Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Belly up to the Piano Bar...

Have you ever been to a piano bar? Not like this one I bet. There's personality and charm in those old upright piano's, and a whole lot of repurpose possibility. Now, mind you, reinventing a piano is not for the weak. This piano, for instance, came from a basement with 1 single dim light bulb to work by. It weighed about three tons (maybe not quite), and thank goodness I had 100% support from Sweet Man-o-Mine and Middle Child(will work for food). Okay, I might be stretching the 100% part, but they were real troopers. We hooked up the trailer, and loaded every tool we thought we could possibly need. Screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutter, sledge hammer, and eventually had to break out the saws-all. (Did you know even a partial piano doesn't fit up basement stairs in an old house?) Once we got the 7,329 screws and bolts out, all the keys off, the harp out, hammered apart what we could and cut the rest....we started hauling the pieces out to the trailer, because we had to take it all, like it or not. It was a hot summer night and there were 8,642,238 mosquitos waiting outside the door so we worked as fast as we could. Anyway, gosh, I'm sweating just reliving the whole process... In the end I ended up totally dismantling all the pieces and then rebuilding what I like to refer to as the Piano Bar. By the way, it sold at our 2007 JunkFest and ironically, my niece and nephew bought it for my brother and sister-in-law...so once in a while we stop by to have a "belly-up-to-the-bar" visit.

I have another piano dismantled and awaiting inspiration to become my fireplace mantel. I ordered stack stone for the surround today and hope to come up with something fabulous with that wonderful old wood for the top. (that piano has a story all it's own too...oof!) I'm pretty sure I will have to do some pretty heavy bribing to convince my boys to unbuild another piano for me.

There was a piano bar project on HGTV a few months ago (sorry I don't have the link) that was awesome too, and it would be great for that case where the piano just can't be removed. They opened up the music rest panel added in a shelf and some lighting and walaa...instant bar.

Speaking of bar...does it sound like us junk girls have some issues? No, just priorities!! haha Here's a dresser I got last summer on a road trip to Oronoco Gold Rush Days. This dresser was actually found at a yard sale we stopped at both coming and going (didn't catch your names, but some of you were vendors at Sweet Salvage). The dresser is a nice antique piece but came with a nasty old, musty smell. Removed the drawers and dividers and problem solved. Added some shelves, made wine bottle sections out of ...PIANO KEYS! This one made it straight into my house and looks great in the "dead animal" room with a few bottles of wine, a grate, and some of my hubby's Grandmother's dishes. (would look nice with some of those silver trophies but I don't have any, hint, hint)

check out the linky...

Funky Junk Interiors


  1. Makes you wonder how they got it down there?!?!?!

    I absolutely love this reclaiming, reinventing project!! If only I had the heart to do it to the piano my toolman and 3 of his buddies hauled into my house!! It would be used more! LOL!!

  2. P.S. Is anyone else having problems leavining you comments? I can't when I'm in Firefox, the word verification just sits there with the word "Loading......". I went to the help section, they evidently don't have a fix yet.... so I tried IE and it worked. Maybe you could change your settings for comments?

  3. I think there have been a few problems, not sure if it's our settings or possibly a blogger problem. We'll see what we can do because we LOVE comments!!!!

  4. Amazing transformations Missy! I'd say you deserved a drink after that piano fiasco!

    I've had feedback from others about difficulty
    posting comments...don't know much about changing settings....any techie advice out there?

  5. I LOVE the piano bar! What an awesome repurpose. Now I'll have to start looking for old uprights on Craigslist! I've been checking out the dressers/chest of drawers to do one of these repurpose jobs, but DH looks at me all funny when I mention it!?! I just keep telling him he has to have "the vision" and a good internet connection to "steal" ideas! You guys are a total inspiration encyclopedia.

  6. My goodness you are GOOD GIRL....Love how you think on reusing items...I enjoy your blog. Blessings Regina

  7. Two things...first of all the piano bar is amazing! Secondly, I gotta say I had SERIOUS doubts about the dresser. Did you know that?!You got vision, baby!

