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How to Paint a Piano

Does your piano need a makeover too? 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.

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!

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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.

Paint the Piano - the before
Before I applied Fusion mineral paint on the piano.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on a Piano?

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.

Piano before it was painted - farmhouse living room ideas with stone fireplace, tv over fireplace, oversized clock, chess table, dark brown leather sofas, vintage area rug and piano
Before painting the piano, the room felt very heavy with both the dark leather couches and piano.

Why I Chose to Paint the Piano

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.

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.

How to Paint a Piano

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.

Painting the Piano - pre-sanding the piano before painting
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.

Supplies Needed to Paint the 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.

Painting the Piano - after presanding the piano before painting it
All Sanded!

Directions to Paint a 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.
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.
  • 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.
before painting the piano, prep the surface and raise the bench off the ground
Painting the piano bench with the first coat of Fusion mineral paint.
  • 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.
First coat of fusion mineral paint om the piano and bench -learn to paint a piano in a few easy steps
First coat of Fusion Mineral Paint is going on well. A little goes a long way…
  • Allow drying.
  • If you finish the piano with chalk paint, use a finishing wax to seal it.

Doesn’t it look amazing?

I love how much lighter it looks!

after Painting the Piano with fusion mineral paint
The piano and bench after the second coat of Fusion Mineral Paint in Raw Silk

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.

After I chose to paint a piano - getting it back into place before decorating in my farmhouse living room
After painting the piano
Painting the Piano
Vintage shutters styled for fall above a painted piano - rustic farmhouse fall home tour 2021
Print
4 from 1 vote

How to Paint a Piano

Does your piano need a makeover too? 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.
Prep Time1 hr
Active Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Calories:
Cost: 20

Equipment

  • 4 Paint cans To raise piano bench off the floor
  • 1 Drop Cloth

Materials

Instructions

  • 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. (optional)
  • Wipe down the whole piece to clean it up with a dry rag.
  • Start painting! Allow the piece to dry in between coats.
  • When the piece is dry, open it up to expose the keys. Lightly sand down any areas or drip marks. Then finish painting.
  • 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.

After Painting the Piano

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.

close up of piano after painting it with fusion mineral paint in raw silk
Close up of the piano painted with Fusion Mineral Paint in Raw Silk

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.

Paint Piano

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.

Upcycled Vintage Chalkboard Frame

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.

Paint the Piano decorated for fall
The piano decorated for fall in 2020

I love the piano so much more now that it looks better and fits in with my updated decor.

Vintage shutters styled for fall above a painted piano - rustic farmhouse fall home tour 2021
The same piano decorated for fall in 2021

Paint a Piano Update

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.

painted piano with vintage mirror, houseplants, vintage area rug and gallery wall with vintage seed prints - front entry hall makeover project
My Thrift Shop Finds and How I Styled Them

Shop for DIY Supplies

Looking for supplies to paint a piano or other project?

Check out my favorite DIY supplies here.

Looking for More DIY Ideas?

If you are looking for more do-it-yourself projects to make your home even more amazing than it already is, check out these posts!

And here are some FAQ’s for chalk painting fabric and applying chalk paint to wood cabinets.

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Before and After Paint Piano

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30 Comments

  1. Pingback: Thrifting Near Me With the Gals in Spring - Stacy Ling
  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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?