CHIPPY GOODNESS | a painted piano

HELLO!
I’m Breida, from Breida With a B. I think you may have seen me around, either on my own blog, or occasionally helping Marian out with Furniture Feature Friday over at Miss Mustard Seed. I’m thrilled to be featuring some of my MMSMP projects here on the Milk Paint blog – I’ve been painting a lot lately, and I’m glad to be able to share some of my projects with you!

It took me so long to decide on a color for painting my piano that it threatened to turn into one of those projects that just never materialize. Really. I think it was well over a year! I knew that I wanted to use Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. And I knew that I wouldn’t be using one of the “brighter” colors…meaning, I knew it would be a neutral. When she saw the pictures, my Aunt teased me saying, “It took you over a year to decide on white??” I had to make a decision between Ironstone, Grain Sack, and Linen. I used them all on various projects along the way – I painted this nightstand in Grain Sack and repurposed this glass fronted cabinet into vintage industrial tool storage shelving with Ironstone– and in the end it was Linen that won the day.

Wait.
Since we are talking about a piano – maybe I should use a musical metaphor?
Linen hit the right note?
Or it really struck a chord with me?

Tell me, how does my painted piano play with you?

painted piano breidawithab.com

The color was not the only thing stopping me though. Don’t you think painting a piano is just a little bit daunting? But this is not a fancy piano. In fact, we found it on craigslist and agreed to buy it for $100. When my husband arrived to pick it up, the woman who owned it told him that he could just have it. So. A free piano. You really can’t beat that. And I will say, it took off some of the pressure when contemplating painting it. I really didn’t like the way it looked before the paint job and we hadn’t made any kind of investment in it so there really wasn’t anything to lose!

And still, it took me a year….

miss mustard seed milk paint breidawithab.com

Here is a lesson I learned about painting with Milk Paint: I was hoping to get a really chippy outcome – and, as you can see, I was not disappointed. Painting indoors during the winter really isn’t an issue because of the non-toxic nature of the paint. However, do you see how the front leg on the right has almost no paint on it? I think the hot blowing air from the heat vent to the right of the piano caused the paint to dry extra quickly and decreased the adhesion even more. The paint just kept chipping and chipping and chipping. I wasn’t bothered by it – but it’s definitely something to consider when painting indoors. Be aware of your heat source. I was thrilled when the piece began to chip and I wasn’t upset with how far it went.

miss mustard seed milk paint breidawithab.com

miss mustard seed milk paint breidawithab.com

miss mustard seed milk paint breidawithab.com

I’m so much happier with the way it looks now and I’m having so much fun using MMS Milk Paint. Any piece of unpainted furniture in my house should be wary. I am on the loose! And I’m armed with a paintbrush! I finished this piece off with a coat of hemp oil. Because the hemp oil darkened the exposed wood just a bit, I decided to apply just a bit of white wax on top – you can see it on the dark wood in the picture above.

miss mustard seed milk paint breidawithab.com

Once I’d gotten over choosing the color and beyond the intimidation of painting a musical instrument, this was actually a pretty simple job. Initially, I’d thought it a bit overwhelming. I have to say that once I got started I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I was finished. I used just about 1 whole bag of Linen MMSMP on the project (that includes the piano bench). Some areas only required 2 coats and some really needed 3.

miss mustard seed milk paint breidawithab.com

miss mustard seed milk paint breidawithab.com

One more tip: In the past when I’ve painted with MMSMP I’ve had the experience of having my paint begin to chip before I felt like I was done applying as many coats of paint as I wanted. Milk paint dries very quickly and sometimes by the time I’ve gotten to the end of a piece, the beginning has already started to chip. That’s only been a problem when I was planning to apply another coat to get the coverage I want. My solution here was to paint the piano in sections and do multiple coats on a particular section one right after the other. For example I began painting the end piece and I went ahead and did three coats in a row on that one section – just leaving enough time for the paint to dry between. I did the same for the flat top of the piano, as well as the main front piece above the foot pedals. Painting the piano was the first time I tried this tactic and it worked perfectly. I was able to get exactly the amount of coverage that I was looking for – sometimes a little tougher when painting with a light color over a darkish wood – and then, let the chipping begin!

miss mustard seed milk paint breidawithab.com

My piano painted with Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Linen.

I admit to being a fan of neutral colors – but I’m planning to start branching out. You can’t paint everything white! Okay, you actually can paint everything white…but there are so many other beautiful MMS Milk Paint colors to try, why would you?? I’ll hopefully see you again soon – maybe with something more colorful!

-breida (with a b.)

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15 thoughts on “CHIPPY GOODNESS | a painted piano

    1. [email protected]

      Hi Sharon –
      If you haven’t tried milk paint yet, I would suggest getting a little practice in on some smaller pieces – just to get a feel for what you can do with it. Then, GO FOR IT !!! Paint ALL of thebig pieces!
      -b.

      Reply
  1. Sharon F.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I’m really sad that I gave away my piano. This finish would have been wonderful plus it would have kept the memories within. There are other large pieces around that I want to tackle and you’ve encouraged me to try it. Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. [email protected]

      Hi Sharon –
      If you haven’t tried milk paint yet, I would suggest getting a little practice in on some smaller pieces – just to get a feel for what you can do with it. Then, GO FOR IT !!! Paint ALL of thebig pieces!
      -b.

      Reply
  2. Sharon

    Yay I found this post! I commented on the instagram pic saying I need to get to my piano sitting in my workshop for so long. Got it for $50, but it is so big and heavy and one castor is broken. Need to get that fixed, then can paint away. My colour decision has been between Linen & Tricycle. I’m loving the chipping that has happened with yours. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
  3. Karin Smith

    Just saw your amazing piano this morning. Now I wish I had kept our old piano after our girls were done with lessons! The tips on applying coats in sections was very helpful. The outcome is just sensational. Keep on painting!!!

    Reply
  4. Jelena

    MMSP Linen is my ‘go to’ color, Breida.
    I love how your piano turned out! I envy you, girls, for finding all of that free stuff! In my area nobody gives anything for free unless it is falling apart. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  5. Courtney D

    A fantastic blog post! Breida with a B, Will you be at Lucketts this year?

    Reply
  6. Deanna

    This turned out fantastic! I have been wanting to paint our piano since forever, the whole color thing has me stumped too – I’m going between white, grey, or a light blue….. Anyway quick questions – did you have to sand the piano before painting? They have such a shiny smooth surface I’m worried about none of the paint staying on! LOL you said you used a white wax, over the dark areas – is that lime wax? What was the name/brand of it?

    Reply

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