Piano Makeover

Somehow, I was lucky enough to enough to inherit my Grandma Jean’s old piano.  I grew up practicing my lessons on this beauty and it sure has seen plenty of use over the years.  Because of the sentimental value, I was terrified to paint it.  However, as you can see below, it was in desperate need of some TLC…

BEFOREIMG_1560IMG_1555IMG_1546I finally bit the bullet and gave it the makeover it craved, and boy am I glad I did…

AFTERpiano (1 of 1)pianoclose (1 of 1)

There’s nothing like a bit of paint (plus a whole lot of patience!) to completely transform a surface.  I am so happy with the results and glad I finally got the guts to do it!


Now backing up a bit, I actually painted this entire piano not once, BUT TWICE…which for sure means there is something seriously wrong with me.  Despite being slightly insane, I definitely learned a few things to share with anyone considering a similar project.

I used a white/cream paint the first time.  That’s a mistake.  Unless you don’t have kids.  If you have children and those children have fingers, just know your white piano will never look clean.  It was always just dingy and gross looking.  After just one year, I picked up the can and brush and did the whole thing over.  I LOVE the soft greige color ‘French Linen’ by Annie Sloan.  I used the same color on THIS BOOKCASE and also our bathroom vanities.

The first time around, I took the piano completely apart.  It was terrifying and there were WAY more parts and pieces and bolts and nuts than I could have ever guessed.IMG_1589.jpgI took pictures of the piano step by step as I took it apart so I could (hopefully) remember how to put it all back together.  I also labeled over 10 different baggies to keep all the bolts separated, according to what part of the piano they belonged to.  It was intense, lots of work, and I wouldn’t recommend it.  Yes it was easier to paint all the parts of the piano this way, but not worth the trouble.

My second time around I just couldn’t bring myself to do all that.  I simply taped off the keys, lifted off the top piece, and taped the pedals!  I did have to remove the page holder and the key cover, but that was it! I just taped off where I didn’t want paint and painted away.  I HIGHLY recommend the second method, it worked out just as nice and saved me so much stress and time.

A few more tips:

  1.  I used a brush in all the corners and detailed areas and a small dense foam roller everywhere else.  I’ve found this the best technique for leaving little to zero brush strokes on your finished piece.
  2. I applied 2 coats of chalk paint.  I have never tried painting furniture with anything but chalk paint so I have no recommendations on other types of paint.  I can say that I did ZERO sanding or prepping at all and the chalk paint covered and adhered like a charm!
  3. I applied 1 coat of clear wax, which I highly recommend.  Sometimes after a long project, you may be tempted to skip this step.  Learn from my mistakes and do not skimp on the wax.  It gives a nice protective coat from those grubby little fingers, water marks, nicks and dents, etc.

I also gave our piano bench a much needed makeover and will share my seat cushion tutorial soon.IMG_1563.jpgbench (1 of 1)As always, send any questions my way and happy painting!

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