Piano Restoration Pricing

The cost of restoring an upright piano will vary depending on its size and condition.

  • Full-size upright pianos or cabinet grand pianos (5’2-5’6) typically range from $9,900-$18,500 for restoration costs.
  • Medium-size uprights (4’5-5’1) usually fall in the $8,950-$17,500 range while studio size uprights (4′ – 4’4) run between $7,900-$15,500.
  • For spinet or console-sized upright pianos (less than 4′), restoration costs tend to start at around $7,900 and go as high as $15,500.

Procedures may include:

  • swapping out any broken strings or wire that cannot be salvaged
  • mending parts such as hammers and dampers
  • refinishing the woodwork
  • inspecting for soundboard cracks
  • cleaning all mechanical components like keys and pedals
  • adjusting action pieces including key bushings to tune it to concert pitch A440 Hz.
  • setting touch weight of keys accordingly
  • replacing worn felt pads under keys if required
  • evaluating pin block stability/replacement where necessary

Before investing money into rebuilding an old upright piano, it is best to consult with a professional technician who specializes in rebuilding vintage instruments.

Consulting a specialist in restoring vintage instruments can help determine whether to restore the piano or acquire a new one. Factors such as age of the instrument, sentimental value, overall condition, and availability of replacement parts should all be taken into consideration before making this decision.

Upright piano restoration can be expensive, but with the right professional and quality materials, it is possible to bring your instrument back to life. Moving on from upright pianos, let’s take a look at grand pianos and their refinishing prices.

Key Takeaway: Before investing in restoring a vintage upright piano, it is wise to consult with an experienced technician who specializes in rebuilding such instruments. Considering the age, sentimentality, condition, and parts availability of a vintage upright piano before investing in its restoration is essential to avoid hefty costs.

Piano Refinishing Pricing, Grand Pianos & Uprights Pianos

Piano refinishing pricing can vary greatly depending on the type of piano and its condition.

For those looking to refinish the wood on a grand piano, the cost typically starts at around two thousand US dollars, while an upright will start at about fifteen hundred.

When selecting materials for a piano restoration, pricier options like lacquer finishes can be chosen to provide better protection against scratches and scuffs.

Polyurethane varnishes may not last as long but still offer adequate protection when applied correctly by experienced professionals who know what they’re doing with refinishing pianos – something that’s essential when dealing with such pricey instruments.

When considering whether to restore your grand or vertical piano, factors such as its age, worth, and the amount of use it has experienced should be taken into account.

Grand pianos typically cost more to restore than upright pianos, but the process is similar for both.

Refinishing a grand or an upright usually involves sanding down the entire piano exterior, which includes all surfaces from the legs to the keys. This process removes dirt, grime, and any existing finish that may be present.

Afterward, a new finish is applied in order to give it a fresh look and protect it from further damage.

Weighing up the pros and cons of refinishing your grand or upright piano involves taking into account such elements as its age, worth, and how much it has been used over time.

Older instruments tend to require more work in order for them to look their best again while newer ones may just need some minor touch-ups here and there. It’s also important to note that certain finishes can add significantly more value than others so it’s worth doing some research before committing to one option over another.

Finally, it is worth noting that selling components from old pianos such as strings or wire may help offset the costs of restoration. These components can have a high value within the industry due to their scarcity, so if your instrument is not worth restoring then this could help reduce overall expenses associated with rebuilding and refurbishment projects.

Investing in piano restoration can be costly, yet it is an invaluable asset for those wishing to preserve their instrument’s quality. The cost of restringing a grand or upright piano varies depending on the type and size of strings needed, so understanding this information ahead of time will help you plan your budget accordingly.

Key Takeaway: Restoring a piano can be expensive, with grand pianos typically costing more than uprights. Depending on the type of finish used and the condition of the instrument, prices start at around $2k for grands and $1.5k for uprights – however selling parts from old pianos could help offset these costs significantly.

Restringing Costs: Grand Piano & Upright Piano restringing

Restoring a piano, be it grand or upright, involves restringing as one of its key elements.

The cost of restringing can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the type and size of the piano, its age, and any special parts needed for repair. Generally speaking, restringing a grand piano will cost more than an upright because it requires more labor to remove and replace strings.

For an upright piano, it can cost anywhere from $500-$1,000 depending on the type of strings used. For a grand piano, it can cost up to $2,000 or more. Tuning the new strings is also necessary and can cost an additional $100-$200. It’s important to have a professional do the job to ensure that your piano is properly restrung and tuned.

