{Before & After}–Refinished Piano

This was one of the most intimidating projects I have taken on.  I never had a piano, never really “inspected” one and didn’t really have a clue as to what was goin on inside of one.  Until now – now I’m good to go on some more piano painting!!  It was actually kinda fun getting to know the “innards” of a piano :)

I started with this cool old upright piano that hadn’t been getting any use, this thing was almost a hundred years old!!  My client had her mom (the sweetest lady!) deliver the piano to me so it could be prettied up and then my clients husband drove all the way from another state to pick it up and take it home with them!! 

Anyways – the piano was in good shape, but kinda plain.  We got it all sanded down and ready for paint.


I bought these wooden appliques from Lowes, put the biggest one in the middle, and then a little one on each corner.  I also framed out the large applique with some decorative molding.



Then I started disassembling the piano to paint it.   I thought I got pics of it taken apart but I guess I didn’t it.  I took off the back part (where the molding is), then I took off the little sidebars where the back part hooks in, the key cover, and the keys.  There was no way that I could just tape around it to paint it, the whole thing had to come apart.  That’s where I used to be intimidated, but not anymore!!  I started just taking out piece by piece and it was pretty easy.

Then I taped up the guts of the piano so I didn’t get that painted and started spraying it.


After a coat of primer, 2 coats of paint, a little distressing and a clear coat, I reassembled everything and got it all back in the right spot – pheww!!  Luckily the keys were numbered so all those just went back in order.


Then after it was all done – it turned out like this.  I love it!!  How fun is this color too?!






I so want a piano now!!  My daughter loved having it at the shop and was so sad to see it go – she got a keyboard for Christmas and has learned a couple songs, so it was fun seeing her play her new tunes on a “real” piano :)  Plus they just look so cute!!

the 411 = color is Calico by Sherwin Williams in a satin finish.  Poly I used is a gloss finish by SW Wood Classics (water based).

Anyone refinished a piano?  I would love to see it!!!

71 replies
  1. Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage
    Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage says:

    >Oh my goodness….this is one of the most fantastic transformations I have ever seen!! The piano is so beautiful now! A real show stopper!

  2. Bliss
    Bliss says:

    >I have to take a photo tomorrow of our piano that is in the garage. I think it's one and the same as yours…… to think it could look like that, hmmmm.


  3. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    >You are so talented! I love the transformation. Also, the patience you have to take it all apart and do it the right way is great, I'm sure a lot of people (me) would try to tape it and paint it. Did you spraypaint it or hand paint it?

  4. wendy
    wendy says:

    >that looks incredible!!
    and looks monumentaly impossible for me

    my sister has my parents old Player Piano, it would look amazing to redo
    I don't know if I woud dare attempt it
    I mean…did you take the keys out????

  5. Emily
    Emily says:

    >I want to refinish mine. I have it all sanded down, but was wondering what you did for the hinges and pedals? How did you get them to shine? Any help would be appreciated! :)

  6. Pryors
    Pryors says:

    >Holy cow I had no idea you took it all apart!! I was wondering how you did it. You did an amazing job and I love my piano! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! It was good to know it was in good hands and I completely trusted you (even if we have never met) because you are so talented and have great taste. I cant wait for my cedar chest and desk! Thanks again, I am so happy with it.

  7. jane
    jane says:

    >Dear Sausha,

    So excited and happy to see the pictures. Again, I cried. I'm so thrilled to see this cherished piece come back to life. It has been in my family for 4 generations. Now it will be 5 as my grandchildren learn on it.Thank you for being so meticulous. It's beautiful. Excited to see the other pieces and enjoyed meeting you and your cute family. Love it!!!

  8. jane
    jane says:

    >Dear Sausha,

    So excited and happy to see the pictures. Again, I cried. I'm so thrilled to see this cherished piece come back to life. It has been in my family for 4 generations. Now it will be 5 as my grandchildren learn on it.Thank you for being so meticulous. It's beautiful. Excited to see the other pieces and enjoyed meeting you and your cute family. Love it!!!

  9. Sam I Am......
    Sam I Am...... says:

    >No…but I've been carrying one around with me for years, half taken apart that I was going to redo and still haven't. I need to get one of those wheeled things you have and have some one come over and out it on there for me so I can work on it this summer. I feel braver now that you've done that! I was afraid to take it apart for fear I'd never get it back together again! LOL! But right now it's just sitting so what do I have to lose. Also, could you tell me what brand and type of spray painter you use? I have so much to do around here and I need one but hate to invest without professional advice! I would sure appreciate the info! Thanks and keep up the GREAT work! It looks gorgeous! When I do mine I'll send you before and after pics!

  10. Krista
    Krista says:

    >This is amazing…makes me wish I actually knew how to play so I could have a reasonable excuse to have this in my house. Just. Beautiful.

  11. Raven
    Raven says:

    >This is awesome!!! i love all of your work!! My friend and I were just talking about how she needed to find an old piano to redo. I HAVE to show her this one!! Great job!!!!

    Did you spray this?

  12. Becky
    Becky says:

    >Just beautiful–really! Love the color and especially the wooden trim pieces. They really added the right touch to this project. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Christa @ Stories of a House
    Christa @ Stories of a House says:

    >The most beautiful piano and transformation I've ever seen! You were so smart to add the appliques. You rock, girl!

  14. Unknown
    Unknown says:

    >This is so crazy beautiful!

    Not even joking You've managed to combine two of my favorite things: pianos with unique details and the perfect shade of aqua.

    SO well done!

