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. 

See related blog posts below:






Room Transformation: See how I pulled all the details together for a room that pops

Welcome to the final day in the series Home Decorating Projects: Get Them Done!  If you've tuned in this week, I hope you took away a tip or two on the little details that are so important in room design and decorating.   Today's post illustrates how the details really do add up!  And, when attention is given to the details, a room stands out and makes a statement.    

That is what happened to the two rooms you are about to see.  By incorporating color through textiles, accessories, furniture, and wall art, this living space came to life.    Here is the kitchen BEFORE its transformation (I had already painted the kitchen set, which you see in the picture)....

The kitchen set received a fresh coat of paint and new upholstery in a vibrant red/orange and white geometric print.  In choosing that particular fabric, the customer went out of her comfort zone (yeah! with a little nudge from me!), and she ended up loving the result.

Kitchen set BEFORE: 

Kitchen Set AFTER: 

What about the rest of the room?

It became apparent to the home-owner that the rest of her kitchen and the adjoining living room weren't working with her newly painted kitchen set.  The set now had color, but the rest of the space didn't. It was time to take it to the next level.....

Give me Accessories! 

The first item on the agenda was to add color.  This was achieved by adding plenty of accessories.   Wall art, additional accent furniture, table decor, and a variety of patterned throw pillows brightened up the space instantly.  No longer did that kitchen set stick out like a sore thumb.

Living room BEFORE: 


Don't forget the window!

With plenty of color added to both rooms, the bare kitchen wall with the window needed attention.  A pair of navy blue and cream geometric window panels, and a fun colorful print (that the home-owner picked out, wahoo!) helped provide visual balance between the kitchen and the living room: 

Here it is TODAY:


Color was pulled in through the window panels, accent pillows, wall art, table decor, and furniture.  The essential details I highlighted all week on the blog were included in this room make-over, and the result is a beautiful living space that the home owner loves. 

Additionally, a sea grass rug beneath the table, and a wicker chandelier, along with the smaller details like place mats, a table centerpiece, and greenery all provide additional texture throughout the room.  Texture adds richness to a room. 

Textiles like pillows, throw blankets, window panels, and a mix of geometric patterns created visual interest and depth to the space....

A variety of decor was used in both rooms; some I brought in, and some already owned by the home-owner (that's the beauty of home decorating Novo Decor style!).  All the accessories worked to pull the rooms together.  

Re-doing a room (or starting from scratch) can seem intimidating.  Knowing the basic components necessary in room design makes a big difference.  Start with the larger items (like the wall color, the furniture), and then fill in all the gaps with the details I outlined this week on the blog.  There aren't so many details, as there are possibilities!

 Missed earlier posts from this week?  See them at the links below:

Little Details; Big Impact

Control the Clutter with Pretty Storage

Easy no-sew window panels

Nail color in your home: 5 ways

Remember the details in your next decorating challenge! Have a room re-do you're proud of?  Share it to Novo Decor Facebook HERE

Not up for the challenge or don't have the time?  Contact me for more information on my products and services.....I'd love to hear from you.