If you want a piano in your home but the old dated cherry finish is not your taste, consider painting it, but keep in mind that painting a piano will likely reduce its value.  

You can paint it white, a bold color, use chalkboard paint, do a crackle finish, paint it using stencils, or paint your piano a metallic color. 

You can even take a gutted upright piano or grand piano (don't try to gut a piano yourself - very dangerous) and use it as a storage piece like a bar, bookshelf, desk, or ice bucket for party drinks (obviously lined in plastic).

If you don't already have a piano, you might be able to get a used one for around $200 (play it before buying to make sure it is in good condition), but you will most likely have to move it yourself or pay around $200 to have it professionally moved. 

Here are the steps for how to paint a piano.


 pp5photo courtesy of Smath flickr.com/photos/spam/6176900706/Move the Piano
First, move the piano to a workspace such as your garage. 

The piano will be spray painted, so you can't paint it in your house. 

You will need an area with good ventilation.


Clean the piano with soap and water to get off any residual dirt and oil. 

Don't use too much water and make sure to dry it well after cleaning.


Take apart as many pieces of the piano exterior as you can. 

Don't touch any of the mechanisms or keys, just the exterior wood part. 

You may not be able to disassemble any pieces of the piano or you may be able to disassemble 10 or more pieces. 

Remember where all of the pieces came from and put them aside.


 pp4photo courtesy of Ellenm1 flickr.com/photos/ellenm1/3723011349/Sand
Using 220 grit sandpaper, sand the piano and all of the disassembled pieces well. 

You can use a power sander or you can do it manually. 

Most pianos have a very thick finish, so sanding may take quite a while. 

Decide whether you are going to paint the back of the piano or not (most people don't paint the back).


Clean all of the dust off of the piano. 

You can vacuum then wipe with a tack cloth.


Tape off all of the parts of the piano that are not going to be painted. 

You can use painters tape on the small parts, but you will need newspaper or some sort of plastic sheeting to cover the larger areas (including the back if you are not painting the back of the piano). 

Cover the surrounding areas of your workspace also so they don't get painted by spray paint over spray.


 pp3photo courtesy of Tilling 67 flickr.com/photos/tilling-67/7600494670/Prime
Using spray primer, or primer in a paint sprayer, prime the piano. 

Take your time and follow the manufacturer's instructions. 

If using spray primer in a can, plan on using 2 cans.


 Sand Again
After the primer has dried, sand the primer layer of the piano until it is very smooth using 220 grit sandpaper.

Wipe off the sanding dust before proceeding.


Using the paint color of your choice, spray a glossy sheen paint on the piano per the paint manufacturer's instructions. 

If using spray paint in a can, count on using 4 cans. 

Wait for it to dry and your piano is all done. 

You may choose to use a wax sealer or polyurethane top coat if you feel necessary.



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