Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's In The Details: Painted Pianos

I feel like this could be a dangerous topic if anyone feels passionately about pianos, but it's been on my mind for a while and I thought it was worth discussing; not because I'm going to paint my piano, which I grew up with (so please stop hyperventilating, Mom!) but because a lot of people go this route and it's intriguing to me!
I'm not afraid of painting wood in general (unlike 85% of all males I know) but I also don't have anything against stained finishes. As in, I don't walk around singing, "I see some stained wood and I want to paint it black!" (do you see what I did there? I'm so classic rock.)

Something about painting a piano just gives me the jitters; apparently it's not supposed to really affect the sound quality if done very carefully, but I can't completely wrap my head around that. I think it's that I view a piano as an instrument first and a piece of furniture second -- and the musician in me just says no.

Having said all that, I think it's a good idea for people with basic pianos that aren't great quality or family heirlooms, if you're comfortable having a focal piece the size of a Mini Cooper in your living room... because once you paint that sucker blue, or red, or yellow, you'll have to decorate around it and it's the first thing people will notice when they visit!

Check out a few more striking examples:


What do you think? Is painting a piano something that would work in your home? If you've already done this, do you love it or regret the decision?

My only advice would be to go slow, and be careful not to get paint on any of the inside parts like hammers!


  1. I love it as long as it is not a very ancient and beautifully ornate one.

  2. I've thought about it! Ours is old and really needs some love, but I think my husbands family would flip if they saw it painted.

    1. I have to wonder if this will be our generations "I can't believe I DID that!" when we're all older... it just seems like the crafty DIY revolution is attacking everything that's sitting still with a paintbrush ;)

  3. I always think that it depends on you. If you don't like it wood and would like it painted, than paint. If you love wood, than don't. Both can work. It the same with any design decision I have seen painted and unprinted brick look amazing. Its what you want in your home that matters. :)

  4. Read this after I chewed you out on Facebook. My bad. I can see now that I don't need to hire that piano moving truck after all. Thank goodness.

  5. For me, if a wood piece is not restoreable as a wood/stain finish, paint works great. As for a piano, it would depend on the piano - if there is true craftmanship from another era, no paint, I'd restore. I have some inherited antiques that exude warmth and luster and will never see paint from me and 2 pieces that I'm up in the air about. (I remember how much work it took for my Dad to strip these 2 pieces of layers of "milk" paint.) All about personal choice & style.

  6. I've been considering painting our piano for a couple years. We got it 3rd hand for free and its in terrible shape so I have no worries about ruining a beautiful instrument. I just can't commit to a look. Classy shiny black? Distressed white? A punch of color? So many options!

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