When I was little the story goes that one day my parents got a random call from my Grandmother, Marge. She lived in Oakland, CA. both of my parents grew up in California but had moved to Seattle the day after they were married and at the time were living in what I understand was a tiny little house up on Capitol Hill. The call came in to let them know that they were inheriting the old upright piano. My Mom said that she really didn't know where they could keep a piano in their small living space. My grandma said "it's for Becky, I am giving it to Becky" (I was called Becky when I was young)...they ended the call wondering how to handle the situation when literally not twenty minutes later a moving truck pulled up in front of the house with Becky's Piano. Oh boy, this baby has been through it all. Truly. I remember it inside for a few years but mostly it has gone from garage to storage unit to garage. It got pretty run down and I almost gave it a way once to a guy who said he'd give me $50 to take it off my hands. For some reason I couldn't do it. It is one of the only things Marge ever put my name on.
A few years back I got the hair-brained idea to paint it. Some of the wood veneer had pulled off and it had become an eye sore. Chris thought that sounded like a lot of work (mainly code for I think YOU should paint it for me :)) so it sat at least another winter in the garage.
For my birthday I told Chris that all I wanted was for us to spend a weekend together, no kids, eating cupcakes and takeout and working on the old piano. We were all set to go, kids at his folks house, cupcakes in the fridge, me about to burst at eight months pregnant - serious nesting was going on. Chris got super sick over my birthday weekend so the old piano project was postponed. But not to fear after our number three was born Chris got to work on it. It has been a looooong labor of love and still needs a few more touches but she is coming along. I chose marigold yellow...
What do you think?
I really love it! The right yellow is such a hard thing to pick and it is super dark in our front room so the color in the photo is a bit off. What you can't see are the turquoise blue ceilings. I think the combo of blue and yellow is my most favorite part.
I can't really speak to much about the process because Chris did ALL of the work on this one but he did tell me a few things to add here and a few cell phone pictures of his process:
First he cleaned it really well with TSP then taped off the areas that needed to be and sanded it all with a fine sandpaper. He cleaned it off really well at this point making sure there was no dust on it and began the tiring work of painting it. Between every coat he sanded it again to make it as smooth as possible. I think one thing he mentioned a few times was the paint that we purchased was not as high quality as we could have. If we ever do something like this again I think Benjamin Moore paint might be just a bit better even though it has a higher price tag. The cheaper paint tended to run after a bit making super frustrating drips even when he had carefully gone over spots meticulously.
After all of the painting and sanding coats were done (I think he did at least six) then he painted a polyurethane top coat over it to seal and give it a better protection from wear.
I definitely have been enjoying changing out the display on top since we don't have a proper mantel and I love doing seasonal displays. She is mighty pretty now and one of my favorite birthday gifts (I have another one to show you soon - it's to die for!) oh and to the left in the photo you might notice an adorable celery green fiberglass mid century inspired rocker. Yup I got that little guy under the Christmas tree but apparently Chris ordered it for me the first week of June as a birthday present (end of September) and it arrived two weeks before Christmas! Isn't he sweet!
Thanks Babe I love it all, and you are the best!! xoxo