We Painted Our Piano

 

We were in the middle of building our house when I somehow stumbled upon the piano of my dreams on Facebook Marketplace. It was a white upright piano, and the style was so timeless and beautiful I fell in love with it immediately. And it was only $50! I was sold. Josh isn’t too difficult to talk into a project, bless him, and he jumped right on board. Did we have a place to store it? Um, not exactly. We were living with my dad while we built our house. His house was already bursting at the seams with his stuff and ours, and we already had a ton of stuff being stored with other family. We bought it anyway, and immediately a touch of buyer’s remorse started to settle in. When we have an idea, we tend to jump in quickly! That has almost always worked in our favor, but this time we wondered if we should have thought through our purchase a little more.

img-6993

We had our work cut out for us! But we could see she still had a lot to offer.

Since we didn’t have anywhere else to keep it, we decided to go ahead and move it directly to our new house. The garage was finished, so we tucked it as far out of the way as possible and covered it up. It sat there for months. We finally moved in, but realized quickly the piano would need a paint job before it moved into the living room. If you’ve seen my house, you know it’s very white. Next to the freshly painted walls and trim, the poor piano looked much more dirty beige than anything, and I wasn’t feeling it at all. It stayed in the garage.

We were intimidated to paint it for awhile. I once read a blog post about painting a piano and they had discussed at great length the process of taking the entire piano apart to paint each piece separately – an idea that seemed completely overwhelming to us! Fortunately, I did some more research and found most people don’t completely disassemble pianos before painting them! We decided we had nothing to lose – a piano collecting dust in the garage wasn’t doing anybody any good. We might as well give it our best shot!

Here’s how we did it and what we learned!

  1. Wipe Away Dirt and Dust
    We took a damp cloth and gave the whole thing a good wipe down. It was sitting out in our garage for months, after all. There was one little area that contained a bit of sticker residue, so we sanded it off. The keys were really discolored, so I scrubbed them down the best I could with a Magic Eraser. I have no idea if this is a good idea, and I feel like someone who knows a lot more about pianos is going to message me and tell me you should never use a Magic Eraser on piano keys, but hey – it worked like a charm!
  2. Remove any sections that need removing for easier access.
    This will depend on the style of your piano. Some pianos don’t require any removal of parts. Assess your piano and see if you can reach all of the visible areas without taking anything apart. We would have loved not to take any pieces off, of course, but there were a few we decided to remove. Our piano was built to be a player piano (if we had the right set up, it’s the kind that can play by itself!) and it has sliding doors in the front. We removed them, and also the key cover (which, thanks to Google, I’ve learned is called a fall board), and painted those separately.

    img-7002

    Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in “Graphite”

  3. Gather the right supplies.
    After doing our research, we decided Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was the way to go! We chose the color Graphite. We also picked up a stiff bristle paint brush, and clear Annie Sloan wax. You’ll also need something to apply the wax. They sell wax brushes, or you can use a lint-free rag. We used an old t-shirt, because free.
  4. Tape off the pedals and keys.
    This is pretty self explanatory – tape around any areas that you don’t want to paint. ūüôā
  5. Get painting!
    Chalk paint is awesome. I want to chalk paint everything I own now. I want to buy all the things on Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp and give them all new life with a couple coats of chalk paint. But seriously, this stuff is so easy to work with. You don’t need to sand everything down or even prime it. Just get to work brushing on that chalk paint with your stiff bristle paint brush! We noticed some brush strokes after the first coat, so we decided to do two coats. Because we did two coats and it’s a pretty good sized piano, we had to pick up a second can of paint. We let it dry overnight between coats.

    img-7005

    Josh, hard at work. Doesn’t it just make you happy to see how pretty that freshly painted portion looks already?!

  6. Don’t forget to wax.
    For added durability (and to help the very matte chalk finish from showing lots of fingerprints) we added a top coat of Annie Sloan wax. We waited 24 hours for the paint to dry, and then started applying the wax with a t-shirt. A little goes a long way – just rub the wax into the surface evenly and remember that a little goes a long way! The advice we remembered as we applied the wax was to apply it like hand cream. I think it actually says that right on the can! The wax seemed to lighten up the color of the piano a bit. It’s still dark, but it’s definitely more dark grey than black.
  7. Let it dry and put it back together. 
    We waited 24 hours after applying the wax, and then we reattached the pieces we removed.

