Are you ready for me to spill my guts?
Haha, yes those are my sewing cabinet guts!
I bought some really great dressers from a wonderful couple in town who are moving and when I showed up to their house they had this beautiful little sewing cabinet pulled out to show me. Needless to say some negotiations were made and it came home with me!
It has the original hardware and the sewing machine inside still had all of its parts as well. It was pretty banged up and the finish was heavily worn so I knew I’d need a sander if I wanted to keep any natural wood tones on the piece.
Sorry for the terrible cellphone photos. I’m trying REALLY hard to be better about my photo taking. I think I’m much more comfortable with my camera than I ever was before.
I used 100 grit sandpaper to remove the finish and then 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. Such a pretty piece of wood! Oh, and just in case you have never seen or been around a sewing cabinet before they are made to have the machine pop up when the “lid” is lifted. The “lid” is essentially the table top when closed which makes it easily removable. I just removed a few screws and had the top free of the cabinet.
Once everything was sanded and smooth I used my favorite stain, MINWAX Wood Finish in Dark Walnut to stain the wood.
Wait at least ten minutes but not longer than 15 or the stain will start to dry. You do NOT want the stain to dry on your project. It turns into a tar like material and is very difficult to wipe off (speaking from historical experience).
While I was waiting for my timer I gutted the cabinet. Not only was I unsure if the machine even worked, I wasn’t planning to keep it a sewing cabinet. I wanted this to be a pretty side table or night stand. Which it is nice and tall to go with the higher bed sizes now a days. There were only a few screws and a couple taps with a hammer and out popped all the guts. The sewing machine weighs at least 15 pounds but despite removing it the table is still very heavy. I’ll take that as a good sign it is well made.
The one thing that left me stumped was how to fix was this oddly damaged hardware. I tried to hammer it and bend it but I don’t know how much progress I made. In the end I just decided to leave it alone.
My plan for the rest of the piece? Annie Sloan Chalk Paint no less! Yes, you all should prepare to see lots of projects with this stuff in the near future. I’m totally hooked. It makes painting so much fun! I have 5 different shades right now, I chose to use French Linen for this little cabinet.
Since I didn’t want the flip top anymore I knew I needed to fix the two pieces together some how. I thought about using screws but I was worried about cracking the wood (it is old after all) or puncturing the surface drilling from below. I have accidentally glued something to the floor with Liquid Nails… it. does. not. come. off. I put a generous amount of the Liquid Nails on the old work surface and then placed the finished table top right on.
What do you think?!
I love the way chalk paint distresses. It’s so effortless and yet comes out perfect!
You can see that one piece of hardware is still a little screwed up :(
Look at those fluted legs! So pretty.
Here’s a great shot of the new stained top. It turned out great with just a few coats of wipe on poly.
Doesn’t my grass provide the perfect backdrop for this gorgeous warm grey?
Annie Sloan has several grey colors. French Linen is a warm grey. Almost a tan color but with less red. I really love it. I’m glad I chose this instead of the Paris Grey which is much heavier in blue hues.
And that’s the story of spilling my (sewing machine) guts :)
Happy hump day!