DIY Piano Bench Makeover

5 Materials
2 Hours

I picked up this old piano bench for just $5. One of my garage sale tips is to always look behind and under stuff and it happened to be tucked away the back of a pile. The veneer on the top was pealing off and it was scratched in quite a few places. It definitely needed some love and who’s up for the job?? Me!

I had planned on replacing the top and adding a bit of farmhouse charm with some reclaimed wood so the first thing I did was remove it.

The next step was getting it ready for paint with a light sanding with my palm sander. I used a 220 grit sandpaper just to dull the shiny areas a bit. We gave it a bit more stability with a brace in the middle made out of a piece of 2 x 4. It also gave us another spot to secure the new top with the nail gun.

I wanted the top to be stained not painted. We happened to have a piece of 12 x 10 x 1 rough saw pine left over from the barn and some other projects. I asked my hubby to cut it down for me in 3 equal pieces which happened to be about 4.78 inches wide each. I wanted the edges to hang over each side and the ends about 1/4 of an inch.

They have the prettiest gray patina where each board has weathered in the sun. Thank you Mother Nature! I thought that gray would look cool with the stain so I used the side that had the most gray covering the surface. I smoothed the boards down by sanding each quite a bit with the palm sander and 100 grit sandpaper. We put them on the top just to dry fit them. What a difference already, right!?

I gave the bottom another coat of paint and then it was on to staining the boards. I used Minwax stain in Honey and applied it with a cotton rag, wiping the excess off with another rag. I like using my husbands old white cotton t-shirts for this.

I love the way the stain brought out the knots in the wood and the gray tones. I also added a shelf in the same type of wood to the bottom for more storage and to give the bottom more weight. The piano bench makeover was complete and what a transformation!

I updated our foyer a while back but it needed just a tweak and the new farmhouse bench fit perfectly. 

For more information on this project and others like it, visit my blog at or find me on Facebook at or on Instagram at

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Jo Falasca
    on Jul 15, 2018

    This came out great. I have an old ugly piano bench that looks quite a bit like yours. Can you still open the top to store things?

  • Cindy Brown
    on Mar 9, 2020

    I like this but im ready to do some benches on the outside. Painting and flowers. Do you have any ideas?

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