 

img-7010

 

That’s it! It wasn’t as complicated or time consuming as we worried it might be, and we are SO glad we did it. While going through the process we discovered our piano is around 100 years old! We love having it as a part of our home, and it’s been the perfect addition to the space. If you’re considering refinishing a piano, I say go for it!

4f509d43-5c51-475b-a18a-369f6a7110ea

 

img_8321

It looks like it was meant for this space all along.

Advertisements

Easy Neutral Thanksgiving Tablescape

I’m doing something new this week! I’ve teamed up with¬†Kristi from French Creek Farmhouse as well as a great group of other bloggers to bring you a TON of tablescape inspiration all week! Each day this week Kristi will feature 5 talented bloggers on her blog¬†and Instagram. Each has created their own Thanksgiving tablescape – so much talent to be inspired by!

Honestly? I’ve never put any kind of tablescape together before! My idea of table decor is usually a vase of flowers and call it good. I tend to prefer simple, and a lot of extras can feel like clutter to me. So when I decided I wanted to do a little something extra this year for fall, I knew I would still want it to feel classic and simple. I also didn’t want to spend too much on it, so finding inexpensive items that would pull it all together and feel elegant and beautiful was my goal. My home is very neutral overall, lots of white, grey, and black. I love bringing in a fresh feel with plants, so I have a little green in just about every room. This overall theme carried over into my Thanksgiving tablescape and I love the way it both flows naturally with the rest of my home, but goes just above what I’d typically do to make it feel festive for the season.

325FCB21-6598-4A69-AD88-1FAA460F39B1

I wanted a good starting point – something that could stand alone, and wouldn’t need too many extras to make it feel complete. In keeping with my love of greenery to add color to my neutral palette, I opted for this gorgeous garland from Floral Treasure. It’s true dried eucalyptus so it smells as nice as it looks! All of their garlands are beautiful, but I chose the Italian Creme Greenery Garland for the little pops of white it has mixed in.

83D312F7-4C54-4513-9B5B-81C5CE62C777

Because I wanted a classic fall feel, I added a few white pumpkins (these were only $3 each from the dollar bins at Target),¬† a few pine cones, and another couple small pumpkins I’d already picked up. (Also in the dollar bins at Target. Target had the best fall decor in those bins this year! Totally saved my budget!) Lastly, to create a little more height for the whole display, I added these tall candle sticks from Hobby Lobby. I fell in LOVE with a similar set from Magnolia, but unfortunately they were out of my budget. These ones from Hobby Lobby, while not exactly the same, gave me the look I was hoping for, at about a third of the price. Needless to say I was pretty excited when I found them! I love the touch of black they add, tying the whole thing in with the dining chairs and other black elements I have in my home.

3500BB00-EA55-4F27-81C4-93CEC3104876

To complete the table I would need place settings! We already use white dishes, so that part was easy enough. I needed something to create a distinction between the white/linen table and the white dishes so the whole thing didn’t feel washed out. These burlap covered chargers kept the neutral feel, broke up the white, and were very inexpensive Hobby Lobby finds. Lastly, I layered small appetizer plates shaped like white pumpkins and soft green leaves on top of the white dinner plates. These little plates were another Target dollar bin find!

AC66D11C-4E45-411B-8F5F-AA275F97D9A4

Overall, I’m very happy with my first tablescape! I think I accomplished my goal – classic, elegant, neutral, and fairly inexpensive and/or able to be re-purposed. The garland is easily able to transition from fall to Christmas decor, and all of the pumpkins, pine cones, and place settings can be tucked away in a box ready to be pulled out for use again next year.

F36D60B2-614A-4E88-856D-1A6FFE3C39D2

Don’t forget to head to Kristi’s blog to check out the other Thanksgiving tablescapes being shared all week long. With so many different bloggers, each putting their own touch of style into their table, I’m sure you’ll find inspiration for your own beautiful Thanksgiving table.


