Does your piano need a makeover? You can easily transform an old piano into something beautiful by using chalk paint or mineral paint. Learn how to paint a piano with these simple tips.

Revamping an old piano with a fresh coat of paint can bring new life to both the instrument and the room it resides in.

Whether you’ve inherited a well-loved piano that’s seen better days or you’re simply looking to infuse your space with a unique, personalized touch, painting a piano can be a rewarding DIY project.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of transforming your piano using either chalk paint or Fusion Mineral Paint, offering tips and techniques to achieve a beautiful, durable finish without the need for extensive prep work.

Let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions and discover how easy it is to create a stunning centerpiece for your home.

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My piano has seen better days. The finish is dark and pretty damages. There are nicks and scratches all over it.

There’s even a spot where my brother in law sat on the bench and permanently left sweat marks after a run.

Yuck!

Now I know what you’re thinking. What? Is she crazy? But hear me out. The piano needed a makeover. It was missing a few pieces, the sheet music rack was broken and it was just time to do something about it.

Want to fix up your piano too? Wait until you see how easy it is to paint a piano. And the result is AMAZING!

A brown upright piano with a matching bench sits against a white wall in a room with wooden floors. Above the piano, a large round clock with black numbers and hands hangs on the wall. Sunlight streams in from a nearby window with white curtains, casting gentle light on potential piano painting tips.
Before I applied Fusion mineral paint on the piano.

The Benefits of Painting a Piano

Painting your piano offers a variety of benefits that go beyond just aesthetic appeal. Firstly, it allows you to personalize an old or outdated piano, transforming it into a centerpiece that reflects your unique style and complements your home decor. Whether you prefer a sleek, modern look or a vintage, distressed finish, painting gives you the creative freedom to achieve the exact appearance you desire.

Moreover, painting a piano can breathe new life into an instrument that may have sentimental value but no longer fits the decor of your home. Instead of discarding or hiding it away, a fresh coat of paint can make the piano a focal point, showcasing its presence proudly in your living space.

Additionally, painting your piano can be a cost-effective way to update your interior design without the need for expensive replacements. High-quality chalk paint or Fusion Mineral Paint provides a durable finish that can withstand the test of time, ensuring that your piano remains beautiful and vibrant with minimal maintenance.

From a practical standpoint, painting a piano can also protect the wood from damage. A well-applied layer of paint acts as a barrier against dust, moisture, and wear, helping to preserve the instrument’s structural integrity over the years.

Finally, undertaking a piano painting project can be a fun, fulfilling DIY activity. It allows you to engage in a creative process, offering a sense of accomplishment as you watch the transformation unfold. This hands-on project can also be a great opportunity to involve family members, making it a shared experience that adds even more value to the final result.

In summary, painting your piano not only enhances its visual appeal but also offers practical benefits such as cost savings, protection, and the joy of personalizing and preserving a cherished piece of furniture.

A cozy living room featuring a stone fireplace with a TV mounted above it. There are brown leather sofas, a wooden coffee table, and a side table with plants and décor. Sunlight streams through white curtained windows, illuminating the room and its wooden floor, perfect for reading up on how to paint a piano.
Before painting the piano, the room felt very heavy with both the dark leather couches and piano.

Why I Decided to Transform My Piano with Paint

Although we don’t play the piano much in my house anymore, I want to keep it. It’s a family heirloom and I used to play it as a little girl, so it has a lot of meaning for me.

The piano is located in my living room with dark brown leather couches. Because the sofas are so dark, the piano looked too heavy for the space.

Since I don’t want to get rid of the piano and given the damage it accumulated through the years, I researched how to paint a piano.

I searched for what type of paint for the piano I should use. Most inspiration I found showed chalk painted pianos. And I seriously considered using that. But I decided to try Fusion Mineral Paint because it’s suppose to be even easier than chalk paint.

Say what? It’s true! Fusion Mineral Paint does not require pre-sanding AND it has a top coat built in. How cool is that?

Ideally, I prefer to try new techniques on smaller projects, but decided to go all in when I painted the piano. I mean I have experience painting furniture and other types of home decor. So why not try the piano?

My kitchen looked pretty amazing after I applied chalk paint to the cabinets. I used chalk paint on some old picture frames to make jazz up an empty space with a vintage botanical print gallery wall.

