Repurposed Sewing Table

Have you ever seen a sewing table at a thrift store or yard sale, but you didn’t know what to do with it? Today I’m sharing my favorite repurposed sewing table idea!

Get more Yellow Painted Furniture here!

sewing table from thrift store before the makeover

Even though I love to sew, most of the time these old tables aren’t able to hold our new sewing machines without a lot of changes made to the table.

If you are lucky enough to find a sewing table, with a working sewing machine AND you love to sew, you would be scoring big time! But that is so few and far between.

SO what do you do? The fix is easier than you would think!

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Supplies Used for Repurposed Sewing Table Idea

Note: You definitely don’t have to take the sewing table apart to repurpose it! You can refinish it as is. I just like to remove the hinges and remove the excess that I can’t use anymore.

Another Note: If your sewing table has a top that opens up on both sides, you may want to replace the whole top with a new piece of wood.

Check out this Repurposed Sewing Machine Tables post to see how to replace the top with new wood with other sewing tables.

Remove the Hinges

Open up the hinged top of the table and unscrew the hinges until it is detached from the table.

sewing table with top lid open

Flip It Upside Down to Remove the Top

Once it is detached, you will easily be able to flip the whole table over onto its top without worrying about the hinged top opening up on you.

Next, remove the screws that are holding the top onto the base and legs.

I have seen one where the base had pocket holes with screws holding on the top, and another where the corner braces also had screws holding on the top.

Either way, find the screws that are holding your top piece on and unscrew those.

You should now have three pieces.

  • The top part that used to open up
  • The top part with the big hole for the sewing machine
  • The base with the legs attached

You can also remove the other random things that are inside the table if you want. These aren’t going to serve any purpose anymore. If you want to keep them there, you totally can keep them as well!

Then set aside the top with the hole in it, and all the stuff from inside the table.

Fill in Holes

Now that the hinges are all removed, you’ll see some cuts in the wood where those hinges used to be.

Now is the time to fill them in.

My favorite way to fill chunks of missing wood like this is with Bondo.

It dries harder and quicker than wood filler, and it’s easy to sand.

Learn more about filling holes when replacing cabinet or furniture hardware here.

The biggest downside is that it’s pretty stinky, and you have to mix it up… and work super fast at spreading it when it’s all mixed.

You can use Multi-Purpose Bondo, Wood Filler Bondo, or Autobody Bondo. They are all pretty similar.

Check out the best wood filler for furniture here.

How to Use Bondo

It comes with a can and a little tube of hardener.

Follow the ratio and directions on the can, but don’t make it until you are ready to slather it into your holes.

bondo autobody filler

Learn more about how to use Bondo to Repair Furniture here.

Then fill in your holes, and overfill them just a little.

But make sure to keep it as smooth as possible so you don’t have to sand extra once it is dry.

Bondo stinks, so make sure you are outside in a well-ventilated area, but this stuff sure works wonders where wood filler would take a long long time to dry and then shrink and crack.

After an hour the Bondo should be completely dry.

Now get out your electric sander (you can hand sand too, but it will take longer) and go to work making it all flush with the wood around it.

Learn more about the best sander for furniture here.

Screw the Top Back On

You can now attach the top part (that doesn’t have the big hole) onto the base.

Simply use the hardware and screws that held the old top (the one with a huge hole) onto the base.

Make sure to measure and line it up so your new top is centered on the base.


That’s all there is to it! Now go grab your paint and create something beautiful!

For this particular table, I used Sweet Pickins Milk Paint in Curry and Minwax Gel Stain in Aged Oak.

How to Use Milk Paint to Paint Furniture

First, I taped off the top of the legs so no paint got to them.

To get a more crackling old look I brushed on a coat of shellac, then right away brushed on Sweet Pickins Milk Paint.

Learn more about How to Use Milk Paint to Paint Furniture here.

After 2 coats the coverage was perfect.

I used my clean putty knife to get it to chip a bit and removed the tape from the legs.

chippy mustard yellow painted sewing table with wood stained legs

How to Restain Wood Without Stripping

For the legs, I used gel stain to restain the wood without stripping.

After wiping down the legs I used an old cut up shirt to apply the Gel Stain.

I wiped the stain on, and after a couple of minutes, wiped some of it back off with a clean rag.

Do you see how that mark on the right leg is gone? I love gel stain for restaining furniture!

Protect the Finish

Once dry, it all received 3 coats of Varathane Polyurethane in Satin. (I let the gel stain dry for 48 hours since it’s oil-based.)

I sprayed the polyurethane on.

See gel stain in action with this tutorial on how to stain wood darker.

The Finishing Touches

The chair was another find from a different day, but you would never know that it wasn’t made to go with the table. Since the chair was the same color of wood as the table originally was, it received the same treatment as the table legs.

mustard yellow sewing table with wooden chair - turns the sewing table into a youth desk

This table is now ready to be a small desk, perfect for a child or teenager, or even a tall nightstand for your tall bed -OR- even a small entry table!

Check out more painted desk ideas here.

There are so many possibilities with where these old repurposed sewing machine tables can go in your home.

What would you do with a repurposed sewing table?

Repurposed Sewing Table

upcycled sewing machine table into a desk and painted yellow

Upcycle your old sewing table into a new piece of furniture! Here are the steps for the repurposed sewing table.


  1. Open up the top and unscrew the hinges until it is detached from the table.
  2. Flip the table upside down and remove the top.
  3. Fill in the holes with Bondo.
  4. Screw the top back on.
  5. Apply 2 coats of paint to the table.
  6. Restain the legs with gel stain.
  7. Once everything dries, apply 3 coats of waterbased polyurethane.

Recommended Products

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Other Old Sewing Machine Table Ideas:

More Milk Paint Makeovers:

sewing table before with text overlay "how to turn an old sewing desk into a nightstand."

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One Comment

  1. I used the original screw holes from the underneath or inside of the table.

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