What’s wonderful, and yet troublesome at the same time, is when folks realize you will take their trash or unwanteds. Over the years, I’ve been offered truly fantastic pieces but also have turned away oodles because…well…I’m a one-woman show. Not only that, but I have a small home and very little space to spare. However, when I picked up this antique dresser I recently revived, the sweet gal also offered me this vintage sewing machine table.
For the record, I adore aqua color in any form as shown in these past posts, however, previously painted pieces are typically a nightmare. With that, I hesitate to accept, but then quickly figured that if I didn’t want to take it, I could always find a home for it. So, here we are ready to take a closer look at this vintage gem.
First, obviously, it’s painted. While you think…”oh, it’s painted, no problem!” Well, you encounter problems:
- the paint may be oil based and quite a bugger to deal with. To find out, take rubbing alcohol and rub the paint. If it comes off, it’s latex.
- if you alter the paint in any form, most likely you won’t be able to match it
- oftentimes when a piece is DIY painted, it’s done in an awful fashion (chunky, wrong brush strokes, drips, uneven, etc.)
- removing the paint can be horrible! I’ve literally sworn off painted pieces because my time is more valuable, and I don’t like using even the cleanest stripper because it is still toxic. See my testimony to saying NO HERE.
- what is the paint hiding? You could find highly damaged, fake wood, etc. that makes a redo or upcycle take twists and turns
As you can see, this paint finish is lacking AND the leaves that fold open are painted shut as well.
What to do? Let’s take a peek under and inside…
As you can see, there is the piece that holds up the sewing machine when it flips up, you can see the two top pieces locked together, plus the original knee pedal as well as the small drawer for notions. Additionally, the sides are made of pressed board. Then, I grab my drill and remove the panel and hardware, plus remove all the screws holding the top on.
After that, I head out to my workshop to see if I have something to replace the top completely. Per usual, I find a perfect size piece of cabinet-grade ply that I just need to shorten up a bit. In order to do that, I use my circular saw and large ruler as a guide. While I would normally use my Rip Cut jig, I want to show you how you don’t need special tools to DIY.
In addition, while I have my saw out, I want to shorten this vintage sewing table making it more suitable for use as a nightstand or side table. I find a random block of wood in my stash and use it as a guide to mark all four sides of each leg.
As soon as they all check for level, I cut the legs using my circular saw. BAM! So fun.
Initially, remember I mention that the hardware is brass. How did I know that if it is painted so heavily? Every good junker carries a magnet with them. Brass is not magnetic (and silver, copper, etc.) and these just need stripped. First, I toss them into a baggie and pour in my CitriStrip. Notice Loula thinks this is a snack for her.
After sitting overnight, I clean off the thick paint, and then need to polish with another must-have – Bar Keepers Friend to polish.
Amaaaaazing, right? As soon as I have the hardware done, I head back to the table that I sanded down the drips and what was apparently a rough texture because the painter used a textured nap to roll it on. However, if you want a smooth finish, you need to use a micro foam roller like I did on this laminated dining table.
Last, I want to make the tabletop I cut look dressed up a bit. In order to do that, I use my roll of veneer and iron it on. This stuff is awesome!!
NEW LIFE NEW LOOK
If you’re like me, it’s so fun to finally see what has become of this vintage sewing machine table upcycle. woot!
It’s perfect for use as a side table or nightstand or…whatever your heart desires, don’t you think? Not only does the smaller style suit more uses, but I also just adore those brass pulls.
Additionally, that sweet notions drawer works a hidden spot to tuck in your treasure, spectacles, or a midnight snack. tee hee.
Furthermore, if you’d like to make this part of your home story, you can find it and more in my online store.
In addition to leaving some comment love below, I invite you to take a moment to pin and share this vintage sewing machine table upcycle. Because ya never know if someone else has a similar piece they have no idea what to do with, right?
PLUS, you will get your free Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!