Two of my favorite chalk paint projects are when I painted the fabric on this antique bench and this vintage chair. And I even repurposed this old vintage framed art using chalk paint.

A hand in a dark sleeve holding a green sanding sponge, prepping a wooden surface that appears to be a furniture piece with a light brown finish. The background is plain and light-colored. For those considering piano painting tips, proper sanding is crucial to achieving a smooth base for painting a piano.
While you don’t need to pre-sand, I did anyway but didn’t put a lot of effort into it. I used a sanding block to lightly scuff up the surface.

How to Paint a Piano: Simple Steps for a Stunning Makeover

While the process to paint the piano was pretty easy, it took a little time to refinish. But no more than a few hours of active time with some drying time in between. The most difficult spot to paint was around the keys. But I grabbed a piece of cardboard to hold them down as I painted along.

Essential Supplies for Painting Your Piano

Whether you paint piano with chalk paint or fusion mineral paint, it is a personal preference. Both work options work really well and minimize the amount of work needed to complete the job.

Here’s what you need to paint a piano.

A wooden upright piano with a closed sheet music stand sits on a hardwood floor, its keys visible. A small rectangular object rests on top of the piano. Light enters the room through a window on the right side, creating an ideal setting for those considering how to paint a piano.
All Sanded!

Step-by-Step Instructions for Painting Your Piano

  • Remove all hardware if you don’t want to get paint on them.
  • Lift bench off the ground to make it easier to paint the legs. I set mine on paint cans that are the same size.
  • Lightly sand the surface to scuff it up.
  • Wipe down the whole piece to clean it up with a dry rag.
  • Start painting! Allow the piece to dry in between coats. Since my piano has such a dark finish, I needed to use three coats of Fusion Mineral Paint.
  • When the piece is dry, open it up to expose the keys. Lightly sand down any areas or drip marks. Then finish painting. I used a piece of corrugated cardboard paper that I had laying around to help paint around the keys.
  • Allow drying for a few days. Then lightly sand the edges to give it a distressed look.
  • Clean the surface with a dry rag or cloth.
  • Then use a damp cloth or damp brush to lightly apply the glaze and wipe off to give it an aged appearance.
  • Allow drying.
  • If you finish the piano with chalk paint, use a finishing wax to seal it.

It’s important to allow the piece to dry for at least 24 hours before lightly distressing it. If you want to distress it. I wanted to distress mine to get that aged look. But that’s a personal preference.

A dark wooden table with four legs, each positioned on top of a tin can of wood finish, stands on a plastic sheet covering a wooden floor. A brown upright piano, possibly awaiting some piano painting tips, is in the background. The scene appears to be in preparation for refinishing the table.
Lift the bench up off the floor with something like paint cans. It will be easier to work on, especially when you paint the legs.
A small wooden table is being painted in a room with a brown wooden piano against the wall. The table rests on paint cans and is partially painted in white and a wood finish. Paintbrushes, paint cans, and a plastic sheet cover the floor around it, providing an ideal setup for painting projects like how to paint a piano.
Painting the piano bench with the first coat of Fusion mineral paint.
A partially painted wooden piano and matching bench with a light coat of white paint showcase a serene space. With light-colored walls, a window with sheer white curtains, and a large clock showing 2:22, the room exudes calmness. Hardwood floors are protected by plastic sheets—a subtle nod to expert piano painting tips in action.
First coat of Fusion Mineral Paint is going on well. A little goes a long way…
A white piano and a matching bench are in the process of being painted, showcasing some effective piano painting tips. The bench is elevated on painter's cans and a plastic sheet is spread underneath to protect the floor. A clock on the wall indicates the time as 9:25. Sunlight filters in through a window.
The piano and bench after the second coat of Fusion Mineral Paint in Raw Silk
A cozy corner featuring a white upright piano with a matching bench, situated against a wall with a large gray clock hanging above it. If you're wondering how to paint a piano, this setup showcases the elegance of such an endeavor. Natural light streams in from two windows with white curtains. A leather couch and wooden chair are nearby, and a potted plant adds greenery.
After painting the piano
A white upright piano with a matching white bench is placed against a wall. A table lamp, a plant, and two decorative candles sit on top of the piano. A large round wall clock hangs above. Sunlight streams in from the left, casting shadows on the floor—perfect lighting if you're considering how to paint a piano.

