Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Refinished Piano Chairs

Several months ago, right in the middle of piano lessons, my bench broke. It's an antique piano and matching bench and the joints in the bench finally gave out beyond repair. Finding an independent bench is nearly impossible, and trust me, I'd looked. I'd gone to several piano stores, antique stores, and thrift stores. My searches always left me benchless.

So I started thinking about the possiblity of NOT using a bench, but rather a chair. Given that it was the correct height, it would probably work! But a chair at a piano? I wasn't sure if it would look right. PLUS, when I start teaching again, I'd need two chairs and I thought I'd be lucky enough just to find one that I liked.

This is the type of chair I envisioned in my mind (not crazy about the wicker seat, but I really loved the shape and style). Pottery Barn, I have a deep love hate relationship with you. Why must your beautiful chairs cost $200 a piece?

One afternoon in late October I was taking a load to DI (our local thrift store) and I had a feeling that I should go inside and just look around. I was not looking for a chair, but I'm always on the lookout for a good piece of wood that I can refinish. I rounded a corner, and I found two matching chairs and my heart stopped. The shape and style was perfect. The horrible bright blue and brown paint on them, hideous. I looked the chairs over with a fine tooth comb and I was flabergasted to find what incredible shape they were in. They were solid wood and the joints were in pristine condition. The rungs were sturdy as well as the cross bars on the legs. My guess is that someone else had redone them and after they looked at the horrible shade of blue and brown, decided they had made a huge mistake but were too lazy to re-do them. Ha ha ha, their mistake was my fortune!

Oh, and here's the fantastic part. The chairs were only $5 a piece. I wanted to scream from sheer excitment!! I grabbed them, paid, stuffed them in the car, made a quick stop at the hardware store for the perfect shade of paint, and headed home.

For two days I did nothing but work on these chairs. The blue paint was chipping off everywhere and I had a ton of sanding to do. I sanded and sanded and primed and primed. Then I gave them each two coats of Rustoleum spray paint in colonial red. I am thrilled with how turned out. Looking at them, even closely, you would never guess they came from anywhere but a place like PB. DEFINITELY not a thrift store! The best thing is that I now have two chairs to use for piano lessons. I keep one at the piano right now, and the other stays hidden down in the basement for safe keeping. I am in love!