2018 Fall Decor Trends You Can Get Online

There are affiliate links included in this article, but all of the opinions are my own and these are truly items I love (and many of them I actually own!). Including the affiliate links (to share items I would happily share anyway) helps me turn my passions into a financial contribution to my family. Thank you for your support, always! 

Decorating for fall is almost as exciting to me as decorating for Christmas. I love it when the air gets crisp, the leaves change, and I can pull out my sweaters and boots. As fun as it is to find new things for my house, shopping is time consuming and one day dragging my kids all over town made me realize online shopping is definitely the way to go. I’ve compiled some of my favorite fall decor finds, and you can order it all without having to leave your couch! Grab a hot beverage and let’s go shopping!

1. Buffalo Check Rug

IMG-2665

Buffalo check has been a favorite of mine for fall, and I love my buffalo check rug on my front porch. These are great by themselves or layered under a traditional welcome mat to add a little more interest. A huge bonus: this rug will be just as perfect for Christmas as it is for fall! It’s also machine washable so just pop it in the washer and it will be fresh and ready to go when it’s time to switch out the pumpkins for Christmas trees.

Get yours from Amazon here.

2. Wood Pumpkin

woodpumpkin

The Dotted Bow sells these hand made wood pumpkins in so many different styles, it’s easy to find one that fits the fall style you’re wanting to create in your home. The whites and grays of the Farmhouse Style pumpkin match my house perfectly, and mine has a big burlap bow. Find them here. Bonus: Use my code “revivalfarmhouse” to get 10% off anything from The Dotted Bow.

3. Pumpkin Door Mat

pumpkindoormat

Olive Creative Co. makes this ADORABLE door mat for fall. Layer it with your buffalo check rug (or not, as shown above), add a few pumpkins, and your porch will be fall perfection. Get it here. 

4. Pumpkin Patch Sign

pumpkinpatch

I’m totally obsessed with this sign from Wild Elm Design Co. Every time I see it, I love it!¬†I’m not the only one – these signs were so popular they couldn’t keep them in stock and they’ve been unavailable for weeks. But I have big news! Starting TODAY they are back in stock for a limited time! Get yours here before they sell out again.

Photo by Jess from @carcabaroad.

5. Pumpkin Chai Candle

candle

If you don’t have a pumpkin scented candle burning is it even fall? A clean house and a fall candle burning…that is my happy place! My favorite is this Pumpkin Chai soy candle by Cozy Candle Co. The packaging looks great in my house and it smells like Fall Heaven.

6. Fall Quote Signs

octobers

Aren’t we all glad we live in a world where there are Octobers? Sigh. This fall quote sign from one of my favorite Etsy shops Willow Hill Signs is sure to put you in the fall spirit whenever you see it. I may or may not have this same sign in my house (I totally do). Get it here.

7. Buffalo Check Pillow

buffalocheck

Do you see a theme here? Ha! Add another pop of buffalo check with these adorable pillows from The Dotted Bow. Mine tend to move around between the couch, our porch rockers, or this entry bench.  Shop them here.

8. Plaid Table Runner

tablerunner

I have this plaid table runner on my own dining room table, and I absolutely love it. It’s perfect for fall, and looks great alone or layered. It’s from the Hearth and Hand line by Magnolia, one of my favorites! Get it here.

9. Plaid Throw Blanket

plaidthrow

Obviously I have a thing for plaid right now, but it just feels like fall to me. I want to buy this blanket for my porch rockers! It looks like it belongs on a festive fall front porch, or curled up in front of a cozy fire. Get it here.

10. Amber Bottles

amberbottles

Pretty sure it was Liz Marie Galvan who started this trend, and these amber bottles are everywhere this season! They add a touch of warmth and look great in groups. Tuck a dried leaf or flower in the top, or leave empty for an ultra subtle fall feeling. These are probably best to find at antique and vintage shops, but you can find them online too! I found them here. 

Photo by Holly at rusticwildarrow.

Those are some of my favorite fall finds, all totally accessible without ever leaving your house. Did I miss any of your favorites? What have been your favorite fall trends this year?