    I would be absolutely THRILLED if you would stop over at my place and link this up to Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL…going on right now!:


    So looking forward to seeing you there!

    P.S. I’m a new follower. : )


  15. Stacey
    Stacey says:

    >Wow looks incredible. We have that exact same piano..and I've been wanting to paint it for years…but the soundboard is cracked and it's going to the curb in a few months when we put our hardwood floors down. This piano painting still looks very intimidating to me…but maybe when we get a new/old piano that can actually keep a tune…I'll be a little more adventurous with getting my piano paint on! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Nelly @ Brown Girl Decorating
    Nelly @ Brown Girl Decorating says:

    >What a great transformation this is. You are a brave woman to takle a piano. I love the result. It makes me feel I can takle a simple downstairs toilet redo too.

  17. Vickie @ Ranger 911
    Vickie @ Ranger 911 says:

    >OMG! I have a very similar paino that I refinished years ago and now I want to paint mine too! You did a wonderful job and the paint color is gorgeous. Visiting from FJI.

  18. Heaven's Walk
    Heaven's Walk says:

    >Ok…..I'm totally speechless, Sausha! WOW!!! Talk about taking on a huge project that turned out gorgeously!!!! Way to go! :)

    xoxo laurie

  19. Suzanne
    Suzanne says:

    Great jot. I love the color. I painted a piano very similar to this one, back in the 60s. I took it all apart and spray painted it red and then antiqued it with raw umber glaze. I know, nobody does that any more. The real challenge was putting it back together. ☺

  20. The Vintage Yard
    The Vintage Yard says:

    I absolutely love this! You are very talented and patient! I love this color! What is the name of it? Just found you via pinterest!

  21. suzy
    suzy says:

    stunning…. just, stunning.
    Would love to know if you sanded it by hand or machine? and also what tool did you
    use to do such a fine painting job.

    thanks for sharing

  22. shannon
    shannon says:

    We just got a piano for my daughter, I’ve been wondering what to do with it! You did a great job refurbishing this piano, I am inspired to do ours now! Thanks! :)

  23. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am going to do the exact same thing. I am so inspired to recreate this and cant wait to see it in my new house.

  24. sugar
    sugar says:

    My husband is a musician and I read him this post and he almost cried hearing that you painted and took apart a piano. He said the tuning and hammers (?) would all have to be redone. Just thought I’d put that out there for others to consider. If you don’t care what it sounds like, it isn’t an issue.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      yup, my clients were fully aware of that and they had a “piano man” check out the piano during the process – all was good!! :) (IMO) Its a waste to have all these ugly, outdated pianos sitting there unwanted because they dont “fit in” with the rest of the house – i dont know much about pianos nor have one (yet) but to me it would definitely be worth investing in a paint job, tuning and all that good stuff to have an awesome piece of furniture that can be passed through the generations!

      Your husband has a good point and its definitely one that everyone should consider before getting to the painting :)

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      I love it!! Its gonna be fun!!

      And I LOVE your VW bus!! You should post some pics on that! I have a 71 bus, its so fun!!

  25. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    I have an old family piano in my basement. It has seen better days. I’d be happy to give it away if someone would take it and turn it into a work of art, like above. Very nice job indeed!

  26. Susan
    Susan says:

    This is beautiful. I’m thinking about refinishing our very old battered piano and this has really inspired me. Thanks.

  27. Natalie Brimhall
    Natalie Brimhall says:

    AAAAH! Oh my gosh, I think I have the exact same piano and I have been wishing it had some sort of pretty ornate design on it. I never thought about actually just PUTTING one on it! HAHAH! I love the paint color, too! It’s perfect!

  28. Deanna
    Deanna says:

    Hi Sasha, this and the newest piano you posted are amazing! How much do you charge for a piano redo? Thx, Deanna if u prefer u can email me privately @ detayls34@gmail.com
    I’m in the furniture refinishing biz too, but in calif. :)

  29. Kimber
    Kimber says:

    OoooohMyGoooodness…I am in Loooooove with this piano!!!

    This is exactly what I have been looking for!!!

    Any chance that this is for sale? Or would you be willing to do another one?

    My whole place is all beachy cottage chic (and I even have this same seagrass rugs in my living room and dining room!)

    We live in AZ., but would be willing to travel to get it!

    Pleeeease get in touch with me (privately if you can!)

    Many thanks~


  30. Lloydikus
    Lloydikus says:

    Thanks so much for this post. Can I ask you a couple more questions about the paint. Is this just spray paint or another kind of paint? What gloss is it and do you just brush it on with a foam brush or a regular paint brush?

  31. Cassie
    Cassie says:

    That particular piano, when restored correctly, is worth upwards of $10,000. You did it and it’s owners a great disservice. Perhaps you should research the value of the items before you change them so much.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      Actually, i couldnt disagree with you more. I actually did the owners a great service by painting their piano. This piano has been in their family for years and because no one wanted it because of the look of it, the piano was stuck down in a basement and not being used. After the piano was painted all the sisters wanted it! The piano is now being enjoyed by her family proudly displayed in her living room instead of being forgotten about. When things are passed down from generation to generation, normally the potential value of a piece really doesnt matter – its the thought that the piece has been and will be loved by many generations.

      I dont research pieces that are given to me to paint – its not mine to decide if it should be painted or not. Clearly the owner has thought about whether painting the piano was right for her and ultimately it was.

      • Jeri
        Jeri says:

        I agree with you! The color looks amazing!!! I love when we can take something old and ugly and make it new and pretty! I have done this to many antique items that were passed down and don’t regret it one bit!!! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ?


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