Help, I’ve Scratched My Harp!

In the life of every harp it is inevitable that sooner or later minor dings and scratches will occur. This is one of the reasons that we use Deft lacquer products in the harp spray booth, since they are quite inexpensive, simple to use and easily obtained. Also, deft is not easily affected by the sometimes extreme heat and cold that can occur in UPS trucks or warehouses during shipping.

For minor scrapes and scratches during normal use, or minor mishaps in shipping, a can of Deft spray (blue and white spray can) can be obtained at WalMart for about $4.50. One can has enough spray for a lifetime of touch ups, if and when such things become necessary. The lacquer dries to the touch in about 10 to 15 minutes.

If you want to try this, please apply very light coats, with very light sanding (if necessary) between coats. I usually spray a light coat of Deft, and wait until it dries to see if sanding is going to be necessary. Two or three light coats will usually do the trick. If you need to sand between coats, use a high grit paper or sanding pad, 300g or higher. I like the flexible pads better, as they are less abrasive. Always let the sanding paper or pad glide gently over the scratch. Never dig at it, pressing the harp, as this creates something even more pronounced than the original scratch.

Never apply heavy coats of spray, as this loads up the spot and can cause an ugly run. Holding the can back about 8 to 10 inches, with a sweeping application works best. Never spray with the can held motionless, aimed at the spot, but make sure the can is in a sweeping motion before you push the spray button. Always get the gloss spray can, if available, as this is the hardest form of the Deft. Satin is not good at all, as it is too soft. Semi-gloss may be used if gloss is not available.

Over the years, I’ve fixed hundreds of scratches on wood, using this method. Usually, I can mend a scratch with little effort, with the end result being that you cannot even tell the scratch ever existed. Sometimes, if the scratch causes a white mark, a water-based dark brown, felt tipped art pen can be used to color the scratch first, gently blending in the brown dye with the finger tip once applied. You can spray the Deft directly over the water-based art pen coloring in about two minutes, with the end result being a virtual perfect fix. Regular hardware store furniture scratch cover pencils can also be used, but they are more messy, oil-based and don’t work as well as the water-based art pen trick. However, I’d just try the spray first, without any scratch coloring. If this is not effective, you can always try the scratch pen coloring thing later. It doesn’t matter if a coat of lacquer is over the scratch before you use the scratch coloring technique.