How to easily change up an $8 sewing cabinet into a red side table or writing desk.
Are you sometimes intimidated by what we DIY bloggers do? I know that I love using saws and such, but occasionally I like to take it easy with a quick and easy repurposed furniture project. That’s why I’m sharing this former sewing cabinet into a red side table with you today. It's something you can do using only a screwdriver, or no tools at all, if that’s your choice.
I shared this sewing machine cabinet with you last week. It was a great deal, and I think it was priced cheap because the machine was already removed. Little did the seller know, that I was happy to get this good deal on a cabinet sans machine! I do not like removing vintage sewing machines from their cabinets.
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Dismantle the sewing cabinet
I started removing the hinges—I always remove two on each hinge, then raise the lid a little in order to safely remove the last screw in each of the hinges.
TIP Save the hinges and the screws for a future project. These are very strong hinges.
The lid is slightly cut out where the hinges were, if you’re really particular you can fill the holes and the indention. I did not. This was intended to be a “quickie” project.
This is the underside of the sewing cabinet. There were only six screws holding the frame (that held the machine) in place. I removed those six screws.
The frame was so easy to remove, and it’s going to make a huge difference in the way this cabinet looks when it’s done.
Replace the top of the sewing cabinet
I placed the cabinet on the underneath side of the original lid, and attached it with the screws that I removed.
I used my hem guide to make sure that there was equal distance all the way around on the top (lid).
There ya go! Now, if you want to skip that step and make it extremely easy on yourself, go for it! On one sewing machine cabinet I did, I glued down the lid.
Make tweaks to the cabinet
I decided to leave the small plastic drawer piece attached to the inside of the door. I thought it would make a nice little hiding place for keys, phones, chargers, etc. However, I thought that the little spool pins would be in the way. I simply snapped them off with my pliers.
Paint the New Red Side Table
I removed the handle and used a cheap chip brush to paint one light coat of Reclaim Paint in Poppy. This jar of paint is going so far. A little bit of paint goes a long way. I love painting furniture black, then giving it a dry brush effect with red to make it look glazed. This time I chose to do a very light coat of the red to see if I could achieve the same look.
Because the inside of this cabinet was in such great shape, I didn’t paint it.
I ended up having to do two coats of paint on the small plastic drawer, but one light coat on the rest of the piece.
Furniture Wax Options
These are the items I used on this cabinet makeover.
- Reclaim Beyond Paint (Poppy)
- Heirloom Traditions Paint clear wax (for the cabinet) dark umber wax (on the little plastic drawer)
- carwash sponge to apply wax
- paper towel (to wipe off excess wax)
- brown craft paper (to buff the wax after it dried)
TIP I dampen the sponge slightly before applying the wax.
I wiped off the excess wax with the paper towel a couple of hours after waxing it. The next morning I used the brown craft paper to buff the finish to a beautiful sheen and feel.
I reattached the original handle without doing anything to it.
Easy Red Side Table
I love the legs on this new red side table. Also, I think it looks better without the original frame that held the machine in place. I enjoy building and sawing, but this project really makes me smile.
What color would you have painted this side table?
I found a $5 chair, painted it and gave it a new seat. For some reason I can't find a before picture of the chair... or update pictures of me painting the chair. BUT! I do have pictures of it completed.
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.