Refurbishing the Black Finish on a Vintage Singer Sewing Machine

What can be put on the black Singer machine head to bring back some color that was lost over the years?

By Terry S from MI

May 25, 20110 found this helpful

Whatever you do to it, will diminish it's value to antique dealers because they don't like antiques whose appearance has been improved. When an item is wood, and might have water stains, part of the stain and varnish is gone, they want it left that way, instead of a person stripping the old beat up finish off and redoing it.

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

Yes, that's right, if you paint it then you will remove a good bit of the value. However, if you just want to keep and use for yourself, any body shop may paint something like that. It's not commonly known, but they can and do paint refrigerators, grills, etc. It probably won't be cheap though.

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

I have one just like that-a 1933 looks to be in perfect condition that my husband found in a second shop. Once it's back from the shop and the Singer repairman has had a chance to inspect and fix anything needing fixed, I plan to use it for regular sewing.

Use Murphy's Oil Soap or a similar product to bring back the sheen. Avoid the decal area as that may flake off if you are too vigorous, and you don't want to lose that lovely detail.

The serial number should be easy to on that machine, yours looks to be in very good shape. With the number, you'll be able to locate information as to where and when it was made, and you should be able to find the user instruction manual too.

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

If you have a Singer, don't worry too much about reducing its value, millions were made and before 1965 or so they were made very well indeed and are still out there stitching. I belong to a group called TreadleOn and our purpose is to encourage the refurbishment and use of these old machines. I regularly use my Singer 15-30 hand-crank for piecing quilt-tops as it sews a beautiful and accurate seam. I have a Singer 27 (circa 1900) in a treadle base which I use for free-motion-quilting. These machines don't look beautiful but the time I spent cleaning and fixing them up was very well spent! For some directions on how to fix up your machine, try this url: <> Other brand machines, you'd need to do some research on whether they'd be worth more to you as a "decorative antique" or as a beautiful work-horse machine.

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with what everyone else is saying. It would ruin the integrity of your machine if you do anything to it. My mom learned how to sew on a machine just like this, she sewed me a 6 gore skirt with matching vest for her first project. Please leave your machine just like it is, it's beautiful!

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

A little bit of olive oil on a soft cloth worked wonders on my 1885 handcrank New National sewing machine

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