Thursday, May 19, 2016

Benchless Piano

It's just not as fun to play piano when you sit in a folding chair instead of on a piano bench. We were given a piano this past year, but it came without a bench or stool. So I began searching. Did you know it's kind of hard to find a decent used piano bench? Who knew it would end up being such an ordeal.

A few weeks ago I finally bought a piano bench from an antique store in New Jersey (yes, I drove to NJ for a piano bench).

What you can't tell from these pictures is that this fabric was quite dingy looking and dirty. I did kind of like the stitching, but decided it was too dirty to salvage.

I took off the lid/seat and sanded and painted the base black to match the piano. I stripped off the old upholstery and found the original upholstery underneath. The fabric looked like it was in good shaped but little fibers were flaking off, and it smelled a tad musty.

I went to my local upholstery fabric warehouse, bought some fabric that would coordinate with the drapes and recovered it. I kept the old original padding but put a layer of quilt batting over top for a little extra. I stapled the new fabric on and covered the raw edges with trim. I was planning to use upholstery tacks for the trim, like it was originally, but I opted for hot glue instead. We'll see how it holds up.

It feels a bit silly to post about this (and to be taking time to do this while I should be doing a bunch of other things), but it took me longer than I thought it would, and I am also so pleased to finaly have a finished piano bench. While it may have been cheaper to buy second hand and re-do it, it certainly wasn't simpler. Sometimes cheaper is simpler, and sometimes cheaper just means more work on my part. I enjoyed it overall, so it's not an issue, but it was a lot of time and work for a piano bench. Especially when the flower beds were calling my name and there are still piles of mulch in our driveway.

Susanna supervised while I screwed the seat back on, and then I promptly dug out the piano books my sister lent me.

I found the beginner book and decided to see how much I could remember. I forgot that these were the books I used during my 1 year of piano lessons many years ago. There was my name, written in pencil by the piano teacher, and there was the sticker chart at the back where I would earn a sticker if I practiced enough. (Confession: I cheated on those practice charts. It's true. I didn't like practicing but I really, really wanted my piano teacher to be happy with me. I'm guessing she probably knew I didn't practice as much as I said I did, but she never said I guess I wasn't a perfect child after all...)

I'm looking forward to more self-taught piano lessons this summer.