Being Brave, and the Blue Piano.
*Some of the supplies for this project were generously donated by my friends over at DecoArt. All experiences and opinions are my own.This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure here.*
My usual blogging style is more a “get to the point” style. I don’t very often share the more personal side of a project. I hope you don’t mind if I do this time. I’ll start by saying that I’ve contemplated this project for several years now. When the ideas started to plague me, I pushed them aside more than once. I was not the kind of person who would do something so daring, so controversial. Once, I mentioned my idea to one of my children. If you never want an idea, or thought to come to light, don’t mention it to a child. Standing in the living room one day, that child blurted out randomly to a visiting friend “Mom wants to paint the piano!” I’ll never forget the look of horror and disgust that crossed my friends face as she blurted out “Don’t you dare!”
I will be honest, her statement gave me a great amount of pause; at first. There was even a moment where I completely abandoned the thought of painting my piano all together. She was right. I didn’t dare. Why would I paint a perfectly good piano? She was not the only one that voiced her disapproval at a painted piano in the years I contemplated the project. I found that a great many people have an opinion about why you should never paint a piano.
For most of my adult life I have suffered from Depression and Anxiety. Combined with my natural state as a people pleaser, I always worry about what someone else might think. More than once the opinions of others have caused sleepless nights. My home was a reflection of my desire to skate by under the radar. It was boring, neutral, and devoid of any kind of color that might be viewed as garish, or daring. A few years ago after some unfortunate events, I adopted a new personal mantra … “Be Brave.” Brave is not a word I ever would have used to describe myself personally. Until recently. I am brave. I am unique. I don’t have to hide who I am, especially not in my own home. I like bright, happy, cheerful things. I like color. My brave started with a shed. I painted the ceiling in my shed purple. Not a quiet, pastel purple. A bold, bright purple. It made me happy! Then I painted the dogs bed turquoise. And it was all downhill from there. Slowly, I’m finding new ways to brighten my world, and make my home happy to look at.
So, I painted the piano.
Our little starter piano was a gift from a relative. It’s a basic upright piano. It isn’t falling apart, but it also isn’t the most quality piece ever. We love it anyway and I love listening to my husband and my children play it. It has seen better days. One of the legs leans, no matter how you try to pull or push it to stand straight, it always leans to the side a little.
The particle board body of the piano, with the orangey oak veneer was scuffed up, and even had a few chunks missing. Moving a heavy piano is difficult, dents and dings are bound to happen.
I love this piano, but I didn’t like looking at it, and it didn’t match my “style” even a little. There was a time in the past when I wouldn’t have cared, and would have left it alone. But I’m past that now.
This is a craft blog, and I’ve bored you enough with my battle to arrive at this tutorial. So now I want to share with you what I learned about painting a piano, from the technical side.
The first step was to choose a color and an appropriate paint for the job. For me the color was an obvious choice. But I wasn’t sure what kind of paint I wanted to use. A great many of the piano painting tutorials I read used chalk paint. I’ve used chalk paint for many projects before, it was a viable option. Chalk paint covers great, and sometimes in as little as one or two coats. I didn’t think that I wanted to take all that time to paint the piano, and then have to go back and wax it though.
After some reading, I came to the conclusion that I would use a Satin Enamel paint from my friends over at DecoArt. This paint was originally made for kitchen cabinets, so I knew that it should work ok on the oak veneer of my piano as well. I liked the slight shine of the satin finish this paint offered, and it was supposed to be very durable once cured. I selected the color “True Teal.” I thought I might want to add some stenciled details for a little something extra and rather than adding a contrasting color, I thought it might be nice to use instead a different paint finish and as similar a color as I could. I got some Maxx Gloss in “Carribean Sea” which matched the “True Teal” almost perfectly but has a high gloss sheen. Sometimes it’s difficult to bring to life the vision you had in your head, but in this instance, the vision and the reality worked perfectly!
The first step was to wash the piano well to make sure it was clean. I gave it just a slight sanding to help the paint adhere better, and then I covered the necessary parts with painters tape. I taped the keys off completely, and around the foot pedals. I removed the music stand so I could paint it easier. I didn’t move the piano off the wall where it lives, in fact I didn’t move it at all! I simply slid some cardboard under the piano to avoid getting paint on the carpet, and I was careful not to flick paint on the wall.
The first coat didn’t cover as well as I hoped it would. I’ve never painted a piece of furniture with any paint type that didn’t require at least two coats though.
The second coat went on much better, and covered almost completely.
I thought two 8oz pots of the satin enamel should be enough to cover the piano and the bench. The piano required three coats of paint, and each coat took almost an entire 8oz pot of paint. I ran out and purchased a third pot of True Teal Satin Enamel to finish the piano.
I decided that I did not want to paint the bench the same color as the piano after all. So while I was at Hobby Lobby grabbing one more pot of Satin Enamel, I grabbed a little pot of Chalky Finish paint in “Escape” and a yard of a fun fabric to match the varying shades of teal/blue. Chalk paint covers great and it took less than half the pot of paint to paint the piano bench.
I stapled some new fabric over the piano bench seat so it would match the piano. It didn’t take much fabric, or effort and made such a huge difference!
After some thought, I decided that I wanted to add some character to the piano without being overly obvious about it. The shade of the Maxx Gloss paint was almost exactly the same as the True Teal Satin Enamel, but it has this great high gloss sheen. I used this lovely 18×18 stencil from DecoArt and the lovely Glossy paint to add a design to the lower front panel of the piano. It’s subtle, but a fun little bit of character.
I use repositionable spray adhesive to adhere the stencil to the surface for easier working. Let each stencil dry completely before moving to the next panel.
Right up until the piano was finished I could hear my friends voice in my head saying “Don’t you dare!” and I’ll admit I was not sure I wouldn’t regret painting my piano. Until the piano was finished and I was so relieved that it matched the vision in my head, and I didn’t just dare, I loved it!
I don’t regret painting my piano. It’s so bright and happy now, and every time I walk past it (all day long) I smile. The furniture you keep in your home should make you happy, whether you prefer the oak wood, or the bright paint you should dare to make your things your own even if someone else might disagree.
I am getting better at not worrying so much what someone else might think. I was brave, and now my piano is blue. And it makes me happy! At the end of the day, it’s just paint… someday if I get tired of the blue, I can always change it again!
Have you ever changed something in your home even if people thought you shouldn’t?
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