Repurposed Piano Makes A Grand Bookcase & Wine Rack

Repurpose / Refurbish

Piano disassembly close-up

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I was recently contacted by Sheila Johnson, from the Habitat for Humanity South Hampton Roads General Store, who told me about this fabulous item they have for sale. Upon hearing Sheila describe that it was a repurposed piano, my blogger “Spidey senses” went haywire! I just had to share this wonderful transformation and how their very own Executive Director, Helen Sommer and woodworker, Karl Bogott (along with other volunteers) dismantled and gave new life to this unused and too expensive to repair baby grand.

Baby Grand Piano, before

Baby Grand Piano, before.

The Dismantling…

The repurposing makeover began with removing the “harp”, the cast iron harp-shaped assembly that holds tensioned strings and is firmly attached to the soundboard.  First the keyboard assembly had to be removed, and then each string and its pin had to go, 242 individual strings and pins, before the heavy harp could be lifted and removed.

Dismantling the piano

Dismantling the piano.

Removing the strings by hand

Removing the strings by hand.

Meticulously removing the piano strings from the harp assembl

Meticulously removing the pins from the harp assembly.

Harp removed!

Harp removed! Boy, I could see this as another repurposing project…perhaps wall art or the makings of a glass topped table?

Piano keys and strings removed

Piano keys, strings and pins removed.

Deconstructing down to the piano “studs”…

Literally starting at the bottom, the piano was flipped over and this part was removed to expose the inside framework that also had to go. As you can see, even the sound board was taken out, leaving a naked piano…oh, my!

Deconstructing down to the piano studs

Deconstructing down to the piano studs!

The Rebuild…

Once the piano was stripped naked, the rebuild was ready to begin. This is where the true artistry came into play: removing the old finish, then sanding the entire piece smooth. Next, came gluing and inserting shelves and creating my favorite part…the wine rack!

Preparing to rebuild

Preparing to rebuild.

Once the prep work and basic inner framework of the bookcase was completed, the keyboard was reinserted, but only as a decorative feature.

Rebuilding with piano keys as decoration

Rebuilding with piano keys as decoration.

One of the special and custom touches I love about this piece is the eight bottle wine rack that displays the original builder’s plaque from the harp (it’s the oval one in the middle). Nice. Now it’s ready to paint!

Final configuration…ready for paint!

Final configuration…ready for paint!

Three coats of gloss black alkyd paint was sprayed on with a paint sprayer. So glamorous!

Spraying on the high gloss paint

Spraying on the high gloss paint.

The Repurposed Baby Grand Piano Bookcase & Wine Rack!

Repurposed piano bookcase and wine rack

Repurposed piano bookcase and wine rack.

Wine rack detail

Wine rack detail.

Isn’t this a beautiful, hand-crafted, repurposed piano bookcase and wine rack (and how fun that you even know how it was done!)? To support more repurposing efforts and Habitat for Humanity building, visit the Habitat for Humanity South Hampton Roads General Store on DiggersList to see their latest items for sale. You can feel good that the proceeds will directly help them build their next projects.

For more ideas on how to repurpose an old or broken piano, see our “Used Pianos Repurposed…” blog!

All photography and makeover information, Habitat for Humanity South Hampton Roads

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Written By Skaie Knox

Skaie Knox is a storyteller on a quest to provide sparkling content through copywriting, songwriting and video production. She is founder of HomeJelly,'s key copywriter, a published singer/songwriter (Fervor Records/ASCAP) and kid's book author (Big Bug Lunch!). For doable DIY video tutorials, subscribe to her HomeJelly YouTube channel (for link, click on my nose!).