House For Six

Updated Piano Bench/Wall and Tutorial

Deme Crinion1 Comment
We moved into this house in November 2010.  My parents drove all the way from CA that Christmas, towing a standard U-haul trailer adorned with a bright red bow.  It carried extra furniture for our new house including the piano I grew up learning to play.

It's a beautiful piano and still in great condition. 


But the bench fabric was a bit outdated. It needed something fresh but classic to replace the faded peach/green fabric



This is how we arranged the wall when we first moved in the piano..but there are a few problems.  The clock is too small and placed too high.  The Willow Tree figurines are special but not quite the right scale for this "mantle"  and the candles don't work with the design scheme we are working into the space.  Time for an update all around!



Let's start with the bench.  Vanna here will assist.

These are the tools you'll need for this simple project:

-Fabric to cover your bench (with a couple extra inches on all sides)
-Scissors to cut your fabric
-Screw driver to remove the screws attaching the cover to the bench
-Small flat head screwdriver and needle nose pliers to remove staples
-Staple gun to attach new fabric
-Tape measure (if you want to be precise)


Begin by removing all the screws attaching the seat to the bench:

Don't forget to use it as a surfboard before putting on the new fabric..


Next comes the tedious part - removing all the staples.  I first used a very small flat head screwdriver to lift up the staples and then used needle nose pliers to pull them out the rest of the way. 




I got all the staples out of the cardboard backing and set it aside.  Then, I began round two of removing staples, now from the fabric.

Once all the staples were out and the fabric fully removed, I placed my new fabric over the seat ensuring it was centered.  I chose a cream fabric with both pattern and texture so it was important to ensure the pattern was lined up correctly. Once I had the fabric in place, I flipped the whole thing over and placed it on a hard surface. (I did go back and iron the fabric before I attached it!)

Choose any side to begin and start by finding the center.  I chose the short side and marked mine here with a pen. 

Tightly pull your fabric around the side to line up with the center mark (but not so tight as to shift the fabric from where you just placed it), and place a staple there. 

Then do the same with the opposite end.  Now you should have two staples, each centered on opposite ends of the bench.  This will ensure your fabric stays centered and does not shift as you begin stapling your sides.  Because of the way my fabric was cut and how I wanted the pattern to lay on the bench I had a very minimal length of fabric to work with on the width...in fact, just enough on the short sides and more then enough on the longer sides.  In general you will want to have around 2-3 inches extra from the sides of your bench, depending on the thickness of your pad.

I then stapled the rest of these two sides down working from the center out to the ends and leaving the corners for last.  I then repeated this starting with the center staples on the longer sides.


 Once all sides are stapled down, return to your open corners.  Take the fabric starting from one side, lift up and staple down the corner, pulling the fabric smooth and tight.  Depending on your corner you may need to do this twice.


Tuck the fabric neatly over so that the sides are smooth and then secure it with 1-2 staples on top.




At this point my bench was stapled on all sides but had an excess of fabric. 


Remember that cardboard piece that had holes for the screws?  You will want to cut back your fabric enough to reveal the screw holes.


All stapled and trimmed!


Next replace the cardboard backing ensuring your screw holes are all lined up.  I suppose you could hot glue this down but if you have any intention of replacing the fabric again, simply staple it down.  My staples on the fabric are visible here, so I may go back and add some fabric or trim to cover them up, so they aren't visible when you lift up the bench.


In the meantime, I decided to reattach it and enjoy the new look!  Fresh, crisp and classic!


 My diamond ended up centered...


And I love the texture of this fabric


Lets not forget about that wall!  A larger clock centered at eye level and an eclectic mix of accessories in keeping with our new design give this wall much more presence.  It now feels like it belongs with the other areas of the room we've been updating. 
 (Clock, globe, butterfly box, glass vase & filler from TJ Maxx; glass candle - owned; ivory bud vase - gift)







One more Before & After...

Before:

And After:

So much better and such an easy way to give an old piece new life!

Our To-Do List for the living room now looks something like this:

-Update piano bench
-Replace area rug
-Sew new curtains
-Replace/update end tables
-Create a prayer/reading corner
-Lamp update
-Sew new pillow covers for couch
-Hang guitars
-Accessories
-Find foot stool for reading chair

We're getting there - slowly but surely!