Piano Bench Makeover with Ombre Paint Treatment

DIY Vintage Piano Bench Makeover

Imagine you’re walking through a thrift store, wandering around, looking carefully and curiously up and down the aisles for that certain something.

But you’re not even sure what that certain something is.

But you have faith.

So you scan the shelves, and you browse the racks.

You look under things, and over things.

You rummage through miscellaneous boxes of stuff, and scour all the nooks and crannies of the store.

Time is ticking as you keep on searching and you’re just not seeing it.

But you still have faith.

Because you can’t shake the feeling that there’s a treasure close by that was meant for you to find. A treasure in desperate need of some RE-Style to make it smile.

And just as you’re almost ready to give up your quest, one of the volunteers comes out of the storage room carrying something and she looks at you as she puts it down.

Right in front of you.

And voila. There it is. Just like that. That certain something that you were meant to find, and for only $4.

Sometimes you get lucky, but sometimes it’s having faith that puts you in the right place at the right time.

Whatever you want to call it, I was so happy to find this treasure. And even more happy to be a part of its RE-Style journey.

Here’s what I found.

vintage wooden piano bench with brown vinyl hinged seat

When I first saw this vintage wooden piano bench plunked down right in front of me I swear I could hear the music playing.

I imagined Christmas carols being sung around a piano.

Happiness being spread.

Smiles being shared.

And for all that happiness and all those smiles, this discarded piano bench definitely deserved to now be smiled upon.

top view of vintage wooden piano bench with brown vinyl hinged seat

It was pretty much in great shape with just minor marks and wear to the vinyl seat cover, which I guess is to be expected.

inside view of vintage wooden piano bench with brown vinyl hinged seat

Thankfully, the inside was in great shape too.

side view of vintage wooden piano bench with brown vinyl hinged seat

To happify this old piano bench I’m starting by giving it an easy ombre treatment with spray paint.

Spray Painting an Ombre Paint Treatment

piano bench turned upside down on cardboard for spray painting

The easiest way do this piano bench makeover was to turn it upside down on a large piece of cardboard outside. I gave the whole bench, including the seat cover a good cleaning before starting. There’s no need to sand the wood before spray painting.

Supplies needed for this project

  • spray paint (paint and primer combo) in various shades of the same color
  • fabric
  • screwdriver
  • staple gun
  • hammer
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • gorilla tape

spray painting wooden piano bench with blue ombre paint treatment

I really wasn’t sure how this paint treatment was going to work, but I went ahead and I did it anyway.

And it turned out that this ombre spray paint technique really couldn’t have been easier. I’m using various shades of aqua blue spray paint.

First I spray painted the entire bench the lightest blue color. Because I was covering up the dark brown color of the wood, I applied one light coat and let that dry. Then I applied a second light coat.

While the second coat was still wet I spray painted the middle section of each leg with the next blue, which was a little darker. I only needed one light coat for this. Once you’ve done all sides of all four legs you can move onto the darkest color.

wooden piano bench painted with blue ombre treartment

Which as you can see in this pic gets added to all sides of the bottom of all four legs.

This went really quick for me. After I let the first light blue coat dry, it only took about 15 minutes to finish the whole ombre treatment.

I basically sat on my butt in one place and spun the cardboard to easily get to all the legs with the spray paint.

If you make any booboos, just let it dry and then retouch with spray paint where needed.

Once I was all done, I left it outside to dry and cure, and I turned my attention to the piano bench seat.

Recovering a Piano Bench Seat

cutting fabric to recover vintage piano bench seat

To avoid having to measure just sit the piano bench cover on top of whatever fabric you’re using and cut around it, making sure to leave enough fabric to reach the bottom of the seat. Before cutting, check on your seat placement to make sure you’re happy with the the fabric pattern. And make sure your fabric is opaque enough so that you don’t see the brown vinyl through it.

I’m using a fun floral with a retro vibe. It’s actually a twin sheet that I got for $1, which I bought specifically for projects since I don’t own a twin bed.

The vinyl of the seat cover was still in good shape so I decided to keep it. It gives a nice base for the new fabric, and it makes this project a lot easier. Also the hinges were in the seat with bolts so they couldn’t be removed without taking off the seat cover, so I just worked around them.

removing tape that covered old staples of vintage piano bench seat

I removed the brown tape that covered the original staples, so I could better see where I was stapling the new fabric.

Stapling fabric onto piano bench seat

stapling new fabric onto piano bench seat

This is where the magic starts to happen. Pull the fabric at the center of one side so that it’s just tight enough and staple it in place. Then do the same thing to the other three sides.

stapling fabric down in corners with staple gun

Then you continue to pull and staple from the centers to the corners of the fabric, where you fold the fabric and staple in place.

hammering staples down

Then hammer any staples in place as needed.

folding and stapling corners of fabric into place

Here’s a close up of one corner so you can see how it’s done.

covering fabric edges with white gorilla tape

To finish it off nicely, and to keep the fabric from fraying, I used white gorilla tape to cover the fabric edges.

vintage piano bench makeover with new fabric on seat

And here’s my finished seat cover. This floral fabric is so bright and happy, and definitely brings back memories of my 1970s teenage-hood. I had a large funky floral wallpaper in my bedroom that I absolutely loved.