When considering whether to restore or buy new strings for your grand or upright piano, it’s important to factor in all costs associated with restoration before making a decision.

The cost of replacing strings on an upright piano depends largely on how many are needed – some pianos have just two sets while others may require four or even six sets – as well as what kind of wire needs to be used (plain steel versus wound).

Upright pianos also tend to use fewer pins per string which can reduce overall costs when compared with those required by larger grand pianos.

When it comes to restoring a grand piano, the task is far more intricate than with an upright due to the increased number of strings and tuning pins involved.

Specialized tools such as pliers are often necessary in order to safely remove old wires from the pins without causing any damage – adding an extra layer of complexity (and cost) into the equation.

Key Takeaway: Pianos typically have 230 strings (grand or upright), with 3 strings per key in the upper register and 2 strings per key in the lower registers.

Is It Better to Restore a Piano or Buy a New One?

Bringing a piano back to life can be costly and labor-intensive, yet the outcome can be profoundly gratifying. Before deciding whether to restore or buy a new or used piano, you should consider the cost factors involved in both options.

The price of restoring older pianos will depend on the extent of work needed. Major repair issues obviously could bring the restoration cost well into the tens of thousands!

Grand pianos typically have more parts and a larger surface than uprights, so restoration costs may be higher for them. The cost of refinishing your instrument is usually based on square footage and the type of finish desired.

Restringing costs vary depending on how many strings need replacing as well as their gauge size; this could range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Weighing up the advantages and disadvantages, it’s worth exploring whether investing in a fresh instrument or restoring an existing one is your best option.

Deciding between a restored instrument or considering new pianos requires weighing the pros and cons, but if you have an heirloom piano, investing extra money to maintain its legacy may be more meaningful than purchasing something brand new.

However, if you’re looking for something modern with cutting-edge features such as digital technology or enhanced sound capabilities then purchasing a newer model could pay off financially in the long haul since most restored pianos won’t offer these amenities due to age restrictions within the industry itself.

Ultimately, when choosing between restoring or buying new comes down to personal preference – what kind of sound do you want? What kind of look? Do you prefer traditional acoustic instruments?

Or do modern digital technologies appeal more?

Answering these questions will help determine which option makes more sense for your needs – whether that’s spending some cash now on restoration projects or waiting until later and investing in something brand spanking new.

Reviving a piano may be more affordable than buying a new one, but it can be expensive and time-consuming. Replacing yellowed or missing ivory keys on an older piano requires patience, precision, and expertise to ensure the best results.

Not sure how much new pianos go for these days?

Luckily, in my recent article, I break down the exact prices for upright, baby grand, grand, electric, and digital pianos. I cover ranges as well as the average price in each category along with the pros and cons.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Key Takeaway:Reviving a piano may be more affordable than buying a new one, but it can be expensive and time-consuming. Replacing yellowed or missing ivory keys on an older piano requires patience, precision, and expertise to ensure the best results.

Can I Replace Yellowed or Missing Ivory Keys on a Piano?

Replacing yellowed or missing ivory keys on a piano is an intricate process that requires skill and experience.

Fortunately, the task can be accomplished with appropriate resources and equipment. The condition of the instrument will determine whether you have to replace single keys or whole batches.

If you have severely scratched or damaged plastic keytops, they can usually be restored using a special buffing/polishing technique. This will bring them back to their original luster without replacing them entirely.

Keytop replacement by a professional piano restorer may be necessary if they have become discolored over time or due to usage, in order to bring back their original look. But unless all keys are being replaced or polished, there may be a noticeable difference between the old keys and the new ones.

When it comes to restoring missing ivory keys on a piano, there are several options available depending on where you live and what type of material you prefer for replacement purposes.

In the United States, simulated ivory (also known as “imitation” ivory) is often used because it closely resembles real ivory while still being legal in many states; white acrylics are also popular choices for this purpose as well.

If you live outside the US or would like something more authentic looking than synthetic alternatives offer, high-density acrylic from Germany could be an option worth considering too – although this material tends to cost more than its American counterparts do.

Replacing the ivory keys of a piano can be costly and challenging, yet it is achievable without compromising its integrity.

Key Takeaway: Replacing the keys may be necessary if they have become discolored over time or due to usage, in order to bring back their original look. But unless all keys are being replaced or polished, there may be a noticeable difference between the old keys and the new ones.

Will it Ruin a Steinway Piano to Replace the Soundboard?

