Diana Wearing
Diana Wearing
  • Hometalker
  • Oregon, WI

Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet ~ Reloved


Found this Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet at country sale a while back couldn’t believe they only wanted $10 for it ~ sure it needed some love, the hinges on one of the flip tops were broken & one of the legs was held together with a hose clamp and a zip tie but $10 what a steal! Wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do with it but I knew I needed to bring it home.
painted furniture midcentury sewing cabinet redone, painted furniture
Not very pretty but good bones and lots of potential!
painted furniture midcentury sewing cabinet redone, painted furniture
Found the replacement hinges online (they actually cost me more than the cabinet ) replaced those and repaired the broken leg ~ my 1st thought was to paint the entire cabinet but I love combination natural wood & painted pieces so I stripped, sanded, stained and sealed the top and drawer fronts and painted the body using General Finishes Lamp Black ~
painted furniture midcentury sewing cabinet redone, painted furniture
Black & brown a timeless combination!
painted furniture midcentury sewing cabinet redone, painted furniture
Flip top cubbies ~ perfect for yarn and knitting needles ~ magazines, newspapers whatever you want close by but out of sight...
painted furniture midcentury sewing cabinet redone, painted furniture
Finished it up by painting the original knobs and lining the drawers with sewing themed scrap book paper ~ it is a sewing cabinet after all...
painted furniture midcentury sewing cabinet redone, painted furniture
Finished! Love how this turned out ~ hope you like it too!
painted furniture midcentury sewing cabinet redone, painted furniture

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Have a question about this project?

9 questions
  • Sbeazley
    on Feb 8, 2016

    Hi Diana, you made that cabinet sing! I too love the natural wood with a darker base. I have the same cabinet with broken hinges. Were you able to find the same hinge as the original or go for a different style? What site did you find them?

    • Diana Wearing
      on Feb 8, 2016

      Thank you! I found them on Amazon the brand is SOSS Invisible Hinges made by Universal Industrial Products - they were the same type as the cabinet originally had :)

    • Sbeazley
      on Feb 9, 2016

      Thanks so much Diana!

  • Gigiyawn
    on Nov 27, 2016

    I have the exact same Martha Washington sewing chest; however, the legs have deteriorated and are irrepairable. Any ideas on how to obtain replacement legs? Thanks. Gigi

    • Diana Wearing
      on Nov 28, 2016

      You could search online for turned legs and see if you can find something similar or maybe check with a local woodworker about having some made – good luck!

  • Donna cebula
    on Jun 24, 2017

    hello,

    I have the exact Martha Washington cabinet and one of my hinges is broken also. this hinge is a concealed hinge, like a soss hinge but I can't find this concealed hinge they used for this cabinet. could you please tell me where you purchased the hinge from and also I have tried to get the hinge off this cabinet and cant how did you get the hinge off?

    thank you so much

    Donna
    • Sandra
      on Dec 30, 2017

      The hinge is often called a piano hinge. Woodcrafters catalogues have them. These tables were sold by Sears Roebuck for 6.73$ in the 1920's. Mine has the hinge screwed on (lift the lid) Very popular items!

  • P Lumley
    on Jan 17, 2018

    I need the drawer knobs now has plastic ones on. Where can i get them? Dosent repainting decrease the value?
    • Diana Wearing
      on Jan 17, 2018


      You should be able to find small wood knobs online or at home improvement or craft stores. It’s my opinion that this cabinet was in such bad shape when I got it that rather than decreasing the value painting it saved it.

    • Michele Simpson
      on Aug 11, 2018

      I got these knobs from Amazon, fior $10. We are working on fixing the lid, so I took a picture of the front with the new knobs while its sitting upside down on the floor. There were 10 in the package and we needed 6.

  • Deb
    on Jun 20, 2018

    Do you recall what size the hinges are? Mine are only "halves" so I can't measure them.

    • Diana Wearing
      on Jun 20, 2018

      I had to pry my hinge out and then did a Google search to try to find something that matched it – I found the one I needed on Amazon it’s an SOSS invisible hinge made by Universal Industrial Products unfortunately I don’t remember the size, sorry!

