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Piano Makeover with Chalk Paint

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Do you have an old piano that needs a makeover?  If so, this might be the project for you!  A friend gave us this wonderful piano and I decided to give it a quick update.  My daughter and I completed the entire project in a few hours and it completely changed the look of the piano.

Piano Makeover with Chalk paint-before:
Orange wood piano prior to painting with black chalk paint

Piano bench before using black chalk paint. Lots of scratches and just ugly!

See more furniture makeovers.

And here is the after!

Piano makeover with chalk paint
Piano makeover with black chalk paint
Piano Makeover black chalk paint clear wax

The most tedious part was taping off all of the keys and the foot pedals.  But, I would definitely recommend doing this as you certainly don’t want to get paint in between the keys.

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Piano makeover taping off the keys

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-plenty of drop cloths

-painter’s tape

-Chalk paint of choice (I used Amy Howard One Step Paint in black…This can be purchased at Ace Hardware).

-clear furniture wax (I used Amy Howard Clear Wax)

-paint brush for paint and one for wax (I used basic chip brushes.  

-a few cloths for buffing wax and wiping away any dust particles if you will be distressing (I used some of my husband’s old white t-shirts that he is no longer using.  These work great because they are free of lint).

-Fine grit sanding block if you plan to distress your piece

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  1. Wipe any dust from piano.  Chalk paint will stick to almost any surface, so no need to prime!
  2. Tape off keys and foot pedals.  Protect your floor surface with appropriate drop cloths.
  3.  Paint one light coat of chalk paint and allow to dry.  Dry time is FAST with chalk paint.  30 minutes is sufficient if you use a light coat.
  4. Paint second coat of chalk paint.  With black, two coats are all that was needed.  Should you opt to use a lighter color, you will need 3 coats for good coverage.
  5. Ensuring second coat is dry, lightly sand corners for a “distressed” look.  My daughter distressed the bench and I worked on the piano.  This is a really easy process that gives it a little more character.
  6. Wipe away any dust produced by the sanding block with lint-free cloths or an old t-shirt.
  7. Apply the clear wax, working in small sections.  Apply a small amount of wax with the chip brush and buff with lint-free cloth in the direction of the wood grain.  Follow the directions on the wax jar for specifics on wax application.  The wax gives it a very rich, deep black finish.  Some do not like the “look” that wax gives a piece of furniture.  I recommend trying this on a smaller, less important piece of furniture first!

That’s it!  Once again, here is the after:

Piano Makeover with Chalk Paint

You’ll notice that the dining room paint color changed as well!  I’ll save that for another post;)

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What do you think?  Have you tried chalk paint?  I have used it on so many things and love the results.  It’s forgiving and easy/quick to use.

Let me know your thoughts and thanks for stopping by! If you like it, pin it;-)

Piano Makeover, Piano makeover with chalk paint, Black chalk paint
How to paint a piano using chalk paint.
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  1. Hopefully the INSTRUMENT underneath the new pain was worth all that work! Getting an evaluation by a good piano technician first would tell you if it was in playable condition. Broken strings, worn out hammers or the action, cracked bridges, and a good tuning all cost money. Those smaller spinet pianos are “entrance level” pianos and unles meticulously maintained, can do more to discourage budding pianist than make them want to play piano rather than soccer.

  2. It looks great! How is the bench standing up to use? Has the paint or wax rubbed off the bench and onto clothing at all? I have some painted kitchen chairs that scratch a bit from jeans. Thank you for your idea!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Jane! I admit, I worried about this too, but it was no issue at all with paint or wax getting on clothes. I buffed the wax quite a bit on the bench, so it was pretty smooth. Once it fully cures, it’s set!

  3. Looks so good! Awesome job 🙂 this makes me want to do a DIY project now lol

  4. Big projects like this always make me so nervous that I’m going to get myself into something I can’t get out of. Way to go!

    1. Thank you, Dana! It used to make me nervous too, but if it’s something you’ve decided is in need of a change, just go for it. There is always more paint;-)

  5. I would have never thought to repaint a piano but it lookes AMAZING! I seriously am going to have to try this chalk paint you talk about! It sounds so fun to work with!

    1. Thank you, Judy! Yes, you can use chalk paint on kitchen cabinets. Personally, I wouldn’t finish with wax if I used it for kitchen cabinets. I would seal it with several coats of polycrylic. If you give it a try, I’d love to see your photos!

    1. Funny! I agree, getting children to practice anything is such a challenge. In regards to piano practice, I try to have my children practice 10-15 minutes a day and they are responsible for writing this on our calendar. That does seem to make them more accountable as the entire family can see if they’ve completed their practice time. I also think it’s helpful to have the piano teacher ask them specifically about their practice time. Good luck!

    2. Having taught piano lesson, give them music that they like. Don’t say “You have to practice”. Just tell them to play whatever they want for 5 minutes. Do this several times a day and they will set and play for longer because they enjoy it.

      1. Joy, your students were lucky to have you as a teacher, and you are spot on with your advice. It is lonely to go off by yourself to “practice” when you are young. I am also a teacher and encouraged parents to come in the room for a “concert”, even if the child can only play one line of Twinkle twinkle! Turn your phones off and pay attention to your child. Now and again bring in some refreshments to make it special. A cut up apple or some cheese crackers are all you need. The whole thing can take as little as 3 or 4 minutes of your time! Grandparents, neighbors and friends are usually eager to hear a little concert from a child they love. Children learn that their music can bring joy to others, feel encouraged & appreciated & everyone is smiling.
        Oh, and the piano is really cute too, nicely done!

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