Monday, August 4, 2014

In Which Our Piano Receives a Facelift

Several years ago my sweet husband recieved a small unexpected bonus at work.  He knew I had been longing for a piano and generously donated that bonus to start my Used Piano Fund.  After we talked about it, he decided to check the local classifieds to discover how much we'd need to save before we could purchase a piano.


He found this instrument during that first online search, listed for fifty dollars less than the bonus he received.  It was in fair shape, with some major water damage on the top and a few dings and chipped keys.  I loved it right away.  The simple lines made me confident that we could refinish it without much difficulty.  We rounded up some friends and brought the piano home that day.


The piano was built in the early 1950s and is filled with notes on replaced keys and other work.   Knowing just a tiny bit of the history of this instrument makes it even more special to me.  This is not the most amazing piano but I have spent hours and hours playing it over the last several years.  Ellie and Ethan have both learned to play on this piano. The sound is great, especially considering what we paid for it.  It is meaningful to us, but it was not a beautiful addition to our home.


For the past almost 6 years this piano has lived in our home looking exactly the same as the day we purchased it. The water damage has been covered by various table runners.  The peeling, yellow/tan finish did not make me happy.  Also, it was living in our dining room because there was no other place for it upstairs.

After a lot of time away lately (two camping trips + one trip to visit family = 14 of the last 30 days away from home), I returned rejunvenated and ready to dive into some long-neglected projects.  Refinishing our piano was at the top of my list.


Water damage from previous owners.
Jason helped me remove the parts that could easily be removed without risk of damaging the instrument.  I sanded and painted, using paint we had on hand. After my work was done (sanding and painting), we received some generous help from our neighbors to move it downstairs (I can't believe it took me so long to realize it would fit so much better down there! Jason put everything back together.


I am delighted with the outcome of this project.  It took just a few hours of hands-on work.  Probably 2-3 hours of total painting time.  The project also cost us very little. We used light gray paint left over from another project for the majority of the piano.  The bench and music stand were done with spray paint in a darker gray.

Why did I wait so long?

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