I finally did it. I decided in 2011 to paint the piano. I couldn’t take it apart because I didn’t have the key to unlock the top. Well, I got that in 2012. And still it sat. I just had so many other things I wanted to do and I did not love the idea of moving the piano and spending all the time it would take to paint it.
Well, this week my husband was out of town at a trade show, and my sewing machine was broken. What else is a girl to do but paint a piano?!
Here’s a quick rundown of what I did (and why).
In case anyone wonders why I would want to paint a piano, this is what it looked like before. There wasn’t a single surface that didn’t have something like this on it. The top was so bad I couldn’t even dust it without bits of the finish flaking off. It had sat in a storage unit, uncovered and unprotected, for eight years before I got it, so it needed some serious attention.
I started by taking off every piece that could come off. I thought it would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to work around those parts, trying to get into each seam and crevice without painting it shut. I’m glad I did it this way. I also used tape around the keys so I didn’t have to worry about getting the paint on them. I did get a little on one of the keys, but it wiped right off, even after it had dried. I just wouldn’t have liked to scrape paint off all the keys if I hadn’t taped.
I put down a plastic sheet in the living room and used big cans from my food storage to lift the pieces up off the floor so I could get the edges. I gave all the pieces a light sanding. I didn’t worry too much since I was using chalk paint, but I wanted to make sure it was a smooth surface to start with. Then I mixed the paint.
I made my own chalk paint. I bought the red paint I wanted to use way back when I first decided to do it, but after reading a lot and thinking about it, I decided I wanted chalk paint. I looked up how to do it myself and ended up following these directions. I mixed 1/3 cup plaster of paris with a little warm water to dissolve it and added my paint. It worked perfectly. I also prayed that I would be careful because we have white carpet and it’s a rental house. So…
I did two coats, though if I’m being totally honest, I liked the look of it a little better after just one. I could see more of the woodgrain underneath after one coat. It had light and dark spots and looked a little more worn. After it dried I spent a lot of time waxing. A lot. I think painting it took me all of four hours for both coats, waxing about eight. I used this wax mostly because it was all they had at my local hardware store. And I was too lazy to wait for shipping. It worked well and didn’t smell bad.
I lightly distressed the edges before waxing. I didn’t go crazy with the sander, but I wanted a little character in there.
Yellow was the other color I seriously considered painting the whole thing, so I wanted to throw it in just a little. I decided to paint part of the bench the no.2 pencil yellow that I love.
Red Paint: Sherwin Williams Roasted Pepper
Yellow Paint: Ace Paint Casa de Oro
Wax: Howard Citrus Shield Paste Wax