Vintage Sewing Machine Restoration

If you have a vintage sewing machine in its original cabinet, you might want to consider a makeover. The restoration can include getting the machine into good working order and restoring or refinishing the cabinet. Whether you use it for sewing or as a piece of decor this can be a very rewarding and enjoyable project. See how it was done here.


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After receiving this 1938 Singer sewing machine and cabinet from a friend, my husband and I took on the restoration project together to put our "stay-at-home during COVID 19" to good use!

Total Time: 16 hours

Yield: 1


  • paint and paint brush
  • stain and varnish
  • sandpaper
  • sewing machine oil
  • miscellaneous tools
  • light fixture and electrical supplies
  • Mother's mag and aluminum polish
  • finishing sander
  • Mod Podge and brush
  • printout of vintage patterns


  1. Using a putty knife and hammer, we removed the veneer finish from the cabinet with the exception of the legs. We also removed the side table to use as a shelf inside of the cabinet.
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  3. The surfaces were then sanded, stained, and varnished.
  4. The legs were painted.
  5. The sewing machine was cleaned with oil and metal polish. This step took about eight hours.
  6. A light fixture was added. For our lamp, we used a jar for the shade, a metal tortilla mold for the lamp shade base, a metal rod and cord from an old lamp, and added a push button switch to the side of the cabinet.
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  8. Finished and decorated top.
  9. The shelf which was originally located on the side of the sewing machine was attached to the inside of the cabinet for storage and was mod podged with vintage sewing pattern printouts.
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Crafts Furniture Painting and RefurbishingJuly 29, 2020
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