Painting a Piano with Milk Paint

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

This piano used to belong to my grandparents.

When we last had it tuned, the piano tuner said it was made in 1903, which made me clap my hands with glee. Somewhere along the line, someone decided to cut the front off and give it a slanted front cover and I can tell it has been painted three different times.  Once mint green, then a butter yellow and finally a gold glaze.

I am guessing painted pianos where kind of living on the edge back then, so I’m thinking Grandma and Grandpa were trend setters! I’m not doing really any yellow (see before) in my house right now, so I decided to change things up.

Here is one of my inspiration pics from

Vintage Whites Blog

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

 

There are more painted pianos on one of my Pinterest boards.

Before

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

I have a thing for milk paint and I wanted a custom color to match this little vintage coat. I ended up having to mix a couple of colors to get it.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

This post contains affiliate links to products I know and love. Click here to read a full disclosure.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

Today, I want to share with you my step by step process for transforming a piano with milk paint or any paint, for that matter.

But, before we get started I must share a fabulous ebook that I recently found on the subject of painting furniture!

It will take all the questions out of the process and products that are available out there.

How to Paint a Piano, Chalk paint, painted piano, home improvement project, Upcycling, milk paint, furniture makeover, reveal, before and after to Paint a Piano, Upcycling, milk paint, furniture makeover, reveal, before and after

Click on the image above to order.

And now on to the tutorial. . .

Materials Needed

Tutorial

Takes about 15 hours.

  • Clean of the surfaces to be painted with a gentle degreaser like Mrs. Meyers or something similar.
  • Disassemble piano, if possible.
    • I took the front top and bottom covers off.Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

This caused 45 mins of fascination and piano playing from the kids!

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

And a very interesting piano lesson when the teacher arrived.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

  • Quickly sand with 220 grit sand paper.
  • Wipe off all the dust with a rag and then a tack cloth.
  • Follow directions to mix paint (if using milk paint).
    • Remember to add in the bonding agent and subtract this amount from the water requirements.
  • Paint your first coat and let it dry.
    • I saved the key area for last, I really didn’t need to tape them off because I went slow, but I did put some paper down to keep the dust out of the keys when I was sanding.
  • Sand with 220 grit sand paper, remove the dust, paint and dry again.
  • When you are satisfied with the coverage, sand down one more time with 400 grit sand paper.
  • Finish with a finishing wax
    • Work in small sections and really work the wax into the paint until it is satiny smooth.
    • I like to let it cure for a day and then buff it with a soft rag to make it really shine.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

Milk paint has pigments in it that become almost iridescent when you sand it.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

That and the combination of the finishing wax make for the most beautiful, velvety finish.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

I wish you could see it for yourself, the pictures don’t quite do justice!

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

 

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

 

 

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

I framed a song from one of my Grandpa’s piano books.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

I imagine him playing it for my Grandma.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

 Painting a piano is not as hard as you might think, use this tutorial to transform any piano for a fresh, new look.

For those of you following along on my living room makeover we are moving right along and have the walls done now.

Sharing at these parties!

 

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28 Comments

  1. February 9, 2017 / 9:58 AM

    Beautiful! That color is perfection! I have a piano that I got for free. It was completely destroyed on the inside and now I am in the process of making it into a desk. I wanted to paint it but I wasn’t quite certain what I wanted to use. I think I know now. Fantastic!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 10, 2017 / 5:34 AM

      This makes me so happy, good luck, Kirsten!

  2. February 9, 2017 / 10:24 AM

    Wow! Your piano looks amazing! What a gorgeous color you created. Thank you for sharing my eBook. xx

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 10, 2017 / 5:34 AM

      You are so welcome, Danielle, you should be very proud of your labor of love! And thank you for your sweet compliments.

  3. Brenda
    February 9, 2017 / 11:16 AM

    I love old uprights. They can be such a focal point in a room, especially a room without a fireplace. And the long strings make them so lovely to listen to. Yours is lovely in its new paint. Eager to see your room. Paint is such a game changer!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 10, 2017 / 5:36 AM

      I couldn’t agree more! The room is moving right along, we work on it every day, can’t wait to share more. And, yes, between paint, fabric and Craigslist, an entire house can be transformed! So fun!!

