A New Piano

We have a new piano.

I got it from a salvage yard in San Francisco. It is a former player piano that no longer has the player mechanism in it. It dates from 1917 and has a beautiful sound. It's loud and rich AND I knew that Kit would just love the way the little doors open allowing him to see the hammers hitting the strings.

This was the notice taped to it. This piano has been sitting somewhere since 1999.

When I saw this piano, I was immediately drawn to it but I was just breezing through the yard in search of salvaged lumber, besides that they were asking $300 and it's not easy/cheap to transport a piano. 

And, if you are a regular reader, you might recall that I already have a piano, a cute little Bradbury spinet. This little guy is only a loaner though, it belongs to my brother-in-law. I moved the map and put up the suzani earlier this year. You can see some other iterations of this nook here. (Clearly I like to move my stuff around).

Anyhoo, I left the yard without buying this thing, but I couldn't get it off my mind. It was ugly painted white but it sounded so good and I knew it would look awesome painted black. I went back twice before pulling the trigger and paying $250 for it. I'm so happy with it and so is Kit. He likes to play out patterns and chords and it sounds so lovely in the house. As for me, learning the piano is on my bucket list, but realistically not until I'm too decrepit to pursue my other more physical and creative interests (like running and DIY mania -because let's be real, there are only so many hours in the day).

It took three guys -two who were as large as pianos themselves, to haul it up one flight of stairs and to bring the other one down. 

Almost the entire piano's original varnish has alligatoring, I am completely ignoring that. I dry-scraped the top with a razor and knocked off other areas where the adhesion of the other two layers of paint weren't good. I wiped everything but the keys with de-glosser and then primed it with tinted Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3. Any paint store can add a little dark base to bring the tre-white primer to a mid-range grey for darker topcoats. 

I used a dry toothbrush to clean the red felt that runs along the top to the keys. It pops so nicely against the black and white, hard to believe that's almost 100 years old. I cleaned the keyboard with a damp cloth.

I also very delicately vacuumed the interior with a dusting brush attachment and my vacuum set on the very lowest setting.

The paint is Benjamin Moore's Black Beauty in eggshell. It has just the slightest bit of white in it, which I think suites the era of the piano. It took about 3 or 4 coats to get good coverage.

Right now I'm using this drummers stool for a seat but I'd like to find a glass ball claw foot stool of the same era for it.


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