Monday, June 24, 2013

before & after: refinished piano bench

Several months ago, I bought this wooden piano bench at Salvation Army for $10.

I once read that if you see anything at the thrift store with a cane seat, buy I did just that.  Unfortunately, once I got the bench home, it ended up sitting for several months in my garage until I could decide just what to do with it.  

This past weekend, I still did not know what I wanted to do with this piece.  However, the first step to any project involving wood furniture is sanding and stripping so I figured I would start there.  This time, I decided to try out Citristrip to take off the old varnish.  This stripping gel is great because it is non-caustic, biodegradable, and has a light citrus scent.  It saved me a ton of time from sanding and was especially helpful on the legs. 

I just spread the stripping gel on the wood with an old paintbrush and let it sit for 45 minutes.  Then I used a putty knife and flathead screwdriver to scrape off the loosened varnish.  On the legs, I used a small steel bristle brush to scrape off the varnish in the rounded curves and grooves.  

Here is what the bench looked like halfway through.

After I had scraped and brushed off all of the Citristrip and old varnish, I sanded the whole bench.

At first, I considered painting the bench white similar to the Goodwill chairs I wrote about last week {here}.  However, after all the stripping and sanding, I could not bring myself to paint over the wood and ended up staining it with some leftover stain I had from my Goodwill ice box project {see here}.  

Here is what the bench looked like after two coats of Minwax Dark Walnut stain.

And here is what the bench now looks like all finished with a coat of poly...

And finally a quick comparison...

Not a drastic change like some of my other projects but I still love the end result.  The bench looks just like new and the color is much more even than before.  Now I just need to find a spot for it in my home!


  1. Hello Naomi, what an inspiring blog you have! I got your name from Jose (your Dutch aunt) because I like reusing and recycling. So here is a big hello from the Netherlands!
    Groetjes, Kyra

  2. Thank you Kyra! Glad you like it!