I have always loved the look of antique sewing machines and their tables. There are multiple reasons for that. One of them is that I absolutely love wood and metal together. I also love the craftsmanship that was put into so many things back then. Hundred year old sewing machines were both practical and decorative back then. They may not have been able to do nearly as much as the current ones do, but with their intricate metalwork and paint jobs, they could help make a lackluster room feel more upscale. The fact that the majority of intact vintage sewing machines are still functional today is a testament to the pride and workmanship that went into them as well. I think what I love most about them, though, is that when I look at one, I feel connected to my great grandmother even more. My great grandmother, Nellie, will always be one of my greatest influences. She may not have been the one who taught me how to sew, but when I sew I feel that connection again. I also feel it when I play Gin Rummy, but that is a story for another day.
That is why when I saw this table at my local Habitat Restore for a reasonable price, I had to get it. The picture above is actually after I had already cut off the damaged lip and started the sanding process, but it should give you an idea of what I was working with. The top of the table wasn’t in really bad shape, there were a couple of water stains and a cherry stain that hadn’t aged very well, but it was nothing that sanding and refinishing wouldn’t fix.
After completing the sanding and trying the remove the peeling laminate off the sides, I decided to paint them black to match the base of the table. After they were done, it was time to refinish the top. I wanted the grain of the wood to stand out while still being able to have a functional table that would only need minimal upkeep, so I went with a wipe on poly for the finish. Before doing that, I cleaned the top with mineral spirits to get rid of dust. Then I put on five coats of satin poly. I wasn’t able to completely get rid of the water stains, but I think it looks beautiful now. Now I just need a place to put it in the house. I’ll still probably keep looking for a vintage sewing table complete with machine and drawers, but those are generally more money than I want to spend, so it may never happen.