Sep 19, 2012

{piano painting}

i completely disregarded the general upkeep of our home this past week & devoted all of my precious nap time hours to transforming our piano with a bit of paint.

all in all, this was probably a 6-7 hour project. i didn't go totally crazy with the sanding, though, & i am actually glad with how it turned out!
you see the before up there? that was the very first thing you saw walking into our front door. now, some context - our entry room is the darkest in our home, & we have all hardwood floors that are exactly the same color as the piano, leaving our entry room looking a little blah. we have been talking about painting this piano for several months. ever since it was given to us, actually, but couldn't decide on the perfect color. something bright was our original plan. but a pop of color that we wouldn't get tired of? not so easy. & pianos aren't just things you want to paint every day, so we needed to be absolutely sure.
after toying around with all sorts of colors, we ended up with a dark slate gray. valspars mark twain gray brick in satin {i'm very glad we did satin, too, by the way. a semi-gloss would have been much much too shiny for me, at least}.

i looked in multiple places for tutorials on painting pianos & they were all across the board. one of them, i believe, even dedicated their garage for a month to the painting & drying process. not for me! i am, firstly, not patient enough to let anything dry for a month, & we weren't about to move this beast around. we just had to make it work, in a few days in our home. & it really wasn't so bad of a process.

you will need:
-masking or blue painting tape
-1 quart of primer {less, really, so if you have leftovers from anything, use it}
-1 quart of paint
-100 grit sanding blocks
-a pack of 4" foam rollers, handle & paint tray
-small brush for touch up painting

the steps i used are as follows:

1. remove music stand, piano top {i didn't do this because i was lazy, but it would be best if you did. i still need to do a bit of touching up paint because of it} & tape around the foot pedals & key edges. i did a not so awesome diagram below of where i taped. you can see, too that & left one little strip of wood behind the keys. as i was looking for examples of other painted pianos, this was often left just because its so difficult to paint back there & to flatten your keys to do it. & it doesn't bother me. i wondered if it would, but its a personal preference.
2. i did all of this indoors, so i opted not to use an electric sander {can you imagine?!}. instead, i just lightly buffed the entire surface with a hand block sander from lowes. you will see them with all of the sanding pads. it is literally a 3"x6" block with sandpaper on all sides & it works great for indoors. i would get 100 grit or so. then wipe all residual dust off & prep your area to paint.

3. start with primer. we had a gray tinted primer left from another project that worked perfectly for us. i also used a foam roller. we used these to paint the cabinets in our kitchen. it seems to leave a much smoother finish to me. i would definitely say use this over a brush. definitely. it goes much quicker, too.

4. do a second coat of primer now. this is optional, but i think it really made a difference. our piano had a few nicks & things that we wanted to cover & this did the trick pretty well. you can sand in between if you feel like you need to, as well. i didn't.
5. finish off with two coats of your paint. i let each coat of gray dry a day in between & did both coats of primer in the same afternoon.
i'm really happy with how it turned out for us. i was originally planning on distressing it a bit afterwards, but now i'm not so sure after all...

p.s. i'm sorry if i've completely horrified anyone for painting over such pretty wood, this just works for us better!


  1. That looks incredible!! Great Job!

  2. its perfect! also, I'm obsessed with that painting above it.

  3. Even if I really wanted to - I don' think i'd ever actually attempt this is as it seems so difficult! You've made it look incredibly easy though.. and the black looks great!

    1. Lauren, totally understand. We were putting this off for months because I was scared to start! It REALLY wasn't that bad, though!

  4. can you tell us more/show us pictures of the painting above the piano?! i think that really makes it! :)

    1. Britt - good idea :) I think I'm going to do a house tour, so I'll be sure to include that in it...

  5. That's awesome, it looks completely different. By the way, love your globe.

  6. Thank you for sharing such valuable information and knowledge. It is very useful and informative. It would be great to see more updates from you soon.

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