How to Touch Up Your Harp
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    How to Touch Up Your Harp

    Tips for keeping your harp looking great.

    Learn some basic methods to address minor cosmetic issues on your harp.


    Here are some ideas for touching up the dings in your harp:

    Fixing Dents on a Harp

    Use a household iron set on high, and a wet wash cloth, to steam out dents. Lay the wet cloth over the wood and use the iron to drive steam into the pores of the wood, by "ironing" the cloth. I keep moving fresh wet parts of the cloth over the dent so as to create plenty of steam. This should raise the wood back very close to original shape, but it may take repeated tries.

    Fixing Scratches on a Harp

    Use a fine grain touch-up pen to darken scratches back to original color. They will disappear visually, even though they are still there. Our light oak pen works best for cherry wood, and the medium brown pen works best for walnut.

    Fixing Dirt & Paint Smears on a Harp

    Some dirt will come off easily with just a damp rag, but other marks may actually be paint spears from furniture or door frames that the harp bumped against. These need to be scrubbed off with an abrasive. I like using a Scotch pad from the kitchen for that job.

    Fixing Bare Wood Spots on a Harp

    If you have some bare wood showing where the original finish is completely worn away or wood was chipped off, you can sand the area to clean it and smooth any rough edges, and then apply some clear varnish to restore the finish. I keep a can of varnish in the cupboard for that purpose. I just shake the can before opening, and then touch my fingertip to the inside of the cap to get enough varnish to rub into the wood (no need for a brush). This restores the color and protects against moisture. Wait several hours for drying before sanding with your Scotch pad and applying another coat. You can apply several coats like this, sanding lightly between.

    I hope this helps you restore the beauty of your harp.

    Finished Jolie Harp

    Considering purchasing a lever harp? Musicmakers builds a variety of lever harps to accommodate all harpists from beginner to professional. Our harp selection serves a variety of needs: travel, music therapy, and concert halls. We have something just for you.

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