Author Topic: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?  (Read 7533 times)

Offline MikeH

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Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« on: April 09, 2011, 09:47:34 PM »
Hi, I recently bought a Wurlitzer 140b and unfortunately it had been painted black. And not well. I'm guessing there wasn't any preparation done, there are spots where the paint easily chips away to reveal the original finish. I tried using a scraping tool, but it only removes so much and I'm worried I am damaging the wood.

Are there any specific solvents I should look for to remove the black paint? I have some 'Graffiti Remover' stuff, but I haven't used it since I am concerned once it liquefies the paint, the wood will absorb it and it will end up looking stained. I just want to be certain I am using the correct kind of paint remover.

If that doesn't work, I plan on sanding the case down and repainting it. Any tips on preparing the surface before painting? What kind of paint should I use? I'd like to use a color similar to the original finish. I noticed it sort of has a speckled texture to it, I don't know if there's a paint out there which would achieve a similar effect.

Outside of that, the inside is surprisingly clean and all parts in good condition. Any tips would be greatly appreciated, I can't wait to get this up and running again.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 12:09:45 PM »
Lowe's and Home Depot ( and other places) sell a paint that matches almost perfectly to the original finish.
I would LIGHTLY scuff sand the black paint before repainting. I personally would not spend the time removing the black. You may prime after that if you want to.
The paint I am thinking of is called American Accents STONE by Rustoleum. There is a color called Sienna Stone #7994 that I have used for this purpose. There are other colors as well, but I believe that color is the closest to the original paint.

There is a lighter color that is closer to the 120 finish also.

1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline MikeH

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 05:02:41 PM »
Great, thanks! It looks like I am going to go that route, will probably try and pick up the paint today.

One other question, how would I go about removing the action completely? I've taken out the damper rail and harp, but now I'd like to remove the rest so it doesn't get in the way while sanding and painting. I see screws across the bottom, but I'm not so sure that is what I need to remove. If I could remove it all as one piece that'd be great.

Offline MikeH

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2011, 10:34:27 PM »
Oh and also, the harp and individual reeds are a bit dirty, what would be appropriate for a good cleaning? Would isopropyl alcohol be too harsh? I was thinking of using rubbing alcohol to clean off a bit of paint residue on the keys as well...

As you can see, I am super cautious, haha. Have had a few DIY projects before that didn't turn out quite how I'd liked, I want to make sure I do this one right. I'm glad I bought it, the more I get into it I realize that outside of the botched paint job, it is in really nice condition. Better to be brought back to life rather than parted out...

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 07:58:27 AM »
I do not recommend removing the action. The parts are very easy to break, and difficult to find replacements. I personally would wrap the action with newspaper or other paper and tape it in place with painter's tape.

You only need o lightly scuff sand the paint, not remove it.

Try goof off on the key tops. I do not think alcohol will remove the paint.

Meguier's plastic cleaner works great on key tops,but you need a little elbow grease and it smells bad.

Cleaning reeds is tricky. A light oil will clean them up, but if not completely wiped off, can cause scratchy noises, or drip or splash around.....I do not recommend using anything else on the reeds, and never, ever sand them. ( only the solder for tuning)


BTW, when I painted the last 140, I believe I used about 1 1/2 cans of the paint I mentioned before. One is not enough, two is too much.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline MikeH

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 02:55:14 PM »
Awesome, thanks so much for the advice. I will just cover up the action then, while I am working on it. I'll try to tape it down nicely to hold everything in place. I checked out my local Orchard hardware store and they had the paints you talked about... I'm thinking of going with 'Mineral Brown', it's a bit darker and I think would look really nice. I will be sure to post a before and after pic when I am done.

