Old sewing machine tables are a dime a dozen at thrift stores! Don’t pass them by the next time you see them, turn them into something new! Here’s a great way to repurpose sewing machine tables!
Get more painted nightstands ideas here!
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Today I’m sharing how we transformed these old sewing tables with a paint that I haven’t tried before.
We picked these up from a thrift store at different times, and they were such a close match in height that I thought they would be great as a mismatched pair of nightstands.
Repurposed Sewing Machine Tables
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- Dixie Belle Paint in Spanish Moss
- Mist Bottle
- Chiseled Wedge Paint Brush
- Easy Peasy Spray Wax (didn’t love)
- 3×4 Vacuum Compatible SurfPrep Sander Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order
- Shop Vac with Hose and Brush Attachment
- Tack Cloth to remove the sanding dust
- The Best Waterbased Polyurethane
- Disposable Gloves
- White Paint for Whitewash
- Krud Kutter Cleaner Degreaser
- Favorite 220 Grit Sandpaper
- Fuji Q4 Paint Sprayer my favorite paint sprayer
- Paint Filters to filter paint into the sprayer
- Electric Screwdriver the easiest way to remove hardware
- KwikWood to fill in hardware holes
- Wood Filler
- Clear Shellac my favorite primer
- Lint Free Rags
- Respirator for spraying
- Fine Grit Foam Sponge
- 1″x12″ Pine Boards
- Table Saw
- Miter Saw
- Pocket Hole Kreg Jig
- Kreg Jig Screws
- Power Drill
- New Hardware
How to Use An Old Sewing Machine Table
- Remove the tops of the sewing tables
- Prepare the tables for paint
- Paint the tables
- Topcoat the paint
- Make some new tops
- Finish the tops
- Attach the new tops to the tables
- Enjoy your new tables!
Step One: Remove The Tops
First things first, I flipped each table over and removed the tops, and pieces that used to hold sewing machines.
Tops are usually just screwed in from the base with pocket holes, so I just had to find the screws and unscrew them.
I typically would keep the top part of the top, and just unscrew it from the part with a hole, as I did with this Repurposed Sewing Table.
But since the bigger sewing table’s top opened up both ways, and had a split down the middle of it, I opted to just completely remove and get rid of the tops.
That way I could put solid, matching tops on both of them.
Here’s what they looked like after I removed the tops and all of the pieces inside.
Then, I got ready to paint them.
Step Two: Prepare the Tables for Paint
Click here for all the tips you need on preparing furniture for paint.
I removed and set aside the old hardware and the parts that I planned to keep, like this little holder on the inside of the door.
I also cleaned them really well with Krud Kutter to remove any dirt and grime that could make the paint not stick.
Get more of the nitty-gritty details on how to clean furniture before painting here!
Then I filled in all of the little holes left over from taking things apart, including the dings and scratches that were all over each piece.
I just used regular wood filler for that.
I also filled in the old hardware holes on the one table, since I planned to replace it with a single knob.
I used my favorite KwikWood to fill in the old hardware holes.
That stuff dries so hard in about an hour and it’s really easy to use!
Check out this post to learn about the different wood fillers and why we use them. Comparison: Filling Holes when Replacing Cabinet or Furniture Hardware!
When the fillers were completely dry, I sanded them down smooth, and then I scuff-sanded everything else.
Scuff sanding is just a quick little sanding with 220 grit sandpaper, and it really helps paint to stick to the finished wood.
Learn more about the importance of sanding before painting furniture here!
Clean off The Dust
I vacuumed off the dust and used a tack cloth to remove all the dust left behind.
And then I sprayed them both with Clear Shellac.
It’s my favorite clear, stain-blocking primer, that also helps the paint adhere better.
Read more about the best primer for painting furniture here!
I let the clear shellac dry overnight, and then I was ready to paint!
Why so Much Prep Work?
It might look like I go overboard with the prep work, but I want my paint job to last as long as possible.
Cleaning, scuff sanding, and priming is how I can ensure that.
But there’s something that is called bleed through, that shows up as orange, yellow, or red spots in your paint.
And if you don’t block them with a really good stain blocker, they won’t go away.
So, I like to prevent it from happening before it can even happen. That’s where this primer is really important!
Step Three: Paint the Tables
Dixie Belle Chalk Paint
I decided to try a new to me paint line called Dixie Belle Paint.
I’ve heard great things about it and I wanted to see if all of the hype was true.
I thought about spraying it on but decided to test out brushing it on these.
Thin the Paint to Prevent Brush Marks
So, I poured a little bit of it into a separate container and mixed in some water to thin it out a bit.
Dixie Belle Paint, like most chalk paints, is very thick right out of the can!
Once it was thoroughly mixed I moved on to painting!
First, I used a misting bottle with some water to lightly mist the surface of the table.
I also sprayed my brush before dipping it into the paint.
It was my first time using this technique to get a brush-free finish, so I might have went a little overboard on the water at first.