Befores and afters of piano bench makeover

side view of vintage wooden piano bench with brown vinyl hinged seat

So here’s the vintage piano bench as I found it. In great shape, but discarded and forgotten.

vintage piano bench makeover with ombre paint treatment and recovered seat

And now it has a second chance at life with this easy ombre paint treatment and a fun and funky floral. The ombre look adds interest to the legs without competing with the fabric. The inside was left as it was because I really don’t plan on putting anything in there. If I do I can certainly use it as is.

vintage wooden piano bench with brown vinyl hinged seat

When I find treasures like this I always wonder why they fell out of favor with whoever gave them up, but at the same time I’m super thankful that they brought it to a thrift store rather than a landfill.

For someone like me to rescue and RE-Style.

vintage piano bench makeover with blue ombre paint treatment and reupholstered seat

These old piano benches are super versatile when it comes to home decor. They really lend themselves to being transformed to fit in with any style. They’re virtually a blank canvas, that can go anywhere you creatively want to take them.

vintage piano bench makeover in place in front of window

So here’s my fun and funky piano bench makeover in my family room window looking out to the backyard deck and pond. The cats love to sit here and watch birds bathing.

See that terra cotta color beneath the bench. That’s the room’s current wall color (has been for about 10 years) and I’m getting ready to give this room a makeover. Not sure exactly when I’ll be starting, but my creative wheels have been turning for months. Ever since I found the fun and funky curtains, which are the inspiration for the makeover plan that I’m working on.

The bench is the first family room makeover project, and I’m super happy with how it turned out. I think it looks so happy now, and it makes me smile.

My version of happiness for this piano bench includes funky flowers and fun colors. Yours could, and should, be completely different. It’s all about knowing what you love when it comes to your own home’s decor.

You really can RE-Style anything to smile if you just have faith… in yourself, in what makes you smile, and in what makes you happy.

And I hope I can inspire you to do just that.

It would be greatly appreciated if you would pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board, and also share it with your friends.

DIY vintage piano bench makeover with ombre paint treatment and recovered bench seat

Thanks so much for reading and until next time,

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1. Wow, that looks so good! Love the ombre treatment and the fabric too.


  2. I can’t believe this! Your bench is just like the one that was my mom’s! And I’ve been wanting to re-do it ever since I got it…….in 1988! Now I have the inspiration. Just need to find the time. Have gathered supplied for making those colored ‘rock’ crystal garden lights. I have felt more bottles, and bought more drinks, trying to find the right shapes than I care to say! Our Gatorade doesn’t have the same shapes as yours. But, I’ll give it a shot with Body Armor bottles! Thanks again, Girl! You give me so much with your ideas!

    1. Thanks Dona! That’s such a coincidence. I do think there were a lot of these benches around when upright pianos were a thing back in the day. I had no idea that Gatorade bottles here in Canada would be different sizes and shapes that what you have in the U.S. I learn something new every day. 🙂

  3. Jo-anne Ventevogel says:

    Another wonderful makeover! I smile when I see your name in my emails! I also appreciate how skilled you are, and how you put such care into your work. Your projects are all beautiful! And thank you for teaching them so well! Best wishes!!

  4. Love this makeover.

    I didn’t realize at first it was a piano bench, how fabulous. I will
    be looking more carefully at stools I see at the thrift store now.

    1. Thanks Wendy! You really never know what you’ll find at a thrift store. That’s what makes it so much fun.

  5. I love this makeover, it is definitely my style! Fun, funky and my favorite colors. I was curious how you were going to pull off the ombre finish with spray paint but it looks fantastic.

    I have to say… those curtains are EVERYTHING!!! My heart went pitter patter when I saw them! Were they a thrifting find or are they available to purchase somewhere?

    I always love your creations and you provide so much inspiration, thank you!

    1. Thanks Beth! I found the curtains on Wayfair Canada, but I just checked and the exact ones don’t seem to be there anymore. They’re paisley room darkening curtains. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my projects.

  6. Love how this find landed at your feet, Tuula. The orphaned piano bench has loads of personality now. Love the colors!

    1. Thanks so much Marie! It was such a lucky find, and it always makes me happy to brings things back to life.

  7. Debra Hubbs says:

    This came out amazing. Love it. I didn’t have funky flowered wallpaper in my room in the 70’s but my dad was a graphic artist and made me large funky vinyl stick on flowers for my walls, just like the ones in the bench fabric but in shades of lavender and purple to match my room. Your bench brought back memories. Enjoy it. Looks great where you have it. So many color choices for your walls, have fun deciding on that lol.

    1. Thanks Debra! Vinyl flower stickers sound like a lot of fun. I would have loved those too. You’re so right, there are a lot of color options from the curtains but it’s always fun deciding what colors will go where.

  8. MaryEllen says:

    Wow! The piano bench makeover is so cute and you make it look so easy. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks MaryEllen! This was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. And the beauty of spray paint is that if it doesn’t work you can always just spray paint over it.

  9. I really like the bench makeover, and I love the curtains. My family room curtains have the same pattern but are blue and tan instead of blue and green. I enjoy all your posts and have “borrowed” some of your ideas. Looking forward to the room makeover.

    1. Thanks so much Janet! It makes me happy to know that you’ve borrowed some of my ideas. I love to hear that. 🙂