Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Piano Painting Tutorial

Several people have commented on my piano transformation and have asked for a tutorial explaining how I painted it and the colors I used.  So, here goes!  I will give a list of colors and where I used them at the end of this tutorial.

Am I the only one who gets nervous about those first paint strokes over wood?  It is so drastic!  Rest assured unpainted-wood-lovers, this piano was in desperate need of a face lift!
First of all, I began by removing the hardware that holds the front piece out at an angle, (the piece that holds the music book).  Be sure to put the screws in a bag, mark them and put them in a safe place so you can reattach them later.

I also removed the bottom panel underneath the keyboard. Every piano is different so just take a look at yours to see what can be removed to simplify the prep and painting process. You will end up with a much nicer job if you take the time to do this.

Next comes sanding and priming.  The finished product is directly related to the prep work so don't skimp!

I vacuumed as I sanded to keep dust to a minimum.

I didn't try to work the primer into every nook and cranny because I wanted some dark to show through to give it some depth and character.

You will need to prime/paint the keyboard cover and wait till dry before trying to paint the inside of the cover.  Be sure to paint those edges!

Painted around emblem
I didn't want to paint over the brand/logo so I painted around it.  I didn't care for the bright gold lettering so I toned it down a bit by highlighting parts of the letters with champagne metallic paint using an artists brush. I also covered it with glaze which I will mention in a minute.  As you can see, it is a bit messy and I got paint on the hinge.  These are things that I will have to go back and clean up.  I should have taped off the hinge!

And yes~ there is a missing piece of ivory on the front of a key.  I tell myself that it only adds character.  Do you buy that?

I painted the inserts with my wall color and painted the embellishments and trim pieces with a metallic Champagne color.

After everything was painted, it looked flat and boring so I mixed a tiny bit of burnt umber craft paint into some glaze and painted over everything.  This step unified the three colors and made it look more cohesive.

To give the piano a more age worn appearance, I lightly sanded only the areas that would naturally receive the most wear and tear, (corners, raised areas, knobs, etc).  However- if you like a more heavily distressed piece, go for it!  It is all about what YOU love and what works with your decor.

I am not finished yet.  Hold on... I coated the entire piano with 2 coats of Polycrylic to protect the finish.

         And now~ ~ ~

                 for~ ~ ~

                     the FUN part!

It was finally that time that we all look forward to.  Decorating the finished piece!  Isn't it always the vision that we have in our heads that drives us to the finish line? Decorating is the cherry on top.

You can see the before and after pictures of the mirror here and here.
Most of the items that I decorated with were pulled from my Etsy shop inventory.

Now for the paint colors:

Everything I used was water based and flat or semi-gloss.

Piano color: Oops!  I pulled the can out and it is only marked with a #973 instead of a color.  It is by Benjamin Moore, Regal Aquavelvet,  Base 2 319 2A.  This is paint that I had left over from a painting project about 12 years ago!  Not sure if they even make it anymore.

Any grayish taupe color would work or you could pull a light color in from your decor. I think that works better anyway because the look is more harmonious.      

Trim pieces:  I painted the trim pieces with the same color as the piano and then went over them with MM Modern Masters metallic water based paint using a light handed approach.  I don't like to kill subtle variations with a solid coat of paint. It gives more dimension this way.

Inserts: Again, I do not have a name for the paint color.  It is a very light aqua that I had custom mixed at Benjamin Moore and used on my dining room walls.  My sister and I experimented with mixing baby blue,  yellow/gold and white that I had on hand and took it to Benjamin Moore to have them custom match it.

Below is a picture of the label.  If you are interested in getting this paint color, you could jot the formula down and take it to them to have it mixed. They will keep the formula on file for you and you can call it anything you like.  I named mine "Cindy's Dining Room 2010".

After the paint dried, I mixed a tiny bit of acrylic burnt umber paint (craft) into some Tintable Glaze.  I used Valspar from Lowes but you can use any brand of glaze.  I coated the entire piano and waited a day before finishing it off with two coats of Polycrylic. (This doesn't seem to yellow as much as polyurethane.)  I probably should have done 3 coats but I think that I fizzled out.

Be brave!  Don't let that old hulk of a piano intimidate you. I would love to see pictures of your piano makeovers!

                       Painting this piano and (mismatched) bench was part of Our Dining Room Transformation.

                                                                   Thanks for looking!

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