So I wiped off some of the water and tried again.
With less water on the surface, the paint went on great!
It was easy to brush on, and I could tell that brush marks wouldn’t be an issue when it dried!
I honestly can’t believe that I’ve waited so long to try out this technique to prevent brush marks when using a paint brush!!
Let the Paint Dry
After everything was painted, I let the paint dry completely, which really took less than an hour.
Sand Between Coats (Optional)
Then I sanded the paint with a fine-grit foam sponge to make extra sure that I wouldn’t have any brush marks.
Honestly though, I don’t think I really needed to sand in between coats to ensure a brush-free finish!
Second Coat of Paint
Then I vacuumed and wiped off the dust and painted the second coat, just like I painted the first coat.
The coverage was great with just two coats of paint. That’s pretty typical, but I was happy that with all the extra water I used, that I didn’t need a third coat.
Step Four: Topcoat the Paint
The next day I came back to topcoat them.
Instead of using water-based poly like I usually do, I thought I would keep trying something new.
Dixie Belle Spray Wax
So I bought Dixie Belle’s Easy Peasy Spray Wax to try out.
It’s water-based, instead of oil-based, like most waxes.
So if I didn’t like how it turned out, I knew I could easily go back to my water-based poly that I love.
Read more about some of my favorite top coats for furniture here!
I sprayed it on, let it sit for a few seconds, and then I wiped it all over with a lint-free rag.
I love that it doesn’t stink and that it’s water-based!
It also dries pretty fast, in only 30 minutes and they say that it is cured in 6 hours!
It was pretty easy to spray on, but honestly, other soft waxes that I have used are just as easy to apply.
And I kind of feel like they soak in more than this spray wax did.
My biggest fear though was if it was going to be as durable as I want it to be.
After it was dry…
I just wasn’t in love with the finish that the spray wax created.
It was very matte, which meant that every speck of dust stuck to it.
And I was worried about how durable it really was.
So, since it’s a water-based product, I went ahead and sprayed a couple of coats of water-based poly over it.
Check out this post on how to spray polyurethane for all of my tips!
I just felt better about having a more durable finish on these, especially since I will be selling them.
Next time I might try Dixie Belle’s regular wax and see if I like it any better than this spray stuff.
There are honestly so many topcoat options for painting furniture!
Step Five: Make New Table Tops
Since lumber is harder to come by right now, I couldn’t find my usual edge-glued boards that I love to use when I put a new top on things.
So I went with a couple of 1 x 12” pine boards instead.
We ripped them down to half the size that we needed and then chopped them down to the length that we needed.
We basically just added an inch to the overall dimensions of each table, so we would have a ½” overhang on every side.
Then I sanded all four pieces with 220 grit sandpaper to get rid of any splinters or rough spots.
And then we joined the boards together with our pocket hole Kreg Jig and Screws.
I wanted the tops to look as much like one solid piece of wood as I could, even though each top was really two pieces of wood.
Step Six: Finish The Tops
Then I moved on to finishing the wood.
Whitewashing Raw Wood
I started by brushing on one coat of water-based poly.
The coat of water-based poly before the whitewash helps the whitewash not soak into the wood so much, so I have a few more seconds to work with it.
And so the wood wouldn’t end up super white.
Learn more about how to Whitewash Furniture here.
How to Make Whitewash
After the poly was dry, I mixed up a batch of whitewash with some white chalk paint and water.
I honestly don’t measure how much water I put in the paint, but I like it to be pretty thin, kind of like tinted water.
Then I quickly brushed on the whitewash and wiped the excess off with a lint-free rag.
The point of the whitewash was basically to lighten up the pine, so that it would look kind of like raw wood when I sealed it for the final time.
So I really just wanted a really really light coat of white.
When the whitewash was dry, I lightly sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the wood down a bit.
See how we used this whitewash method on this raw wood dresser!
Seal the Whitewash
And then I sealed it with 3 coats of water-based poly to protect the wood.
Step Seven: Attach The New Tops To The Tables
The next day, we put the new tops onto the tables.
I laid down a blanket to keep the top from getting scratched, and I marked the back of the top so I knew where to place the bottom of the table.
And then, while my husband put some weight on the table to hold it in place, I screwed some new pocket hole screws in the pocket holes and into the new top.
Then I put everything back together and was done!
Here’s the full makeover video if you’re a visual learner!
Step Eight: Enjoy Your Repurposed Sewing Machine Tables!
And here’s what they look like now!
They both started with a modern vibe but were completely different at the same time.
Matching paint, tops, and hardware brought them on the same level to make them a pair!
Are you a fan of mismatched furniture?!
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More Nightstand Makeovers
- Emerald Green Mismatched Nightstands
- Dark Grey Mismatched Dressers
- Turn Desks into Nightstands
- Repurposed Sewing Table
- How to Whitewash Wood – Nightstands
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