the painted piano
Shall we call it the Gustavian Piano? ;-0 That’s what I’m calling it.
Yep, I did it. I painted the piano. The walnut burr 140 year old piano. Mmhm! Pale bluey-green. And I didn’t even flinch. Well, except for just then, when I downloaded the before photo and thought “Oh no! I seriously cannot show anybody this photo because they will be horrified that I painted it.” But in the spirit of honesty – here it is …
My grandmother almost had a stroke. After spluttering, choking and demanding that Mum swear that she will never ever ever ever paint Old Nana Lyons’ (my grandmother’s mother) piano for 20 minutes. she said “She really did it? Oh well, horses for courses.”
Julian (in transit) was bemused. Abby was alarmed and then pleasantly surprised. Hannah was all “Wow! But I like it!” And Mum – well, Abby sent her progress shots and at first Mum was convinced we had painted it avocado green – as Abby says, where does she get HER avocados – but now she loves it. Let’s face it, she painted a 150 year old French Oak dining suite white whilst recovering from her eye surgery. This defacing of beautiful timber is clearly in the blood.
And another horror – we painted it IN THE LIVING ROOM. Yep. ON THE CARPET. Yep. It was just tooooooooooooo heavy for us to budge any further than a couple of feet away from the wall. Which Sweetpea loved – she spent the rest of the weekend walking everywhere in the house via the new narrow passageway between the piano and the wall.
But I did flatten a heap of packing boxes and wodge them all around the base and underneath the piano. And not a drop or flick of paint was spilled. I was SUPER careful. And I opened all the windows – good thing it was a warm weekend.
The deed is done and I love it. Yes it was very pretty the other way but after living with a walnut burr piano all my life (first my Nana Lyons’ and then this one – that I bought for $200 and the first piano tuner I had visit to repair and tune it offered to turn into a mirrored bar, that’s how much HE thought of it – I sent him packing) I was ready for a pale and soft piano.
One that looks as if it could be sitting in a light filled Gustavian room, a tiled stove glowing gently in the corner, the garden outside budding with the pale pinks and vivid greens of spring, the sunlight sparkling across a reed fringed lake.
And when it has cured, I shall find a pair of brass piano sconces for it (the holes are already there – must have had them in its youth) and can you imagine it then, with rolled beeswax candles and pretty red Christmas decorations, whilst we play our favourite carols. Eeeeeee! I am sooooo looking forward to this.
Thank you Meg for the inspiration!
p.s. there was no sanding. I used a product called ESP (made from penetrol) which I rubbed in first with a rag, then you leave it for two hours, then you just paint straight over the top, one coat after the other. Then you must leave it for 30 days to cure and harden. Oh and the paint is called Otto Ice by Dulux.
p.p.s. in the time it takes to paint a piano in your sitting room, you can watch The Nanny Diaries, I Capture the Castle and all three Lord of the Rings films. Whilst your daughter stitches a new spring wardrobe for her felt Alice. There you go.
p.p.p.s. it is all the one colour – it’s just the different light makes it look different shades.