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Sing Me a Song, I'm the Piano... Lady?

Updated: May 21, 2019

Truth be told: the more and more posts that I add to this blog, the more and more I realize how annoying I would be to live with. I just can't sit still when it comes to DIY projects, and though most of them don't really affect my better half too much, there are the ones like this one and this one that he really gets roped into without much (ok fine, ANY) consent. Today's topic is another one of those. Sorry, honey. Thanks for putting up with me.

Let me just start off (because it somehow makes me feel less guilty about this whole project to put this thought out there) by saying that I have always loved the piano. I grew up with one, and someone in my house was often tapping the keys, and so they really give me all the warm and fuzzies. I have therefore always wanted to have one, but to me, purchasing a piano is really one of those things that will constantly keep getting pushed further and further down the list of "things to acquire." For the record, that list is large and in charge. And I don't know if that list will ever stop growing. Probably not. But anyways, back to the key subject at hand (see what I did there... key as in piano key. Ok, I'm sure you get it): the acquisition of a FREE piano for our home (mentioning that it was free makes me feel better too).

As it turns out, there are lots and lots of people online that, for whatever reason, no longer want their pianos. Those same people, as I discovered, also do not want to move their pianos out of their homes themselves. So, these people often post their pianos online for FREE with the one stipulation that the new owners move the piano themselves. Sounds like a pretty great deal, if you ask me. So, a couple of years ago, after I had made these discoveries, I began to try to claim one of the free pianos as my own. This, in itself, was not an easy task, because, as it turns out, I'm not the only moron who wants to try to move a free piano on their own. But eventually, after quite a few tries, I was able to "claim" a piano. Score! Now all I had to do was pick it up. After breaking the news to my husband (Heck no, I did not tell him about this previously), I arranged to borrow our neighbor's trailer and made a quick call asking my college-football-playing nephew (shout out to Colton) to help us. And by us, I mean that I wasn't actually involved in the physical movement of the piano, but that I went along for the ride.

Here's the previous owner and my nephew loading it onto the trailer. As you can see, they look super thrilled.

The good news was that the piano was only 40 minutes away, which, as it turns out, is actually a brutally long way to ride with a piano on a trailer behind your vehicle. The bad news was that the piano was currently living in a beautiful, old Chicago bungalow, that, like most Chicago bungalows, had about 8 steps up to the porch. You know that emoji of the monkey that's covering his eyes? That was me pretty much the entire time. ANYWAYS, all's well that ends well, and we {they} got the piano home and inside our house in no time.

The Project

Once home, I quickly decided that it needed to be painted. Who am I kidding here? We all know that I was going to paint that bad boy the entire time. I started the next day. There were obviously tons of options for how I was going to paint it, and though I did spend some time on that nerve wracking drive home checking out all the piano projects on Pinterest, I ended up choosing to work with supplies that I had on hand (SHOCKER).

The before. Didn't stay this way for very long.

For the white paint, I chose to use trim paint. I did this mostly because I had a bunch of trim paint in our basement, but also because it holds up well, is decently thick, and is bright white. I did sand down the piano and bench briefly so that the paint had something to adhere to. This step will save you from your paint chipping later, so in this case it was worth it to spend the extra time. What's also worth the extra time is putting on more than one coat. I myself did 3. I wanted to make sure that there weren't any transparent spots, especially since I didn't end up using a top coat on the white parts.

For the top of the piano and bench, I chose to use the left over gel stain that I used on our banisters. If you go through that post, you will have way more detailed directions, but gel stain is fantastic- little prep involved and it produces excellent results.

As I mentioned previously, I did NOT use a top coat on the white parts. I have found that poly top coats often give a yellowish tint to white paint, and that was the last thing I wanted to see on this piece. I felt alright about this, because I was using the trim paint- I knew it would hold up well without the top coat. I did use a poly top coat on the gel stain. I wanted it to really shine, and I also wanted to protect it (particularly the bench seat) because that would be getting the most traffic. At the end of the day, the entire project took me no more than 4 total hours, not including drying time. Not. Too. Shabby.

I LOVE this piece, guys. I went with a look that really complemented our stairs, and I'm so glad I did. It's classic, and looks beautiful in our living room. Have I mentioned how much I love this piece? If you have the means and the man power to pick up a free piano and give it a new home, I highly recommend it. Not only is it gorgeous, but I have started tickling the ivories again. My kids love it too, and it makes my heart happy to know that they will grow up learning how to play as well. Definitely worth the trip and sore shoulders- just ask my husband.

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