Whether you're wanting to fix up an old piano you've had for years or look for one just for this project, This is something that's going to take several weeks to finish. It's a good idea to break it into several smaller projects. I suggest that you take your time and enjoy the process.
There are many old pianos for sale all over the country, just do a search on Craigslist.com in any city and you can find one for a very reasonable price, sometimes even free! An upright piano would have more surface area to get creative with but they are a bit heavier and also, some of the older upright pianos have intricate raised carved scrollwork that might get in the way of a large design.
I've had this spinet piano for several years, it originally belonged to my Mother. I have been thinking about painting it for a while. All 3 of my daughters took piano lessons and they have grown up and moved away so it wasn't getting much use. There were a few places on it where the paint had started to peel and it definitely needed a dose of TLC.
Use your imagination and get creative! Do some sketches and search online for printable coloring pages, it's good to have a basic idea before you get started.
Step 1: Supplies
First and foremost, you'll need an old piano.
It won't be hard to locate one at a Salvation Army Thrift Store or on Craig's List.
The difficult part will be getting it moved. Have a piano moving party, call your friends and get a case of beer and some pizza, that might just do the trick!
You will also need the following:
Acrylic paints in several different colors
Plastic container to pour the paint into
Polyurethane clear coat
Step 2: Prep the Piano
This is the hard part, but it is necessary to get the wood in shape to be painted on.
First, remove the knobs on the front of the piano and set them aside.
Using regular sandpaper or a sanding block, gently sand down all exposed areas of the piano and bench.
You won't have to remove all the previous paint but you will need to sand enough so the new paint will stick.
Step 3: Prime the Piano
I chose to paint my piano white first so that the design would show up better.
All of the white will eventually be covered when it is finished.
Step 4: Mandala Flowers- A
Let's begin by painting the piano bench;
Randomly place a quarter at 10 or 12 places on the piano bench and trace around using a fine tip marker.
Divide each circle into 8 sections.
Place a dot between the marks about 1" from the edge of the circle.
Step 5: Mandala Flowers- B
Draw each flower petal making the point of the petal where the dots are.
Make a 2nd layer of petals by placing a dot between each petal about 1/2" out.
Draw the 2nd layer of petals.
Step 6: Mandala Flowers- C
Repeat the process for the remaining flowers, continuing to add more layers of petals.
When the flowers are large enough so they start touching each other, draw them so that they appear to overlap one another.
Step 7: Mandala Flowers- D
Start by painting the center of flowers.
I chose to paint half of the centers yellow and the other half orange.
When you get the centers done, begin painting the flower petals.
Try to not get the same color of petals next to each other. There is no way to eliminate that completely but try to keep it to a minimum.
I find it helpful to keep a package of baby wipes nearby, they clean up mistakes quickly!
When the paint is completely dry, go over the outlines with the fine tip marker.
Step 8: Sides of Piano
My freehand drawing skills are limited so I found a way to transfer images I found.
For the sides of the piano, I found 2 images on the internet that were long and narrow.
On one side I have an owl and the other side is a pretty bird in flight.
I enlarged the pictures until they were the size I needed then I cut them out and taped it to the side of the piano.
I outlined the picture then started cutting away at each piece of it, marking lines accordingly until the entire image had been traced.
The owl is now ready to be painted.
I found a few circular objects around my house, jar lids and napkin holders, etc... that I placed randomly and traced around near the bottom of the sides of the piano and painted different colors for an interesting look.
Step 9: Top of Piano
Using the same technique as the piano bench, draw and paint some mandala flowers on the top of the piano.
Painting these colorful Mandala flowers is fun and I think it would be beautiful to cover an entire piano with them!
Step 10: Front of Piano
The bottom front section of the piano lends itself to a pretty picture. I chose to paint a colorful beach scene.
I had a beautiful postcard from Hanalei Bay on the Island of Kauai in Hawaii that I got inspiration from.
I decided to change the design of the sun to mirror the mandala flowers on the bench and top of the piano.
I used a straight piece of wood to use as a guide for the horizon. From there I drew the sun, mountains, pier and palm trees.
Fill in the areas with paint and allow to dry.
Add some white highlights on the water, palm trees and the pier.
Step 11: Keyboard Cover
I wanted to paint a music staff on the keyboard cover, the notes are a version of "Let it be" by the Beatles.
Google the sheet music for a song you want.
Draw 5 lines, about an inch apart across the piano. This is the music staff.
When you figure out how many notes you will be painting, divide the area in half and mark the center of the keyboard cover with a small piece of masking tape. Now, place a piece of tape in the center of each half.
Draw a treble clef on the left side of the music staff.
Place some masking tape over the areas next to where you are painting.
Since I had 29 notes to paint, I worked with 1/4 of the area at a time.
Add as much or as little detail as you like.
Step 12: Stencils
Purchased stencils are an easy way to add some detail.
Use them with inexpensive foam stencil applicators.
Step 13: Details
Now it's time to finish up all the detail work.
Paint the borders and legs on the piano and bench.
Step back and look for areas that may need some fine tuning. (Pardon the pun)
Some of the colors may need a second coat.
Step 14: Clear Coat
Allow the piano to dry overnight before applying the clear coat.
When you are happy with your design, apply 2 coats of polyurethane clear coat, allowing to dry completely between coats.
Step 15: Finished Piano
Now you've got an interesting musical instrument that will be a joy to play!