Monday, June 9, 2014

Another family heirloom......well part of one anyway!

I have one more family heirloom that I refinished and want to share. It's a piano stool that belonged to my husband's grandma as well. It was the only part of the piano that we could take home with us. The piano that this stool belongs to had to stay in the home when we sold it last year.

When my husbands parents bought their new home back in the 70's I'm pretty sure the story goes that my father-in-law didn't want that old piano in the living space of that brand new home, so we put the piano in the basement. I was there, my husband helped when we did this enormous task. We had to take out half of the steps in order to fit it down the stairway and then it took six men to lift it down. They moved it to the "furnace" room and had since built walls around it when they finished the basement off. So there it sat, for years, and no one wanted to move it out of the basement let alone move it to Gig Harbor, Texas, or Ohio! 

The piano was given to my husband's grandma when she was around 12 years old, and then it was on passed to her daughter ( my mother-in-law ) after she passed. The piano and it's stool are very old, and it makes me sad that we had to leave it behind, although, the woman who bought the house plays piano and said she would get it tuned and use it. We know the woman pretty well who bought the hose and she said that as long as she owns the house we can always come back and get it if we want.

We took the piano stool just for memories sake. My husband was the one who took piano lessons as a child and he played that piano plenty. His two brothers weren't interested in the piano or the stool. Knowing I could refinish it, they agreed to let us have it. 

I doubt we will ever return for the piano, but at least we have a piece of it. 

This stool was covered with so many coats of varnish, years ago they used to give furniture a coat of varnish every once in awhile to "freshen" it up. Years and years of varnish leave a really thick coat that makes refinishing a very messy job.

I used the old sticky, toxic refinished for this job

I put a really thick coat on  and let it sit for half an hour

I used a brush to get into the turnings on the legs and coarse steel wool to get that sticky mess off

When using the brush you need to wear goggles because you get splatters, and if you get this stuff on your skin it burns like crazy! 

After I removed all the finish

I clean the piece with denatured alcohol to get rid of any residue

Then I brush on two coats of water-based poly

The turning mechanism on this chair was stripped out and no longer worked, so we took it off and just screwed the top of the stool to the base. I will use this cute little stool as plant stand

It turned out beautifully

I love being surrounded by family heirlooms, it just makes my home feel more homey:)


  1. Wow...that was a lot of work, I am sure! The results are gorgeous and the sentimental value makes it all worth it I am sure. We have my grandmother's player piano. It has been passed around from family to family over the decades, as the kids have all taken lessons. I am just the latest keeper...pretty soon, my kids will be off to college and it will find its way to the next generation! Unless I suddenly get the urge to learn piano!! Not likely!! ;)

  2. Thanks Kim! Restoring furniture has always been a passion of mine, and when it's a family heirloom it means that much more? We have several pieces now that have been passed down to us, from both sides, and we are very fortunate to have them:)

  3. Came over from the comment you were kind enough to leave on my blog. I know the time you spent restoring this piece will be important to your family. Beautiful job.

    1. Thank you Donna and thanks for visiting my blog:)


I would love to hear from my readers, I need input so I can post things that interest you. Questions encouraged:)