Two cows and a piano courtesy of Magicman

When a cruise operator offered a unique restoration challenge, the company was happy to oblige
Two cows and a piano courtesy of Magicman
Magicman gave two cows a makeover as part of a recent restoration project onboard a cruise ship

By Mark Henderson |

This article was first published in the 2019 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

After 25 years in the repair and restoration business, we at Magicman like to think we’ve seen almost every kind of damaged surface imaginable and subsequently restored most of them beyond expectations. “Wow, we didn’t know you could do that” is a familiar response from our customers, but occasionally, we’re given a new challenge that truly is a first for us. This year, we were offered such a project which, when described, sounded like the opening line of a joke. We were asked if we could repair two cows and a piano onboard a cruise ship and if we could make that piano gold. How could we say no to the very definition of a golden opportunity? 

We were asked to attend to two life-size models of cows that were damaged in transit. Repairing in situ, whether in dry dock or when the ship is at sea, is normal practice for Magicman so the project was a perfect fit despite the unusual subject matter. We were also charged with painting the cows hot pink and bright yellow, the signature colours of the vessel they called home. This was easy because Magicman technicians are trained to mix RAL colours or unspecified colours by eye and they can match existing finishes, colours and patterns. They are also able to re-colour items with a completely new scheme. 

Magicman’s second task was to restore and re-colour a grand piano that had suffered from years of cover-ups with rattle-can spray paints. Our technicians had to complete over 200 repairs to the body work before the colour change process could begin using an electric paint gun. The cruise line wanted a gold piano with a mirror finish, so we repeatedly lacquered and polished it until we reached the desired outcome. The result was a very grand piano indeed. 

Mark Henderson is CEO of Magicman

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