After Painting the Piano

Doesn’t it look amazing? I love how much lighter it looks! It looks so much lighter and brighter in this corner of the living room. This is how I decorated it shortly after pulling the space back together. I just added a few items I have laying around.

What do you think?

And that’s it! What a transformation right? Painting the piano was not very difficult but was a little more time-consuming than I expected. So give yourself about half a day for active time with some drying time in between.

It’s been really fun decorating the painted piano for the seasons. Here is the piano all decked out for spring. To see the rest of my home decorated for spring, click here.

Now that I painted the piano, it is much more fun to decorate. Here it is all prettied up for fall. To see more of home decorated for fall, click here. I love the piano so much more now that it looks better and fits in with my updated decor.

Updated Insights on Painting Your Piano

Since refinishing this piano we moved to a new-to-us 1850 vintage farmhouse. After moving in, we located the piano in the front entry hall that recently received a makeover too.

The finish on the piano has held up really well, even after the big move. And I still have no regrets after painting the piano either! If I had the opportunity to do it again I would.

A room with a white piano and matching bench, adorned with greenery and white flowers. Above the piano is a large ornate mirror. To the right, six botanical prints hang on the wall. A potted plant sits in the corner, and a decorative rug covers the wooden floor, creating an inviting space for painting a piano masterpiece.
My Thrift Shop Finds and How I Styled Them

Frequently Asked Questions About Painting a Piano

Can I paint my piano without sanding it first?

Yes, you can paint your piano without sanding if you use a high-quality primer and paint specifically designed for adhering to glossy surfaces. Chalk paint and Fusion Mineral Paint are excellent options as they often require minimal prep work​ See Sherwin-Williams.

What type of paint should I use to paint my piano?

Chalk paint and Fusion Mineral Paint are popular choices for painting pianos. Chalk paint is easy to work with and requires little to no sanding or priming, while Fusion Mineral Paint provides a durable, long-lasting finish with built-in top coat​

For me, there was no question I was using either chalk paint or Fusion mineral paint because it’s less work. Yes you can paint a piano with latex satin or matte finish paint, however, the surface will need to be pre-sanded and protected with a top coat. I preferred to do less work and wanted to test out Fusion mineral paint, so I painted the piano with that.

How do I avoid getting paint on the piano keys?

To avoid getting paint on the keys, use painter’s tape to cover them. You can also press the keys down as you paint the areas around them, using a small craft brush for precision. Keep a wet cloth handy to quickly wipe away any accidental paint on the keys​

Do I need to apply a top coat after painting my piano?

Applying a top coat is highly recommended to protect your paint job and enhance its durability. Polycrylic is a great choice as it dries clear and provides a strong protective layer. This is especially important if the piano is used frequently or exposed to wear and tear​

How do I achieve a distressed look on my painted piano?

To achieve a distressed look, lightly sand the edges and areas where natural wear would occur after the paint has dried. Using a fine-grit sandpaper or a palm sander, gently rub the areas until you achieve the desired effect. Remember to wipe away any dust before applying the top coat​ (

How long does it take for the paint to dry?

Drying times can vary depending on the type of paint used and the environmental conditions. Typically, chalk paint dries to the touch within 1-2 hours, but it is best to wait 24 hours before applying additional coats or the top coat to ensure the paint is fully cured​ (Sherwin-Williams)​.

Can I move the piano while painting it?

Pianos are heavy and difficult to move, so it is usually best to paint them in their current location. Protect the surrounding area with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to prevent paint splatters​

Is OK to Paint a Piano?

From my experience, painting the piano has not changed or altered the sound, so I say yes, it is OK to refinish it. After conducting some research on it, many pianists and tuners believe it does not affect the sound much at all provided you don’t paint the back where the sound board is located.

However a musician friend of mine cringed after hearing I painted it so…LOL. That said, proceed at your own risk. If the slightest of sound changes will upset you, don’t do it.

Final Thoughts on No-Sand Piano Painting

Painting a piano without the need for sanding is an appealing option for many DIY enthusiasts and homeowners looking to refresh their space. The no-sand method significantly reduces the preparation time and effort required, making it a more accessible project for those with limited experience or time.

High-quality paints like chalk paint and Fusion Mineral Paint have revolutionized furniture painting, offering excellent adhesion and durability without the traditional sanding step​.

