The painted piano: A true story

This is a true story of how a piano became a statement piece.  

Chapter I: The problem piano project

A woman named Kate had a vision for her piano.  So, she bought white chalk paint and began painting.   While painting, Kate came to the realization that her piano wasn't taking shape the way she hoped.  What did she do?  She stopped painting.  Then she called Novo Decor! 

Here's what Kate had to say during our first communication about the piano....

"Kate, (addressing me) here's the piano."

She went on to say, "I started painting it with white chalk paint. The problem is....I didn't finish. And I don't have an eye for detail work. And now I didn't put the wax finish on it because the paint doesn't look quite right." 

Chapter 2: Accepting the challenge

It was time to arrange a home consultation.  I needed to get a look at that piano, pronto! Kate stated, "if i'm honest with myself I know I probably won't get back to it.  I just don't have the patience for it."   I knew I could help.....

Kate decided to have me paint it for her.  And then, something really marvelous happened. Kate sent me a text:  "Kate! I've got a challenge to add to the piano." Her text included this photo:

.....and this question: 

"Can you do a pattern like this?"  Now, I'll admit, this pattern was intimidating, but I thought about it, and then I answered,  "Love that. Yes Kate. Pretty sure I can do that!"  

Chapter 3:  Planning

I had my work cut out for me, but was excited about the task!  Though I didn't have measurements of the area to be painted yet, I wanted to get a feel for this particular geometric pattern and color combinations, so I started sketching designs....

Then it was time to talk colors.  I brought samples to Kate's house, and she chose an amazing combination of 5 colors including "Lakeshore", "Hot Pink", "Aquarium", "Silver", and "Rejuvenate". I took measurements of the area, so that I could figure out the design mathematically, and create a symmetrical and eye-pleasing arrangement. We were getting closer. 

Chapter 4: Math and pianos 

My least favorite, and most favorite things: Math and Pianos.  They just don't go together!  But for this pattern to come to fruition, math was my friend (okay okay, so maybe math really does apply to everyday life).  Knowing the height and width of the space, allowed me to figure out how many columns of squares would run horizontally across the piano, and how big each square would be.  I made a sketch of the design to scale....

I've gotta say, sipping on my coffee and coloring this design was really quite relaxing and enjoyable.  

Chapter 5: Let's get this piano painting party started

A few days later, I began the job.  The white paint came first. Then sanding. Lots of sanding! 

After measurements, pencil marks, and meticulous placement of painter's tape, I was ready to begin the best part.....  

Filling in all the triangles with paint! I started with orange....

Then pink....

The sketch was helpful in keeping me on task with colors, and eliminated the need to step back, look, and think about what color should go where.   I referred to the sketch constantly, as I painted each triangle.  

Kate, the piano owner, was home while I worked. She was able to catch a sneak peek here and there, which was so fun! 

Chapter 6: Wet paint, and painter's tape, and wet paint oh my!

With all good things, come challenges.   Painted triangles had to dry before painting neighboring triangles.  This had to happen because painter's had to be applied to a dry area, in order to paint another area "next door".  To solve this problem, I staggered the painting, always looking for areas that could be painted without bothering other areas that were still drying, or taped over.  And so on and so forth...... 

Each triangle took three coats of paint, which wasn't too time consuming as I applied the paint very thinly, allowing it to dry quickly.  Always better to apply light layers, and more of them than one or two thick layers. 

Chapter 7: The final countdown 

Slowly but surely, the piano came together!  The colors couldn't have been more striking. A challenge it was,  but a good learning experience and one I won't forget....

From the looks of Kate's smile, I think she was happy with the result.  Now she has yet another fun conversation piece in her home, and, her kids will practice their piano lessons for an hour a day.  Right guys? 

I only have one regret with this project.........I didn't play a song on it!  Inconceivable. 

And that is the true story of the painted piano; "fractals for the eyes and ears", as Kate's dad Tom, put it.  Love that! 

Do you have a small area somewhere in your home that has the potential to POP?  It's amazing what design and paint can inspire!  Have fun with it. 

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