I wanted a painted piano showstopper. What I had was a “suffering piano.”
It is a phrase from the movie “Shine” about David Helfgott which is one of my favorite movies that I use to play in my Music Appreciation class.
I discovered that a painted piano may ease my suffering.
Looking at it from far away it was OK but up close you could see the water marks, paint discoloration, and sections where the paint had bubbled from being too close to a heating vent.
I bought my piano when I was a starving musician. Literally. The first couple of years as a new music teacher were not financially fruitful but I really wanted a piano in my apartment. The former music teacher at the school where I worked tuned pianos so I asked him to keep an eye out for one I could afford.
I bought it for $100. It cost me $300 to move it. I was thrilled to have my first piano!
It was ugly on the outside but it had the most beautiful touch and sounded amazing when played. Its size naturally commanded attention in most rooms but the sight of it was so unattractive that I found myself finding ways to try to hide the piano instead.
Over the past 20 years that I have owned it, I would cover it with table cloths and serve food on it during parties to disguise how unattractive it was. But not anymore – look at my painted piano now!
In our last house, it served as TV stand since space was very limited. A design choice that still makes me cringe but isn’t that what happens to ugly pieces of furniture?
When I stepped away from teaching music, I considered selling the piano until one day when we could put money aside for a really pretty one that would beg me to play. But, I am sentimental and just couldn’t get rid of it. I knew there was hope.
Realistically, college funds, vacations, and a really big couch were going to win over a new piano so I sighed and put that “suffering” thing in our new house hoping for a solution….someday.
Then, I came across a blog that had a painted piano.
Call me a snob, but at first I totally dismissed the idea. I’ve seen so many ugly upright castoffs in the hallways of theaters that have been painted hideous shades of leftover paint from a set and I thought, nope I can’t do it.
Then left brain suggested painting it.
My wheels started turning.
With each piece of furniture that I painted and revived like the dining room table and the dining room hutch I considered the piano which was by far the biggest object in our house that still remained an eye sore.
The musician in me still had to ask a few questions. Could the paint distort the sound of the piano? Did I really think paint could improve the looks of the piano? Could the finish of the painted piano be completed without major prep work? (I was not committed to spending hours on this project at this time)
Again, another year went by.
Then, I could not take it anymore.
I sat down one night and started a pinterest board to look for painted piano ideas. I found a few inspirations and the deciding factor for me was the fact that many people used Annie Sloan chalk paint because it requires little to no prep.
At first I thought I might use a pop of color like this beauty in the music room like East Coast Creative featured on her blog.
Then I considered redoing my piano like this masterpiece that I found on Pinterest posted by Messiah.edu. This piano stood out in my search. The exquisite painted Victorian flowers and the color combinations is perfection. It was stunning but entirely too involved for me at this stage but I couldn’t let the image go.
I checked with my piano tuner who said that paint wouldn’t change the sound of the piano and with all lights green……..I finally gave the suffering piano a well-deserved facelift.
I am becoming the queen of compromise or at least figuring out a better solution (i.e. less expensive or time consuming) to still get what I envision in my head.
To dress up the piano lid I matched the existing room decor by using a stencil from Folk Art that you can purchase here. It added an elegance to the blank surface of the plain painted piano lid.
For the stencil, I used a wonderful paint product by Modern Masters. A 6 oz. container of Matte Metallic in Gold covered the brick fireplace as well as several frames and the stencil on the piano. I love this paint line. You can click here to find a retailer near you who sales this amazing line of metallic paint.
The Modern Master Paint Series is a complete contrast to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I will be doing a comparison of paint and the many things that you can paint with this metallic line that is amazing in another post.
I hope that you have been inspired by this transformation from a suffering piano into a show stopping painted piano decor piece.
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Here’s to finding the right tool for your job,
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