One of the key advantages of no-sand painting is the preservation of the piano’s intricate details and original finish. Sanding can sometimes damage delicate woodwork, but with the right primer and paint, you can achieve a beautiful, smooth finish without compromising the integrity of the instrument.

Additionally, no-sand methods reduce the mess and dust typically associated with sanding, making the process cleaner and more convenient​.

It’s important to follow best practices to ensure a successful project. Thoroughly clean the piano to remove any dirt or oils that could interfere with paint adhesion. You can use a good primer if you want beforehand, but I didn’t do that and the results held up fine.

Finally, sealing the painted piano with a protective top coat (if you used chalk paint), such as polycrylic, will help protect your work from daily wear and tear, ensuring it remains beautiful for years to come​.

In conclusion, painting a piano without sanding is a practical and effective way to transform your instrument into a stunning focal point in your home. With the right materials and techniques, you can achieve professional-looking results while saving time and effort.

Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a beginner, no-sand painting offers a versatile and rewarding approach to piano refurbishment.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear! And feel free to share this post with anyone you think would find it helpful too.

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Two photos of the same piano situated one above the other. The top image shows a brown wooden piano with a matching bench before renovation. The bottom image displays the transformation: the piano painted white with a new decorative white bench, topped with green plants and decor items. Text in the middle reads "BEFORE AND AFTER PIANO." For more on painting a piano, visit "www.stacyling

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A cozy fall-themed room featuring a white piano adorned with pumpkins, white candles, and a floral arrangement. A clock hangs on the wall above the piano. Potted plants, a knitted blanket with pom-poms, and a wooden bench complete the decor—perfect inspiration for how to paint a piano yourself.
The piano decorated for fall in 2020
A cozy living room with a black leather couch adorned with a knit blanket. A white piano, looking elegant enough to inspire painting a piano, sits against the wall below a large clock, decorated with plants and candlesticks. To the left, find a small wooden table with a chess set and lamp as sunlight streams through the windows.
A white piano, reminiscent of vintage decor, is adorned with two rustic candle holders, each holding a tall, lit white candle. Surrounding the piano are lush green plants and a softly lit, sunlit curtain in the background—an ideal setting if you're considering painting a piano yourself.
Close up of the piano painted with Fusion Mineral Paint in Raw Silk

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30 Comments

  1. It turned out amazing Stacy! I think it looks so much better in white! Do you or anyone in your family play?

    1. Thank you so much Lori! I used to play when I was younger, now I just pop on every now and again to see what I can still play!

  2. You did an Awesome job! I like the piano either way. The old way looked good with your fireplace. But this turned out beautifully.

  3. Hi Stacy! You inspire in everything you do! That was a huge project (I think!) ????. The piano color is beautiful and wow what a transformation!

    1. Thank you so much Mary! It was a big project but not difficult to do! I love how it turned out too…I’m so glad you stopped by the blog!

  4. oh my goodness; I have a piano that is almost exactly the same as your piano including the bench; mine has a maple finish and I was considering staining it but after seeing this, I may paint it instead. Thank you for giving me a different idea for my piano,

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  6. This such a beautiful transformation! I hate painting but this makes me want to pick up a paint brush! Love it

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  8. 4 stars
    I grew up with a high back black mahogany piano which my brother and I both played during our school years. While I was away at college, my father “antiqued” it red. Over time, it turned a beautiful deep rose color and I decorated my first living room around that piano which my son played for years! I would never had wanted it if was still that black color! Always go for it!

  9. I love the lighter color! I think pretty details can easily get lost on darker finished pieces, but then just pop with lighter colors, especially with antiquing glaze and/or distressing. It does look great styled up for the seasons, I would have fun with that as well. I’m wanting to try fusion mineral paint with glaze soon. Thanks for sharing!

  10. This turned out great.

    When I was young my mom refinished her piano. She used a glossy black paint and shellaced sheet music on it. It was beautiful.

    My mom got accepted into Julaired. She was so talented.

  11. Your piano looks beautiful wearing it’s new paint job! We recently inherited a piano from my husband’s nephew when they moved. It was my husband’s grandmother’s. She played it. His mom and sister played it. And then my nephew’s boys played it. I don’t really have room, but it is part of my husband’s history and heritage. This piano looks pretty much like your’s before you painted it. It is missing one of the knobs to open the key cover. Any idea where I can find a replacement knob?