Piano Bench — A Before & After Makeover

by Katy on January 31, 2013 · 24 comments

Remember the $5 Goodwill piano bench that I bought in December? Here’s a reminder:


I’d been keeping an eye out for upholstery fabric and finally found some yesterday. I’d been rummaging through thrift shops, but I ended up just buying an as-is zippered cushion cover at Ikea for $3.50.

And since the pillow cover was sewn from a single piece of fabric rather than two squares, creating a large usable rectangle was as simple as taking a seam ripper and picking out the stitches. However, my iron is still kind of ruined from my Union Jack table, (oops) so I simply put the wrinkly fabric into the dryer with a load of laundry.

The first step was to remove the hinged top and figure out how I wanted the pattern to lie. And then I turned it the top over and used my staple gun to secure the fabric on all four sides and got to work.

Ka-chunk! ka-chunk! ka-chunk! So satisfying!

See? Not necessarily pretty, but no one will ever know. (Except you. You now know.)


Here’s s closeup, including how I did the corner.

Mitered corner

I then wiped down the wood and brushed a coat of primer onto it. (This bucket o’ paint has lived in our basement so long that it now has squatter’s rights.) Ignore how streaky the paint looks, primer is thin and not meant to be a final coat.

I then brushed on two coats of cream colored paint from the paint shop of horrors in our basement. This part was undocumented as painting is both dull and straightforward, so I’ll just let you use your imagination here. (Clue . . . I watched DVR’d HGTV shows while I worked.)

Then all I had to do was to wait for the paint to dry and screw the top back in place. I would not be exaggerating to say that I sang a happy song and then just sat on the bench for awhile.


completed piano bench

The main reason that this piano bench came home with me was the leg detail. (Also, it was insanely sturdy. I will not put time and effort into wobbly furniture.) I knew the detail would stand out once painted. (Betty Grable’s little sister?)

Leg detail

And here’s one last photo for all you Pinterest fans out there!

Piano Bench Makeover

I really enjoyed this project, as it was both cheap ($8.50 total!) and super easy. Also, it brought a unloved and underappreciated piece of furniture back to life. And for the price of an inexpensive lunch, I now own an awesome and useful piece of furniture that will last me forever.

What’s not to love about that?!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary January 31, 2013 at 4:33 am

I absolutely LOVE this! So inspiring as well…


Diane January 31, 2013 at 5:31 am

It’s beautiful!


Cee January 31, 2013 at 5:58 am

This turned out great. Have you ever checked out the Voodoo Molly Vintage website? It’s all about reimagining furniture and this piece reminded me of their work.


Katy January 31, 2013 at 8:55 am

I did check out her site, and she does a great job!



Lorraine January 31, 2013 at 6:58 am

Great job – well done!


Sherry January 31, 2013 at 7:00 am

Good job, Katy!


Cheapchick January 31, 2013 at 7:15 am

Very nice! Irons can be found pretty cheap at thrift stores (but I am sure you already know that and are looking for one – that or you are against ironing and then SO AM I as it is a most hated chore and are not replacing it in protest :))


Katy January 31, 2013 at 9:41 am

I haven’t given up on the iron yet. My plan is to somehow clean all the gunk from the bottom surface.



cc January 31, 2013 at 10:07 am

For sticky burnt gunk I have used iron cleaner. It is a cream and comes in a tube, which I picked up at the fabric store. You put it on a hot iron then iron on a scrap until clean, repeating as needed.


Katy January 31, 2013 at 10:23 am

What, I don’t have to invent the wheel?!




Cluttered Mama January 31, 2013 at 8:18 am

GREAT find! I’m jealous of your Goodwill pricing! I saw a bench similar to that at mine a few weeks ago– priced at $25. I love what you have done with that bench!!! SO cute!


Katy January 31, 2013 at 8:56 am

The reason why this was so cheap, was that it was from the Goodwill Outlet.



Ann January 31, 2013 at 10:00 am

LOVE the fabric!!! Great job!


Katy January 31, 2013 at 10:06 am

Thank you! 😀



Bobbi January 31, 2013 at 10:26 am

Great job! This is one of my favorite makeovers you have done! Now I’m inspired to go thrifting today…


One Day At A Time January 31, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Gorgeous! I love me some staple gun action.


AFS January 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Nice job Katy. I love seeing vintage furniture given new life. Where are you using the bench?
Is the storage area of the bench still usable?


Katy January 31, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Right now, the bench is sitting under the console table in the living room. It can be pulled out for extra seating. And yes, the storage area is still usable, although it’s empty right now.



Paula in the UP February 1, 2013 at 5:12 am

Love it! It’s just what I need in our mud room/ laundry room !

This cracked me up!
“I would not be exaggerating to say that I sang a happy song and then just sat on the bench for awhile! “


Roberta February 1, 2013 at 6:46 am

I love your bench and am so jealous! We have Goodwill, but not a Goodwill outlet (what do they do with the old stuff?). And I have a very small piano player who might enjoy being able to move around to reach all the octaves.

That said, I liked the cat detailing in the first picture. 😀


emmer February 1, 2013 at 2:20 pm

and katy, when you clean that iron with “iron off”, the smell will gag you. be sure you have good ventilation. better yet, do it outside. you can use cloth rags to rub the goo on with (but not synthetic rags). it’s like stiff toothpaste. assume you will need to do repeated coats with the cleaner.


Debra February 2, 2013 at 3:48 am

This is an awesome job and awesome “new” piece for your home! I think I would use it as an accent piece in a room – an extra side bench or something to fill a small corner or wall space. What are you doing with it?


Katy February 2, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Right now, it sits under the console table in our living room. I’ll pull it out for extra seating. I imagine that it will roam around the house.



Anki February 6, 2013 at 12:21 am

Love this makeover!


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