Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Mod Sewing Circle

I didn’t mean to purchase a Progressive-era sewing table. It just…happened.

Okay, here’s what really happened. I’ve been wanting to get started on some sewing projects in the near future, and I realized that I didn’t have a good work surface for such projects. And the thought spending money on some unattractive laminate work table with modular black plastic legs just made me sad.

So I found this…interestingly decorated…old sewing table on Craigslist for $35!

It looked pretty old. Maybe not 18th-century old—but I bet it wished it were. Poor post-industrial revolution sewing table! I will help you. It had pretty moulding on the sides and drawer fronts, albeit in, ahem, rather bold color choices. It had a drawer for the sewing machine to collapse into. Theoretically. I could work with this.

The main renovation to this piece (so far) would be simply in the painting, as I 1) wanted it to match the other furniture in my room and 2) wanted it in colors that I consider more fashionable for the 18th century look.

For this project, I needed the gang with me once more:
  • some primer (I use Glidden’s)
  • paints: lighter color for the body of the table, and a darker color for the drawers and lid (I used the same colors in my dresser project)
  • a medium-grade sanding sponge
  • Howard Feed-N-Wax furniture wax polish
  • new drawer knobs because the old ones were 1) partially missing and 2) extremely blah
  • a screwdriver (sorry, forgot to add this to the pic)

I also had a cup of tea. I drank Irish Breakfast this time, but as I said before, Lady Grey or any tea will do that makes you feel all fancy.

First, remove the drawers and unscrew the old drawer knobs. Sand all the surfaces you’ll be painting so that the primer sticks around, much the same way that the Hair Bump has:
Left: circa 18th century. Right: circa 2007, somewhere on late night television.
Next, prime everything. Note: since this piece has a lid that lifts and lays on top of part of the surface of the table, make sure to leave adequate time for everything to dry before you switch sides to paint on.

Once the primer dries, paint the body of the table in the lighter color (or however you like—try reversing colors if you feel adventurous!) and the body of the drawers. Let the drawers dry to the touch, then paint the drawer fronts in the darker color. Let everything sit for awhile and drink some more tea, perhaps while reading Camilla.

Once everything is painted and dried, get out the medium-grade sanding sponge again (or switch to a fine-grade if you prefer) and scuff the edges and corners to your little heart’s shabby-chic desires. Take a damp cloth and wipe off all the little sandy paint bits from the table, and on the floor.

Screw the new drawer knobs in and replace the drawers. Now get out the Howard furniture wax and buff a healthy helping into all of the wood surfaces, as this thirsty piece is surely a veteran to climate change. Let the wax sit for at least 20 minutes, then wipe it dry with a soft cloth.

Ta da! I loooove how this came out! Check out these gorgeous details:

And finally, here’s a bonus tidbit: while initially taking everything apart, I found this crumbling certificate tucked away in the back of the top left drawer:

This sewing table is from July 25, 1910! That makes it 103 years old this July. Hmm. Maybe I should throw it a party this summer.

*By the way, that 18th century portrait is by Thomas Hickey, and you can see it in full view here. Also, disclaimer, I am NOT a promo rep for Bumpits™.

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