How to Paint a Piano with a Black Finish


The modern piano, invented in the early 1700s, has undergone many transformations in form and appearance. From its humble beginnings as a harpsichord with keys, the piano has become a symbol of culture and elegance. Designers create rooms around prized pianos to highlight the pieces' forms as much as their ability to create music. A piano's shiny black finish epitomizes the ultimate in expensive, finely crafted wood. To refinish a piano that's lost its luster requires a wet sanding technique that ensures a polished finish.

Things You'll Need

  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Drop cloth
  • High-gloss oil-based black paint
  • Short-nap paint rollers
  • Paint tray
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • 440-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Clean, lint-free towels
  • Oil-based lacquer
  • Large, flat paintbrush
  • Position the piano over the drop cloth.

  • Sand the piano using a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. Wipe the piano down afterward to remove debris.

  • Pour the black paint into the tray.

  • Roll the paint roller into the paint; remove the excess paint on the tray's treads.

  • Roll the paint onto the piano until you've coated the entire piece. Let the coat dry overnight.

  • Wet the 440-grit sandpaper with water and spray down the piano with a water-filled spray bottle. Gently sand the piano. Wipe the piano down with a clean, soft towel to remove any debris.

  • Apply another coat of black paint. Let the coat dry overnight.

  • Pour the clear lacquer into a paint tray.

  • Dip a large, flat paintbrush into the lacquer. Remove excess lacquer from the brush by gently wiping the brush bristles on the side of the tray.

  • Apply the lacquer onto the piano. Coat the entire piece. Let the coat dry for 2 to 3 hours. Apply another coat of the lacquer, and let the coat dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work in a well-ventilated area when using oil-based paints.

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  • Photo Credit monochrome piano image by Paul Moore from
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