    • Michele Simpson
      on Aug 11, 2018

      I have a different MW cabinet that holds a White sewing machine. SOSS hinges are probably what you are looking for. Their website has the measurements. I got size 103 in satin brass and they fit perfectly. I also got the whole thing for $10, but the lid is damaged and now to figure out how to repair it.

    • Michele Simpson
      on Aug 11, 2018

      cont. I ordered the SOSS invisible hinges from Amazon.

    • Michele Simpson
      on Aug 11, 2018

      These are the new hinges. I haven’t reconnected them to the table yet, but they will fit. We are working on fixing some damage underneath the lid so am waiting to reattach them.

    • Deb
      on Aug 11, 2018

      Thanks! I have the White sewing machine version as well. Will order size 103 and get to work

    • Kim Compo
      on Sep 3, 2018

      i have one of these cabinets in great shape. except my mother antiqued it years ago. could i just paint over the "lovely" green she antiqued it in??

      Kim Compo

  • Deborah Lana Benson Cox
    on Jul 12, 2018

    I bought one of these tables at a local thrift shop for like 15$-20$. It was in top top shape.. I didn't know that was the name of and purpose for it.Its so funny cause I collect old sewing baskets. I love what you did with it. Mines in perfect shape, are they worth anything? Would it devalue it if I did what you did...I sure love how it looks in your pics...love the wood and flat black. Do you have a tutorial on your procedure? What did you use..the products and colors..Thank you very much..debb

    • Diana Wearing
      on Jul 12, 2018

      Sounds like you got a good deal! I think some of this style of cabinet are worth a lot I think it just depends on the materials used (solid wood vs. cheap wood & veneers) and the manufacturer. People always say that if you paint an antique it losses it value but just because something is old doesn’t necessarily mean it’s valuable, if you want to paint it go ahead and paint it!

      No tutorial...I just cleaned mine, sanded the top and drawer fronts and stained and sealed them I believe I used a water based Minwax Rosewood colored stain. The body of the cabinet was painted with General Finishes Lamp Black and then sealed.

  • Lucy
    on Sep 28, 2018

    I have one of these that my mother-in law had and it is in beautiful Condition!

    I love it but it has an old musty house smell in the drawers and end sections. I can smell it when I pass by. Tried everything I could think of that were like coffee grounds and other ideas I have heard of. Not working. Any ideas?

    • Diana Wearing
      on Sep 29, 2018

      You could try cat litter and/or setting out in the sunshine & fresh air - good luck!

  • Karen Harrop Krakowski
    on Jan 10, 2019

    I just bought one of these cabinets from a guy at work! I love it! Any idea where to buy the small drawer insert that came with some of them? They were in the top drawer and was divided into three sections. Also, mine has remnants of felt lining in the large storage bins the sides that is kinda falling off.... Do you know, was this added or original??

    • Diana Wearing
      on Jan 11, 2019

      Yay! There are lots of variations/makers of this style of cabinet I guess it’s possible that one of them lined the bins but I would guess a past owner added that at some point. I have no clue where you could buy an original drawer insert (or if they even exist) but you probably have one made. Good luck!

    • Denise Reistad
      on Feb 18, 2019

      The lines felt drawers are original! They were used for packets of needles and individual needles and pins. They are easier to pick up (and see) with the felt.

  • Ellen
    on Jan 16, 2019

    I don't know how to get the hinges off the top flaps on mine. How did you do yours?

    • Diana Wearing
      on Jan 17, 2019

      I inserted a small driver in the opening moving it around to loosen it and the pulled it out with a pliers – good luck with yours!

Join the conversation

3 of 342 comments
  • Dawn Bouchard Libby
    on Oct 31, 2018

    I have one of these cabinets, it was my Mums. This looks fabulous! I've been wondering what to do to spruce it up. This is what I will do, exactly what you did. Thank you.

  • Denise Reistad
    on Feb 18, 2019

    I think this would also look great in cream or a warm white. Perfect for a bedside table!

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