I wanted to jazz up the piano bench a little bit without it being overpowering in the room. It looked kind of plain and I wanted to add a subtle detail to it with some stenciling. However, this IS a bench so it needed to be durable since it does get a lot of use. So this is what I did to accomplish this look:
This is what the piano bench looked like before. It was already painted with oil based paint in a soft white color, as was the piano.
First I lined up my stencil with the corner of the bench and marked my registration points.
After positioning my stencil I taped it down to make sure it wouldn’t shift. I used my handy spouncer brush to carefully paint the stencil. For the stencil I used latex paint in a flat finish, which some people say you can’t use over oil based…well, it IS possible, it just takes patience and the right protective coat, which I will explain a bit later. When stenciling I used very little paint and did several coats before moving the stencil over. The bench is pretty smooth and I wanted the paint to show up; layering the paint helped me achieve a darker stencil image.
After allowing 24 hours for the paint to dry and cure I used Minwax Polycrylic clear coat as a protective finish. This is what makes it possible to use latex paint over oil based paint. I have done this several times on projects and never had an issue with the paint chipping off or scratching.
Two coats of polycrylic and I was done! I did put a little note on the bench to keep anyone from sitting on it for a couple days while everything cured, but other than that this project only took a couple days to complete. I think it adds a nice touch to an otherwise boring white piano bench.