Replacing the soundboard of a Steinway & Sons piano is not something to be taken lightly. But as long as the work is performed by qualified professional Steinway-approved piano technicians, it will most definitely NOT ruin a Steinway piano to get a new soundboard.

Accomplishing this task requires the specialized skills of experienced professionals to guarantee a precise and safe installation. The entire piano must be disassembled, including strings and wires, so that the new board can fit into place perfectly.

This isn’t a job for amateurs as any misalignment or improper installation could cause irreparable damage to your beloved Steinway. And obviously this is a time-consuming project.

The cost to replace just the soundboard/pinblock varies from $11,000 to $22,000 and adding a bridge and plate refinish can bring that up to between $18,000 to $28,000.

Grand pianos are typically made with high-quality materials like spruce wood which makes them both durable and expensive instruments.

Replacing a soundboard on such an expensive item should only be done if absolutely necessary, otherwise, you’re just throwing money away without getting anything out of it in return.

Restoring an old grand piano may seem daunting but when done properly can add tremendous value back into your instrument – making it worth restoring rather than replacing entirely with a new one.

How Do I Choose a Quality Piano Restoration Company?

When selecting a piano technician or restoration company, it is essential to ensure they have a good reputation and experience in the field.

Before making a decision, ensure that the restoration company is well-established and has a high degree of expertise in restoring pianos. Don’t just go for the lower-priced option.

Ask for references from past clients or look up reviews online.

If your piano is a top-of-the-line name like Steinway, Bösendorfer, Baldwin, or Yamaha, start by asking your local dealer for restoration recommendations.

It’s also important to know what type of services they offer; some companies specialize in grand pianos while others may focus on upright models. Additionally, ask about their pricing structure; some companies charge by the hour while others have flat-rate packages that cover all aspects of the restoration process.

You should also inquire about the materials they use for restoration work – not all parts are created equal.

High-quality components will last longer than cheaper alternatives, so be sure to ask if your chosen company uses genuine parts when repairing your instrument.

Finally, PLAYING a piano that’s been restored by the company can give you an idea of how good their work really is – don’t just take their word for it. If possible, try out several different instruments before making a decision on which one you’d like restored.

It’s always best to go with a smaller business rather than a large wholesale operation as these typically provide more personalized service and attention to detail throughout the entire process.

Make sure any potential contractors have proper insurance coverage too – this way if anything goes wrong during repairs or restorations then at least you’ll be covered financially in case something happens down the line.

Lastly, do your research thoroughly – read up on customer reviews online and compare prices between different companies before committing yourself anywhere permanently.

Key Takeaway: If your piano is a top-of-the-line name like Steinway, Bösendorfer, Baldwin, or Yamaha, start by asking your local dealer for restoration recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth restoring an old piano?

Reviving old or even antique pianos can be a rewarding venture, especially if there is sentimental worth.

If it is in good condition with no major structural damage, then restoring it could help to preserve its sound quality and historical significance. And you could even donate your piano and get a tax deduction.

However, if there are serious issues such as cracked or warped keys or significant rusting, then the cost of restoration may outweigh any potential benefits. Ultimately, it depends on how much time and money you’re willing to invest into bringing your old piano back to life.

But if the costs are exorbitant, you may have to give it away or even pay a disposal service to get rid of your piano for you.

How much does it cost to clean a piano?

The cost of tending to a piano is contingent on its dimensions, the state of its components, and the effort required. Generally speaking, it will range from $50-$200 for basic cleaning services such as dusting keys and wiping down surfaces.

For more complex tasks, such as polishing or re-stringing, costs may increase depending on the intricacy of the job; however, it is recommended that professional technicians be hired to guarantee a proper and secure execution.

Professionals are typically necessary for these tasks to make sure they’re carried out correctly and securely.

I save this old out of tune upright piano from being thrown away


Reviving a piano may require both an ample budget and plenty of time to complete.

All kinds of things can cause wear or damage to a piano. From neglect, not being kept in a climate-controlled environment, or even moving a piano cross-country, there are a number of things that can necessitate getting a piano restored.

The cost of restoring a piano can range from hundreds to thousands, depending on its condition.

Before investing in the restoration of a treasured heirloom or antique piano, be sure to consider factors such as sentimental value, maintenance costs for upkeep after completion, cost of replacing parts versus buying new ones, and overall expenses.

It might well be worth it to sell your piano and buy a new one.

With careful research and consideration beforehand though, you will be sure that your restored piece will bring years’ worth of joy.

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Top Related Posts