I am SO excited to have my mom's piano in my home now. And I was even more excited when she said I could do whatever I wanted to it! That, of course, meant I was going to paint it.
At first, I thought I should sand it...I was worried about dust getting in the mechanisms. I sanded the bench and a few small pieces of the piano itself, then decided to just prime it and go for it. First I wiped it down with mineral spirits (paint thinner). Then, I used Oil based Kilz primer, tinted gray. I put on 2 coats, so there was absolutely no wood showing, except for above the keys, where the Wurlitzer symbol is...I left that wood. (The picture to the left shows the gray primer.)
Then, I went to Jerry's and got a oil based green paint (Jade green - Benjamin Moore). Unfortunately, after painting the entire piano, I realized that it looked like a highway sign...all it needed was "Exit 31" written in white letters to top it off. (The picture to the right makes it look way better than it was).
So, I went back to Jerry's and they nicely added some blue to it. It ended up very much like Benjamin Moore's "Jade Garden", which is another color I was interested in. (The picture to the left is after 1 coat. Emma is trying to play it with the keys still taped off.)
After 2 coats and some touch ups, the piano is finished (minus the legs of the bench and the music stand, which I'm thinking of painting white.) I love it! And after it fully dries, I don't foresee any problems with chipping. My plants look so good on it, and since it's oil based paint, in high gloss, it will be super durable and easy to wipe clean.
As far as I can tell, the sound of the piano wasn't altered. It went from hard wood floors to carpet, so I'm thinking that the dampening is from that, not the paint.