A painted piano showstopper


Does Your Piano Need a Makeover?

A piano makeover is perfect for any suffering piano.   Transform  your room with a fresh coat of paint on your piano.  

I wanted a piano showstopper.  What I had was a “suffering piano.”

ugly piano that needs painted

It is a phrase from the movie “Shine” about David Helfgott which is one of my favorite movies that I would play in my Music Appreciation class.

Before you read any further, if you are interested in painting a large furniture piece, like a piano, download our free checklist to help you get started.

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 watermarks, paint discoloration, and sections where the paint had bubble marks from being too close to a heating vent.  This piano makeover was going to take some thought!

beat up piano

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 did want a piano in my apartment.  The former music teacher at the school where I was working tuned pianos so I asked him to keep an eye out for one I could afford.

This beauty was mine for $100.  It cost me $300 to move it.  I was thrilled to have my first piano!

Function over Beauty

It was ugly on the outside but it had the most beautiful touch and sounds amazing when you play it.  Its size naturally commands attention in most rooms but the sight of it was so unattractive that I found myself finding ways to hide the piano instead.

Over the past 20 years that I have owned it, I would cover it with tablecloths and serve food on it during parties to disguise how unattractive it was. But not anymore – look at this painted piano now!  A piano makeover made the entire room come to life.

painted piano with chalk paint

Focal Point for Rooms with Pianos

In our last house, it served as a 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?

After stepping away from teaching music, I did consider selling the piano until one day when we could put money aside for a really pretty one that would beg me to play it again.   But, I am sentimental and just couldn’t get rid of it.  I knew there was hope.  A well thought out piano makeover was long overdue.

painted piano with chalk paint front view

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.

Paint a Paino with Chalk Paint

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.  Could I really do a piano makeover on my piano?

painted piano annie sloan paint

With each piece of furniture that I painted and revived like the dining room table and the dining room hutch or a dresser, I would consider the piano which was by far the biggest object in our house that would remain an eyesore. 

Key Questions to Ask Before a Piano Makeover

The musician in me still had to ask a few questions. 

  1. Could the paint distort the sound of the piano? 
  2. Did I really think paint could improve the looks of the piano? 
  3. 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 poured over 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, a pop of color like this beauty in the music room like East Coast Creative featured on her blog would look amazing.

Green painted piano annie sloan chalk

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 are perfection.  It was stunning but entirely too involved for me at this stage but I couldn’t let the image go.   

stunning painted piano

The Green Light to move forward!

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.

It is an art to 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.

stencil for painted piano

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-ounce container of Matte Metallic in Gold covered the brick fireplace, several frames, and the stencil. I love this paint line.  You can click here to find a retailer near you who sells this amazing line of metallic paint.

modern masters paint on the fireplace

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.

Comment below and send me pictures of your latest creations.

Here’s to finding the right tool for your job,



painted piano showstopper

Paint your piano today

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16 Responses

  1. By far your greatest project! Kudos to the masterpiece that you created. It makes me wish that I could play the piano. You will have to play it for me when I return to Pa. You doing amazing things. But I always knew that.

  2. Sandy Vargo u r so amazing, that piano is beautiful and the seat to match. Your so talented. Luv luv ur blog, keep up the good work. I will be watching for ideas

    1. Let me know what projects you are interested in for Spring and Summer and we will tackle it! Thanks for all the support! It means so much to me.

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