February 19, 2011

Piano Panel Makeover

I took a break from the dining room sweat shop to give my $10.00 piano panel a new finish.   It looked like someone had tried to strip it and just left the dried up mess on it.  I cleaned the nasty thing up with bleach and then I scraped and sanded it.  I could still see crackles of the dried up stripper even after I was ready to paint it.  I crossed my fingers that it would just add to the look I was going for.
I have been wanting to try milk paint for a long time.  It used to be fairly easy to find, but I couldn’t find it locally.  I even tried making my own and it worked but I didn’t make much- just enough to test with.  I finally got smart and ordered some on E-bay.

I purchased The Genuine Old Fashioned Milk Paint and also ordered some Extra Bond that gets mixed into the first batch of milk paint to promote adhesion on surfaces other than bare wood.  I thought this might come in handy since this thing had an old finish on it.

I was thrilled with the way the milk paint worked.  The first coat was a bit see through, but I wanted a little more coverage so I mixed a little more and strategically painted it on.  I was careful not to get paint in all of the decorative areas.  It dried in a flash,  so I had it painted and distressed in under an hour!!!   The color I used is buttermilk and it has a slightly creamy yellow tint.  I decided to dry brush a little white paint here and there just to brighten it some.

I’m loving how it turned out!!!

I didn’t know there were numbers on the bottom until I started painting.
The # 56 in the center.  That was a sweet surprise!

The original dark finish is so pretty where I distressed it.

I love how the finish crackled in this area.  

I just now realized that this might have been crackle finish gone bad and not stripper!!!! 
You know some  crackle varnish products will reactivate long after they are dry.

Huge improvement

I already have it hanging over my fireplace and the mantel is spruced up for spring.
It has been gorgeous weather here for the last couple of days. The temperature today was in the mid-70’s ! 
I enjoy cold weather, but even I am ready for spring to bring it’s glorious colors and smells again.
I am definitely ready for the days to be longer, too.  I get so much more done when it stays light until 8:00.

Party Schedule:


  1. What a great piece. You've done a terrific job. ~ Sarah

  2. love the transformation- how daring with great results...


  3. I can't wait to see the whole thing revealed in its new setting! I haven't seen milk paint anywhere here in years either. Hugs-Diana

  4. Love the new look. It is wonderful. Can't wait to see what you do with it. Hugs, Marty

  5. What a wonderful panel and I love the finish. I would love to see this on your mantel.

  6. What a beautiful unique piece! Love the paint finish you did on it!

  7. I love it!! It looks gorgeous.I have to try the milk paint.


  8. Ooh Rhonda, this piece looks wonderful. I love the patina and the colors you used.


  9. I love milk paint. I have not used it in years, but when I had an antique shop many years ago I used it on pieces that would just have looked good stripped (since stripping and refinishing is what everyone wanted back in the day!!!). I would have a hard time convincing my customers that the milk paint finish was a new finish and not original to the piece. Cannot wait to see it in place!!!

  10. This piece is just gorgeous! Love what you have done. So unique.

  11. Great piece and great finish!

  12. Oooh! That's beautiful! Nice job! Thanks for sharing! Happy White Wednesday!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  13. That's so neat looking ... I love the finish. I've always been curious about milk paint but had no idea you could buy it - thought you had to make it. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I love the rustic look of this. It turned out great.

  15. My, oh my! I love how this piece turned out! You did a fantastic job with the paint and distressing, Rhonda. It looks 1000x better. ;)

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage


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