Making over a piano is beyond a doubt my favorite project so far. I confess it was a ton of work (sorry folks, this one involves sanding!), but every bead of sweat was worth it! I get compliments on it every time someone comes over. Hey, an aqua piano is a pretty good conversation starter. And my daughter has begun piano lessons on it. I love how it turned out so much! If you are thinking about giving your current piano a face lift, I say do it! It was so worth it!
Here it is before and after:
This is a 4 part process:
Part 1: Take piano apart into several pieces. I did NOT take out all the keys, however, you can if you want to. The keys are generally numbered. I just covered and taped mine up since I was trying to avoid extra work. Take the top lid and the key lid off. Protect the insides folks! Cover and tape every thing up good and tight. You don't want the instrumental parts to get paint or dust from all the sanding in them. Each piano style is different so it may look different when you do this to yours.
Part 2: Sand that piano down! Every nook and cranny needs to be sanded smooth so that the old finish is sanded off. It should be nice and smooth to the touch. There are so many angles and sides to a piano. Make sure to get them all.
Part 3: Paint! I used Valspar Paint and Primer in One in the color Sea Kiss. Satin Finish. You will need to paint a coat, let it dry, then lightly sand it smooth. repeat this step for several layers. This helps it adhere and become virtually chip proof. It also helps it become smooth and streak free.
Part 4: Top coat! I used my every trust worthy Polycrylic in Gloss finish. This is a very important step as it seals the paint and protects from dings, dents, and chips.
Here's what you will need:
1) A sander(I used an orbit), and sand paper of various grits. The higher the number the finer the finish. For instance 80grit is for sanding off the old finish vs 220 for sanding each layers of paint. You can experiment to what grit works best for you.
2) Tape and paper to cover the exposed areas.
3) Paint rollers and brushes.
4) Your choice of paint color.
5) Primer if you don't use a paint and primer in one.
6) Clear top coat.
7) Additive for the paint called Floetrol. It slows paint drying time down so you can't see the strokes. Great stuff!
Are you ready? On your mark...Get set... GO!!!!
Make sure you are in a well ventilated area! Take your piano apart. Make sure to save the hardware to the side so it doesn't get lost.
Tape it all up. Make sure the majority of dust and paint will be sealed out. Be gentle around the keys.
Sand it down. Don't be afraid! This takes a bit of time, but its really not that bad. Be gentle on the front legs as for most pianos they are not actually weight baring.
Bust out those paint rollers and brushes and start painting. If you are using a separate primer, paint a good 2 layers on first. Then paint. You can add the Floetrol to the paint by following its directions. Be patient as you let each layer dry. Then sand it gently smooth. repeat until it looks as you desire.
Clear Top coat! This was by far the hardest step. I do not advise adding Floetrol as it can cloud up the clear coat finish. Polycylic is water based and dries fast. While this is a good thing, it means you can see your brush strokes if you get hasty. So small areas at a time and be patient. If you have a paint sprayer, that would be ideal, but for those of us who don't, little bits at a time. Polycrylic is very wet and runny. I actually solicited some help from my neighbor who works with wood on a regular basis. I was trying to go too big too fast. He helped save the day! So trust me, do it right and you win every time. :)
Let it dry and cure before you set anything on it. I let mine sit for two weeks before I brought it in the house.
Lastly, with polycrylic or any type of clear coat for that matter, it will get "burned" if it gets too much direct sun. This means that it will yellow. Darker colors are less noticeable obviously, but if you go lighter, keep it mind.
I really hope I'm not forgetting anything...
This project took me a few weeks. I'd go out and work on it step by step. Bit by bit. In the end, the time I put in returned the favor by sitting in my living area looking cutesy!
My next project is to paint the wall behind the piano and do a new picture gallery. Where one project ends another begins!
If you have any questions, send em my way! I'd love to hear from you on your piano make-overs.