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Painting on harps

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  • #102710
    Janna B.
    Participant

    Has anyone ever had decorative painting done on a harp that has already been made?

    #102711
    Fairy Reel
    Participant

    Janna,

    I once saw a natural harp that the harpist’s relative had painted on. (It was on a website somewhere, I forget where.) It wasn’t completely symmetrical, as opposed to decals, but it was beautiful and really made the rather plain harp beautiful. I believe it was actually a Lyon and Healy but don’t quote me on that…I’m not completely sure. The different finishes on the wood might affect different paint different ways, and I’m not sure what techniques the lady used or anything.

    Are you thinking of painting yours? Do keep us posted….

    #102712
    Cheryl Z.
    Participant

    Hi Janna,

    I have not painted on the

    #102713
    Janna B.
    Participant

    Thank you, Cheryl, for the details, they were helpful!

    #102714
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    Natalie from L&H once told me that they occasionally get requests to send out soundboards before the harp is assembled. The artist paints it and then they put the harp together. That’s the best way to ensure a consistent finish all over.

    However, I did paint the soundboard of my prelude after I got the harp from L&H (that was before the decal was standard). I removed the finish from the board, painted it in situ (that is *VERY* hard to do, incidentally), and then carefully wrapped and masked the entire harp so I could spray the lacquer. Masking the harp and strings took longer than painting it did. In those days they used Deft lacquer, which requires arms of steel to rub out to a ripple-free finish once it’s applied. It would probably be easier if you had access to a proper spray booth and compressor. I had to use the canned stuff.

    This would be a big, tricky job to do on a completed harp, especially for working up at the top of the board where there isn’t clearance for the shortest brush–I had to cut one down.

    #102715
    Cheryl Z.
    Participant

    Hi Janna,

    If you would love a one-of-a-kind harp, than go ahead

    #102716
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    I would just point out that there is a pretty big difference between painting a folk harp and painting a pedal harp. I would encourage anyone considering painting a pedal harp to consider the possible implications for resale (i.e, you’re taking a much, much, bigger economic risk if you aren’t absolutely certain of what you are doing.)

    #102717
    Cheryl Z.
    Participant

    Barbara makes a good point.

    #102718
    unknown-user
    Participant

    Dear Cheryl, I am going to paint my harpsicle… I asked the manifactures and they told me this:

    “We use a clear acrylic lacquer on our harps. Sharpie marker wouldn’t last on the finish and probably rub off.

    You will want to lightly sand the area you plan to paint and use an acrylic paint to paint on the harp. After you are finished painting it you will need a clear acrylic lacquer or deft to spray or brush onto the artwork to preserve and protect it.”

    Now you wrote to not sand the harp… So what is right now? Did you apply your design directly on the harpsicle without sanding? Can I also paint parts of the harp that are touched a lot or will that become a problem after time?

    I already made some designs for the soundboard with permanet markers, I am not extremely good with brushes but since i study art I think I can practice and handle this. It will take long though.

    I looked for your article but I cant find it. Is it still online? Or can you mail it to me?

    #220096
    drhunt17
    Participant

    Picking up the thread, but with a slight twist: is it possible to use gold paint/gilding on a fully finished concert grand sound board to hand apply a design? I’ve seen a beautiful, older Salvi whose unadorned soundboard has aged to a lovely carmel color. I’ve also seen gold tendrils and vines painted on older Minervas and wonder if an artist could apply similar embellishments directly onto a finished soundboard without having to sand down the original finish to the wood to apply the embellishment and then reseal?

    If one painted directly onto a finished soundboard, would those embellishments then need to be sealed? I worry the extra varnish could impact the sound, but insealded painting/gilding would be unprotected. Noodling over potential ways add a bit more interest to a currently unadorned soundboard.

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