  4. Tonya
    February 9, 2017 / 1:40 PM

    The piano is dreamy! And Grandpa’s framed song, so so sweet! But that little green pot has stolen my heart. Did you paint it? If so, would you mind sharing the name of the paint? Love it all!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 10, 2017 / 5:38 AM

      Tonya, I can tell we are kindred spirits! So, the pot is just a regular ol’ terra cotta pot, that cost a dollar or two. I did paint it t give it that aged look. Spray paint gold, paint in white milk paint and then green milk paint and distress it all. I am planning to do a quick tutorial on the blog soon, you know, with spring coming and all!

      • Tonya
        February 10, 2017 / 2:44 PM

        Kindred spirits, indeed! Looking forward to the tutorial. Can’t wait to have a little green pot of my own!

        • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
          February 14, 2017 / 8:15 AM

          I will get that done before Easter! xoxo

  5. February 10, 2017 / 5:45 AM

    Wow. What a treasure to have an heirloom piece like that. The interior is gorgeous. Love the white milk paint, too. It really brightens the piano up.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 14, 2017 / 8:16 AM

      Thank you, Leslie, don’t you just love family pieces? We are really loving the new look, too.

  6. Dana
    February 10, 2017 / 8:19 AM

    Sarah,
    Gorgeous! I have an old upright that needs a redo — same era. Did you only need the 3/4 cup milk paint to paint the enitre piece? Just wondering how many bags I will need to order. Thank you! Dana

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 14, 2017 / 8:17 AM

      I think I mixed up that quantity three or four times. But, the larger package of the milk paint is what you want to buy, one whole package will be enough for a piano.

  7. February 11, 2017 / 7:36 AM

    I love how old the piano is and it has been in your family. What a treasure. Milk paint is such a fantastic choice to give the piano an update and yet keep its vintage character. It looks lovely.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 14, 2017 / 8:18 AM

      You are the sweetest, Debra! I have been wanting to paint that piano for years, it looks so clean and elegant now. I just love working with milk paint!

  8. Tanya Hulbert
    February 12, 2017 / 9:03 PM

    I love how the piano turned out! It looks amazing! What a great way to not only preserve it but to make it a real focal point in the room.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 14, 2017 / 8:19 AM

      Yes, that is what I was going for! I good focal point, you are such good taste, my friend. Can’t wait to share your home on the blog.;)

  9. Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com
    February 14, 2017 / 3:05 PM

    What a beautiful piece Sarah! I’m going to paint ours this spring… thanks for your tutorial! Did you lightly distress the edges? The one picture seems to show that. Thank you!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 14, 2017 / 4:19 PM

      Kendra, I really tried to not have the chippy/ distressed look on this piece by mixing a bonding agent with the paint. But, when I did the final sanding a couple spots got a little thin. You can do whatever you like best.

  10. February 17, 2017 / 7:55 AM

    Saving to my furniture board, it turned out beautiful! We would love to have you at our To Grandma’s house we go link party that opened this Wednesday morning and lasts all week!

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 24, 2017 / 6:52 PM

      Thank you for pinning, I always appreciate it when people do that. And,it looks like I missed the link party.:( But, thank you so much for inviting me.

  11. February 23, 2017 / 7:27 AM

    Super pretty- love how that turned out.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      February 24, 2017 / 7:01 PM

      Ahh, thanks, Courtney, that means a lot to me!

  12. February 25, 2017 / 4:48 AM

    Pianos are beautiful. I love your inspiration and your piano turned out beautifully. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party. We love having you.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      March 11, 2017 / 12:21 AM

      Thank you for all your kind words and for hosting such a fun party!! You are always so encouraging.

  13. Cathy
    February 26, 2017 / 9:11 AM

    The new color is divine. Any suggestions to attin that color for wicker? And my piano has its original stained olive color green. Would your technique work or are there additional dos/dont’s.

    • Sarah | She Holds Dearly
      March 11, 2017 / 12:24 AM

      The process would be the same for wicker, I just am not sure how you would seal it. It seems like the wax would be hard to use with wicker.

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