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9 Brilliant Uses for Old Pianos: Reuse & Repurposing Ideas (With Pictures)

Old piano

Pianos can be beautiful works of art in their own right and, while one that is well maintained can last for decades or even centuries, there comes a time in the life of these instruments when they are no longer playable. However, whether it is an upright or a grand piano, and whether it is the harp and keys that are damaged or the cabinet, there are plenty of imaginative and functional ways that you can upcycle, reuse, or repurpose an old piano to create something new and beautiful.

Below are the brilliant uses for old pianos with plans to create your own version, where available.

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The 9 Brilliant Uses for Old Pianos

1. DIY Headboard by morgan cafe

DIY Headboard by morgan cafe
Image Credit: morgan cafe
Materials: 1×4 hardwood, 1×8 hardwood, molding, putty, trim, primer, paint
Tools: Kreg jig, glue, nail gun,
Difficulty: Moderate

What you can make with your piano depends on which elements remain undamaged or salvageable and also the design and look of the piano itself. Many upright pianos have carved or decorative elements in the top panels and if you can reclaim this section, all you need to do is treat or paint it to create something beautiful. The structure of the upright means that it is ideal for turning into a headboard like this one. You will have to find a way to connect the headboard to the bed, but it is lighter than it looks so it should be easy for two people to tackle.


2. Piano Harp Coffee Table by instructables

Piano Harp Coffee Table by instructables
Image Credit: instructables
Materials:
Piano harp, oak board, oak legs, glass spacers, aluminum pipe, bolts
Tools: Circular saw
Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

It’s unlikely you will have a piano harp just laying around, so you may need to take apart a damaged grand or baby grand piano yourself to make this coffee table, but the results are well worth it, and there are plenty of instructional videos on how to safely pull a piano apart. Once done, you can spray paint the harp section, combine it with wooden legs and a glass top, and create a piece that looks like it belongs in the lounge of a luxury hotel. It does take up quite a lot of space but is very impactful.


3. Piano Lid Coffee Table by instructables

Piano Lid Coffee Table by instructables
Image Credit: instructables
Materials: 2×4, wooden legs, leg mounting plates, wood glue, screws
Tools: Saw
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Almost as impactful as the previous idea is this piano lid coffee table. A piano lid is almost perfectly designed for use as a coffee table. It is strong enough to support weight and large enough to easily hold wooden legs underneath. Old piano lids do tend to be quite beaten up, especially if they have spent a lot of time in a garage or storage. You can retain some of the scratches and dents for character or get busy with a sander to create something that looks pristine. This is a surprisingly easy project and will give you a sizable coffee table as a result.


4. Piano Key Key Rack by home talk

Piano Key Key Rack by home talk 
Image Credit: home talk
Materials: Wood board, metal hooks, wood glue
Tools: Table saw
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

By now, you’ve used the upper cabinet of an upright piano, as well as the lid and harp of a grand piano. That still leaves you with the keys which are beautiful in their own right. This upcycling project enables you to use your keys for hanging keys. Depending on the condition of the piano keys, you may need to apply some kind of veneer to get a full octave’s worth of keys and ensure a good finish. If you have a full set of keys, you could create enough key racks for friends and family, too, or find alternative uses for those that are left.


5. Piano Shelf

Materials: Plywood
Tools: Saw, Nailer
Difficulty: Moderate

This piano shelf primarily uses the various parts of a piano, including the keys, to make a wall shelf that would look good in any room. It uses master glue to fill in any gaps in the keys and a large piece of plywood as backing wood for the shelves. For a little bit of work and minimal resources, it makes a great-looking piece of furniture.


6. Epic Desk by bbfrosch

Epic Desk by bbfrosch
Image Credit: bbfrosch
Materials: Trim, plexiglass
Tools: Nailer, sander
Difficulty: Moderate

Once they become unplayable, pianos are really difficult to get rid of. This plan uses an old piano that was bought for $50, but if you have the means to drive and collect, it is possible to sometimes pick up a piano for free. To turn the piano into this epic desk takes a lot of preparation and hard work but with an effective paint job and surprisingly minimal construction work, you can create a desk that will take pride of place in a home office, office, or even in the living room or dining room of your house.


7. Piano Bar by home talk

Piano Bar by home talk 
Image Credit: home talk
Materials: Wood strip
Tools: Paint sprayer, nailer, sander
Difficulty: Hard

The exact materials you need to make this piano bar will depend on how you want your bar to look. The plan adds a bottle rack for bottles of wine and spirits, but you could conceivably add a mini fridge for beers or even an optics rack for an authentic spirits experience.


8. From Piano Bench to Coffee Table by painted therapy

Piano Bench to Coffee Table by painted therapy
Image Credit: painted therapy
Materials: 5/4 wood for table top and shelves, glue
Tools: Saw
Difficulty: Medium

If you’ve got an old piano laying around that no longer has a use, there is a chance that you will also have an equally unused piano bench. There’s no reason to let this go to the landfill, either, and these instructions show you how to turn that bench into a hinged coffee table. Rather than creating a brand-new lid, you can attach new wood on top of the existing bench seat, retaining the hinged mechanism and allowing for easy storage inside the new coffee table.


9. Piano Aquarium by reef 2 reef

Piano Aquarium by reef 2 reef
Image Credit: reef 2 reef
Materials:
Tools:
Difficulty: Hard

This is another one without a plan or instructions and it is going to take a lot of work to ensure that your aquarium is fully waterproof, but the top of a piano is almost a natural shape and dimensions to hold a good-sized aquarium while the base should be strong enough to hold the weight of the tank and water. Although, you may want to add some reinforcements, especially if you are using an especially old and worn piano.

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Conclusion

Pianos are beautiful pieces of furniture, as well as tuneful musical instruments in the right hands. There are lots of usable parts to a piano, not to mention any accompanying piano bench, and by utilizing all of these parts and the 10 ideas above, you could virtually decorate an entire room with your upcycled creations.


Featured Image Credit: Tama66, Pixabay

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