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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

 I don’t play the piano… well, that’s not entirely true, I took lessons for about two years, so there are about 3 songs I can pluck out- Ode to Joy, Hey Jude (talk about random!), and one nameless song that is kind of my signature song.  Long story short, I stink!  Eric however, is an amazing pianist.  I absolutely love listening to him play.  Our kids have names for all the different songs, “The Angry Song” is a fast song and the kids run around our house like crazy people when he plays it.  I love watching him play and it reminds me how crazy talented (in so many areas) my hubs is.
As much as I love the sound, I have never been a fan of the look of the oak piano.  It’s just so dated and not me…
Because the piano was so blah, I let two years go by with our front living room looking pretty much like this… no style, Eric’s choice of colonial blue on the walls, and just an overall hot mess.
My living room is attached to my dining room, so the difference between the two rooms was pretty stark…
We finally decided to take the plunge and paint the piano!  I knew I was going to for ages, but I didn’t know what color, so I wanted until I was positive!
I decided on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Antibes Green. I’m sure you know all about ASCP, but if you don’t it’s one of the coolest paint products out there! It is a chalk paint, but not chalkboard paint.  Basically it adheres to all kinds of surfaces and wait for it… you don’t have to sand!!  Boyah!
Since I didn’t have to waste time sanding, I got right to taping.  I needed to make sure that I was super careful and no paint would damage the piano since the hubs actually uses it.
The prep work took me about 5 minutes and then it was time to paint.  Eric was working on painting stripes on the ceiling for me (post coming on those soon) and we just put “Hit List” on Fios and got our painting groove on.
Yeah, I don’t look too thrilled, but I promise I was….
How’s that for a comparison… bye bye nasty oak!
I did two coats, but after the first I knew I was in love!
Chalk paint looks really uneven when it’s drying, but have no fear- it looks nice and smooth once it’s fully dry.
I used Annie Sloan dark wax to seal the piano and give it the darker, rich color I wanted.  I’m not going to give you any tips on that part because I completely did it wrong! Apparently I was supposed to wax with clear wax and then dark… I just tell people, I was going for a more imperfect look! Ha!
The bench got ASCP on the legs, but to add a little awesomeness, I upholstered it with this fabric from Spoonflower.
Ahh! I love the fabric with the green!
So what do you think of the before and after?
I hear so many people say, “but you can’t paint it- it’s REAL wood!” and I want to go on the record saying, “It can be REAL wood and still be REALLY ugly!”  Don’t be afraid to paint!!
And now for an onslaught of after pictures….
I’m so happy to finally have a living room that I love!

And don’t forget… We’re the ones in a contest now and if we win, we get to give $5000 to the charity of our choice! We need your help, though- you can learn more about our project and the charity we chose here, or go vote for us every day for the next two weeks right here (like their page and then click on the Crafting for Charity button on their FB page). Thank you!

And just because this absolutely made my night… look at the picture I found on my computer!  I recently taught Kaden how to use PicMonkey and apparently he’s having a good old time with it!
I actually might frame this pic I love it so much… “ther is monsters”
Have a great weekend and watch out for those darn monsters!

The comments +

  1. Gretchen says:

    I loved this when you posted the art above the other day! We have a really similar piano that I’ve been itching to paint for awhile now. DH has had it since he was 6, and it….reflects that era 😉 Thanks for the tutorial…maybe it will be the thing that makes me finally do it!

  2. Jesse B says:

    Can I just tell you how much I love this!!! I love Antibes Green and I think it looks fabulous on your piano. I so wish that someone played in our family…I’m holding out for my boys! 😉 Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

  3. Ok I have to know…what is the flooring in this room? I think we have the same floors. I have them throughout my home. my biggest problem is everything shows. how do you keep them looking clean. I get foot prints and mop steaks and everything shows. any tips?

  4. So glad I saw this post. I didn’t know ASCP would go on without sanding. That is great news for my new china cabinet. Love the colors

  5. Renae says:

    I have a hubby who is of the mentality that you don’t paint oak. We’re at an impasse for now about those oak kitchen cabinets, but I’m also dying to paint my piano…I’m leaning towards red.

    Check out my cousin’s piano redo. This is what got me thinking about the project.

  6. I love the fabric on the piano bench. I’ll have to remember it for the future. Great job!

  7. Therese F says:

    I love it. I have a friend who asked me to paint her piano and I was a little worried. But now that I’ve seen you do it and how gorgeous it is, I’m good to go. The green is my favorite! And your big ole’ stripes on the ceiling…I think I need those in my front room! Hmm, but what color? Now you’ve really got me thinking.
    Cheers to you and yours,
    Therese @ Fresh Idea

  8. LauraMelissa says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. fhelessons says:

    Oh, No! I’m so worried that this will ruin the acoustics of your piano! I hope it doesn’t, but I’m worried that it will!

