How does one create a “piano finish”?
Greg Williams: With care and patience. Generally we think of a piano finish as very clear, fairly thick and very high gloss. Unless you have a sophisticated finishing setup, it is easiest to do this with lacquer. Be meticulous at each step of the preparation of the piece and the application of the coating. Apply enough coats to create a thick film and sand carefully between coats, at least between every two or three coats. Allow plenty of drying time, then carefully sand the cured surface very level using waterproof paper and a suitable lubricant. Use a number of increasingly finer grits to remove the sanding scratches left by the previous coarser grit, going through 600-, 800-, 1,000-grit papers, or a similar process with other grading systems. Follow that by polishing the coating through several grits of fine polishing compounds.