Proving that almost anything can enjoy a new purpose with a bit of imagination, upholstery expert Sharon O’Connor of Vintique Upholstery transforms a piano
stool in six easy steps.
Piano stools may not be as popular as they once were, but if you’re lucky
enough to come across one, they’re a great, multi-purpose buy. They are the perfect
height and size to be used as dressing table seating, provide extra living room seating or extra storage. Of course, they can also be used as nature intended, as the perfect companion to a piano with a handy space to store music.
Below O’Connor details the steps needed to upcycle a piano stool into something special.
The first task with any upcycling project is always the same, and it sounds obvious, but you need to give it a really good clean.
You never quite know where a piece has come from and years of dirt, dust and cobwebs can start to build up.
You don’t need any special cleaning agents, just some soapy water will do.
At this stage, take a step back and work out a plan of action.
Does anything need fixing or adjusting, and how can we make this process as straightforward as possible? This particular piano stool came apart easily due to handy thumbnail screws within the storage compartment.
That made the upcycling job easier when it came to painting the wood and fixing in the refurbished seat pad.
The original screws on the padded section of the lid had been lost. To repair, four new tiny screws were sourced and were a perfect replacement to secure the
padded section to the lid.
Additionally, new foam for under the lid and fireretardant inter-liner to make it compliant with current fire safety regulations was added,
Are you going to paint the piece?
I don’t always advise my customers to paint over old wood, it all depends on its condition and inherent beauty. If it has a nice grain and tone it is best to leave it as it is. In this case, the scratched veneer needed some TLC.
Striking navy-blue spray paint from the Montana range, which offers
colours and durability, was added.
Little details make all the difference, therefore a flash of sharp line of neon yellow on the tips of the legs to showcase their curves was applied.
Choosing the perfect fabric.
The right pattern or print has the potential to make or break the stools.
Piano stools are traditionally covered in a plain velvet or leather, consider a print which offers the perfect way to mix things up.
O’Connor uses Emma Shipley’s Animalia fabric for this piece, the
Rousseau print on cotton was the ideal size and scale for the piano stool. The
design features an intricately hand drawn pattern of winding foliage, peacock
feathers and small birds and creatures.
For an extra pop of colour, O’Connor chooses a further two different shades of bright velvet by Kirkby Design for the underside of the piano stool and the other for the inside of the lid to add detail where you least expect it, and in this case making the underside every bit as fabulous as the top was the answer.
Upholstery is the tricky part, but don’t be daunted.
The real bonus here is that the seat pad and base both popped out so you can access
them easily. O’Connor used staples to secure the fabric in place as she did not want to use tacks which could damage the wood.
Getting the tension right is all-important. As this will be sat on many times it needs to be stretched tight so it’s durable enough for everyday use.
To complete the upcycle a piano stool transformation, you just need to put it all back together again.
All that’s left to do is screw the legs back on and fix everything back in place.
And once finished home cans now have a rather elegant stool, with the added appeal of its own secret storage compartment.
Let’s face it, life’s too short for ordinary furniture.
To see more of O’Connor upcycle a piano stool, or other projects, visit her website
www.vintiqueupholstery.com and you can also catch her on BBC One’s Money
For Nothing on weekday afternoons starting from the 2nd March.