Make your own chalk paint to refinish furniture. See how this old, beat up piano gets new life with a few coats of chalk paint.
If you read how my sister gave her front room a gorgeous makeover in 5 simple steps, you know that she made her piano the focal point of the room. It’s a large piece of furniture in the perfect color and style for her room. All the rest of the furniture works perfectly with it to give the room a French Country look. But the piano didn’t start out that way. It was in pretty bad shape when she rescued it.
In her words, here’s how my sister totally transformed her piano by refinishing it with chalk paint:
Refinishing a Piano
Before I started searching for any furniture for my front room makeover, I knew I wanted a piano in there so my kids could learn to play and I could practice playing the piano. New pianos can be pricey, so I started my search in the local classifieds. I found a beautiful piano in OK condition (meaning most of the keys worked) for only $200.
I asked my brothers-in-law to help move the big thing into our front room. It took 4 of them and it was a beast! Once there, it wasn’t moving again, so I decided to cover the floor and fix it up right there in place. I knew I wanted to do chalk paint, so I didn’t need to do any prep work beforehand (except giving it a good wipe down because it smelled like cat pee!).
You can read more about how to prepare to paint furniture in the post about Refinishing a Bookshelf.
I had done a lot of research on chalk paint before I started this project. I knew I didn’t want to pay for those expensive ready-made chalk paints, but there were so many different recipes out there, I wasn’t sure what to do. I read on a blog that buying calcium carbonate was the best option – chalky enough to get the texture without being too gritty and thick. I bought this pack of calcium carbonate on Amazon for a good price and it came with a recipe on the bag. The recipe even says to have fun!
I mixed up my chalk paint using Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray and put on one coat. It started looking way better. But after the second coat, it looked great.
Next, I sanded the edges and all the reliefs and designs. This really brought out the character in this piano.
Last, I added some wax to those areas that I had sanded. This made all those scrolls and carved detail stand out even more. You can finish your project with a coat of polyurethane, but I was OK with this guy getting a little more beat up, so I left it.
Once the piano was refinished, I added decorations, a rustic chair, a mirror, and mirrored candlesticks, to get the look I wanted. See the whole room finished here. And see how I turned an old globe into a great decor piece here.