  10. Wow! The same room? Really? It is so different after! I LOVE what you did – have to get onto painting my piano soon too. Love the Antibes green:)
    Krista @thehappyhousie

  11. Gwen says:

    I have a green piano, too! I love yours and your shim wall art and your Spoonflower fabric! I just did my stair risers with Spoonflower wallpaper… isn’t Spoonflower incredible???

  12. Tanya Runkle says:

    I love the color you chose for the painted piano, and wood shim wall art. My vote has been made 🙂

    xo, Tanya

  13. Stephanie says:

    I am loving this! What color did you paint your wall? I stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest! I would LOVE to know the paint sources for ALL your rooms!!! Do you have a House Tour and sources?

  14. yeah, my first thought was that WOOD is used for pianos so they can BREATHE and RELAX and UNWIND after playing and getting OVERHEATED.
    Green Pigmented Stain would have been really cool and provided some BREATHING SPACE for the PIANO. . . DOes any one care what the PIANO needs?

  15. Vickie says:

    Ok, first saw your awesome piano yesterday in the HGTV mag and thought, “Wow…someone did just what I’ve been wanting to do to my daughter’s ugly oak piano for the last 2 years (also, the 1st thing you see in our living room.)” In the past, when I talked to a couple of painters, they scared me away from the idea saying what a BIG and complicated job THAT would be and that it’d cost $600 or more to have it done. And, look, you did it. And, it looks FAB! I’ll be purchasing some of that Annie Sloan chalk paint today! Thanks for sharing! Look forward to following your blog, now, too 🙂

  16. Loved your work!! Im from argentina and unfortunately we don’t have chalk paint here, what would you use instead? any idea?? thanks! 🙂

  17. i love your patterned rug under your piano. mind to share where did you purchase it?

  18. malik aayan says:

    Wow. You are very creative, your work is wonderful and very mattress and bed retailer

  19. […] dumpy oak piano could be such a show stopper?  (You can read all about that little makeover right here. ) Here’s a peek at the details- the DIY light isn’t my entry, but man I love how it […]

  20. […] AWESOME??  I just adore these girls. Here are some more amazing ideas from East Coast Creative: Green Painted Piano  (amazing)Faux Industrial Letters (love)Guest Room Makeover (so fun)Be sure to put East Coast […]

  21. Desiree says:

    I love this so much! I just aquired a used piano a few months ago and knew the moment I saw it that I wanted to paint it. Everyone I have talked to has told me not to do it. Then I went to an Annie Sloan paint class last week and now I am obsessed with ithe things that paint can do! I am not as bold as you so I am going to paint mine in a neutral color but I wanted to know, did you use one can or two? And did you splurge for the special Annie Sloan brush or just use a regular chalk paint brush (Amazon sells them for cheaper) and lastly, has the quality of your piano’s sound changed since painting it? Any feedback you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Monica says:

      Hi Desiree,

      That is so wonderful to hear that you took a Annie Sloan class that inspired you to paint your piano! It can really make such a difference. I used one can, but put two coats on it along with Annie Sloan dark wax, apparently your supposed to use a clear wax, but I love the way ours turned out! You can use a regular paint brush, we actually started with a roller on the piano we painted on an episode of Knock it Off, Good luck and please come back to share your painted piano with us!

  22. alicia says:

    How many cans of paint did it take u to finish the piano?

  23. […] love Annie Sloan  products, especially their chalk paint…remember my awesome green piano and Jess’s simple but chic fireplace upgrade? It’s so easy to work with; no sanding, […]

  24. azu says:

    hi there.
    it was quite sometime already after i read this entry. now i am planning to upholster my dining chair using spoonflower fabric. but i read somewhere that digital printed fabric wont last long, means the printing will fade faster. so what do you think after almost a year after you upholster your bench? and what type of fabric you used? is the quality suitable for upholstery works?

    thanks in advance

  25. Amy Jo says:

    Wow….That is a stunning $20 art project! It looks great!
    I painted my ugly oak piano about three years ago, and I still really like it! I picked a bright green and then glazed over it to tone it down a bit. It pretty much looks just like yours! We must have great taste in piano paint.

    Here’s my piano, if you’re interested:

  26. Emily says:

    How many coats of paint did you use and did you use the wax after?

  27. Sara says:

    How much paint did you need to do 2 coats on your piano? I’m about to paint mine and found a stockist in my area to sell me the same color, I just don’t know how much I need. Thanks!

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