  8. Ohmygawdgirl you are talented!!! I always knew this of course...but seriously...you take re-purposing to new heights!!! Bea-u-ti-ful!!!

  9. Kathy, you're not "stealing" anything, because of course if I put in on the blog I just want the world to be able to enjoy the idea and possibilities as much as I do. And we all need some inspiration from time to time...I do my share of internet searching too. I'll be looking forward to your adaptation to these ideas!

    Another side note...I put the entire thing together with brackets and screws...no glue. That way if it needed to be moved and didn't fit down some stairs or something silly like that...it could be taken apart and reassembled. Also, many many coats of polyurethane so those beer cans don't leave a ring!! ;)

  10. Missy, what an amazing transformation on both pieces. I loved your retelling of the adventure . . . a great visual and very entertaining! Looking forward to seeing more of your projects! Sorry I will miss you when you come down in April. Are you going to Gathering of Friends in Burnsville, too?

  11. Hey, I remember that piano bar !
    Nice post. I just perused a blog you might be interested in. . . oodlekadoodleprimitives.blogspot.com they have Junkdrawer Wednesdays and have a cool mail sorter shown on there. Made me think of you gals. . . ( wonder why ? )


  12. Okay...I have tried to leave several comments, but the word verification is not working???? so let's try again....

    Love the piano bar idea!!! xo...deb

  13. Absolutely love your ideas and your blog. You are inspiration to us. We put you on our bloglist so all of The Junk Sisters in the Northwest can check you out! Whenever you are in the Seattle area drop in and say Howdy!

  14. I just stumbled onto your site while looking for help with my piano repurposing project. My piano is mostly disassembled. Its an old Kimball (c. 1903)All that is left to separate is the 3½ x 3 inch struts at the back and the wooden soundboard. I want to use the full depth of the case for a bookcase. Unfortunately it appears to be glued together. I can't find any screws. ANY HINTS ON DISSOLVING HIDE GLUE???? By the way, the keyboard support and the music stand will be reused as a console table behind the couch. The miscellaneous pieces that make the keys work will be worked into designs on several round occasional table tops. And I'm thinking of a room divider screen out of the front base panel and the keyboard cover. By the way, I counted all the screws I have removed so far 536. The mechanisms for the keys (88 keys) each still have 5 screws each to remove, plus the screws in the top and keyboard cover hinges.

  15. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  16. Wow!
    I want one... NOW!
    So cool.
    Just found your blog, count me as a new follower!

  17. Very, very creative. I can't believe what you did with that piano. Also, I love the shape of that dresser and how you reused it. Nice work!

  18. I had been looking for a way to make our piano into a bar when I saw your idea! So, we recently made ours into a similar bar and got rave reviews from all of our friends! We were a able to use the keyboard on the backside of the bar for the low counter - we covered it with glass so it wouldn't get wet. It looks really nice this way. We also took unfinished kitchen cabinet and drawer sections and cut them down to fit underneath the keyboard section inside the shell of the piano, so now we have hidden storage. We put a granite top on the upper counter of the bar! We also put some battery operated lights under the upper counter to light the lower counter - and now we have a truly unique "Piano Bar".

  19. I thought you might like to see what else you can do with those old unwanted upright pianos:


    Keep Upcycling!

  20. have a starr cabinet i am making in to something it weight is two tons mike tx.

  21. found an old upright piano around the corner, bar conversion begins! inner workings are romoved, cut out the top half of the back support beams, and have built a liquor bottle display area. raised the level of the keyboard deck to 29", so as to accommodate a beverage fridge and separate wine fridge down where the pedals used to be. when complete, will have color changing LED lights, the dual fridges,and a liquor dispensor mounted onto the glassware shelf that's in the top. also considerring a marble top. and it's on wheels too, so basically can put it anywhere that has an electrical outlet for the electronics.

    1. Wow! Sounds like a great piano bar in the works! Would love for you to share a photo on our facebook page when you're finished.


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