Offline MikeH

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 03:42:25 AM »
I looked closer into the Stone Spray paints by American Accents, I did not realize they are actually textured. Does this look strange on the Wurlitzer? I saw a couple photos online of some random finished projects that used Sienna Stone, and it looked pretty bumpy. I was thinking of using 'Pebble', but I saw a photo of it used on a cabinet, and it made it look like real stone. Are there other paints I can look into that have a speckled/textured look, but are flat and smooth? I tried looking online but everything I found seems to be this real textured type of paint.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 08:00:57 AM »
The original 140 finish is bumpy, this is why i used it... It looks awesome on wurlis. Test some on a scrap piece of wood and let it dry......It may not be as bumpy as you think.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 08:03:02 AM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline MikeH

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2011, 12:22:54 AM »
Do you have pics of the ones you refinished? I'm really interested to see how they turned out. Plus, I just like seeing pics of Wurlys in general, haha.

Offline MikeH

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2011, 02:12:03 AM »
Ah, and another question I remembered, does anyone make repros of the little Wurlitzer logo decal that goes on the right front of the piano? I just watched a Vintage Vibe video of a 120 they refurbished, and part of it was a new logo. But nothing for sale like that on their site.

I also need to keep an eye out for a 140 music sheet holder. Not a big deal, but would be nice to have it for the piano.

Offline MikeH

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2011, 02:40:40 AM »
Here's a couple of 'in progress' pics so you can get an idea of what I am working with. I should have got at least one pic with the top still black, for maximum cringe-worthy status.




Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2011, 07:51:51 AM »
Mike, I need to look on my old computer, I think I have at least one photo. PM me your email address,though. I am not set up to post pictures here and have no clue how. (Im old)
Your keys appear to be in nice shape- be sure that they are numbered and out of the piano and far away from overspray....

Have you found any dates stamped inside? Look on and under the keys. Usually on one end or the other.

If I remember correctly, the 140B was made from 1962-1967 or 68 which is when the 200's (nonA) made their appearance...

« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 05:57:24 PM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline MikeH

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2011, 09:03:11 PM »
There are a couple keys stamped '41120619'. The left side area of where the keys sit (balance rail?) is marked 40915, and the right is marked 41007. Also, I still have the Wurlitzer badge from the back and I was able to clean it up just fine, the serial number is 27964.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2011, 10:17:42 PM »
 For some reason, the ep serial numbers were not tracked by year like the acoustic piano numbers are.... All I can tell you was that model was made from 1962-1967 or 68 like I said before.

Date code info updated below by Docwurly.....

« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 05:56:01 PM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline SlowMonroe

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2011, 05:02:19 PM »
I’m veneering my 140B in black walnut, with a black top. I’ll post pics when it’s done.


Offline cinnanon

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2014, 07:48:51 PM »
I recently spray painted a 140B that was UGLY with the Rustoleum Sienna Stone like steveo said, and it looks FANTASTIC!! Amazing stuff!! Reminds me more of the 112 look than the 140B look. I thought 140B's were a solid light tannish color, not a textured look.

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Suggestions for restoring/refinishing 140b wood case?
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2020, 08:21:31 AM »
There are a couple keys stamped '41120619'. The left side area of where the keys sit (balance rail?) is marked 40915, and the right is marked 41007. Also, I still have the Wurlitzer badge from the back and I was able to clean it up just fine, the serial number is 27964.

Unfortunately there is no way to date it by any of those numbers. For some reason, the ep serial numbers were not tracked by year like the acoustic piano numbers are.... All I can tell you was that model was made from 1962-1967 or 68 like I said before.

This is a digression from the actual topic, and perhaps beating a dead horse, but when I happen across outdated information here, I correct it.

We now know that you can date a piano using precisely these numbers.   The keys stamped "41120619" are YMMDDxxx, and the 5 digit stamp is YMMDD.  So the number on the keys means November 20, 1964.

(140B's were made from late 1964 through September 1968, though 1968's are uncommon.  The earlier 140 was 1962-early 1963, and the 140A was made from 1963 through later 1964.)

The original Wurlitzer paints were Zolatone.  But if you look around, you might see others talk about why they are hard to use for a single job, so finding alternatives is legit.



Here's my page on dating your Wurly:

www.DrWurly.com