Singer Sewing Machine Cabinet Makeover to Hall Table

I bought this Singer Sewing Machine Cabinet on ebay for $20. I knew when I bought it that the cabinet was beyond saving. I was just interested in the treadle frame as I have been wanting to make one into a hall table for a while now. My husband drove to pick up my purchase and goodness knows what he thought when he saw it, but there is normally method in my madness! It was full of holes from borer or woodworm, so the cabinet got removed and discarded as soon as it was unloaded. I don't want an infestation in our home. The sewing machine was still inside. I think this dates from around 1905-1915 or there abouts. So, with the cabinet put out for kerb side throw out and the machine set aside to resell on ebay, I set to work on the frame. It was very rusty so first out with the wire brush, then the metal appropriate sandpaper. After that it got a good wash down with Sugar Soap and then a blast with the hose. Once almost dry, I painted it with Feronite rust converter. This is a liquid and helps to seal any remaining rust and make it good to paint over. It dries a kind of blue/black. 24 hours later I was able to spray paint it with Hammerite smooth black metal paint which needed no primer. It went on well and one can gave me three to four light coats from one can.
The top is pine timber from some trees we had removed at the side of our house. A neighbour who is a carpenter used some of this milled pine timber that he had from our tree removal to make the table top. He joined two pieces with a biscuit join and wood glue. Then I did the sanding and we attached it to the frame. Some Minwax white based stain with Slate grey tint added to it was used to get the grey wash effect on the table top. I have yet to seal/wax but I don't want it to look too shiny. The timber had grey streaks in it which were quite decorative and are apparently caused by fungus in the tree, so I wanted to retain the streaks and not fight against them, hence I went for the grey'ish stain. Anyway, here it is! All up this makeover including purchase of the cabinet to start with has cost me about $60, if that. I am going to use the Slate stain on a butchers trolley that I have for makeover as I barely used any of the one litre can.
Update: This little table is now sold.
Just need to apply wax or poly now
Starting point. Cabinet is infested.
Clean but rusty
Rust Converter
Applying rust converter
Looking a bit less rusty
Great coverage with this paint
Spray paint I used did not need a primer and had very good coverage
Pine top added
This is the machine that was in it.
I sold the machine on ebay, but it looks like the buyer has reneged on the purchase. If they don't want it, given that the winning bid was only $2.25 anyhow as the machine does not work, I will keep it and use it as a door stop. It is incredibly heavy!
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  • Ardale Ardale on Jul 29, 2017
    I too have one that I used to sew on back in the 70's but once the belt broke that turns the sewing machine from the treadle and I couldn't fine a replacement it got retired. I am going to make mine into something but haven't figured out if I want it to be a table, a planter, a patio cooler, or what yet! It was in perfect condition until we moved and my hubby put in out in the weather with only a roof over it so now my cabinet as I'm sure the sewing machine itself are both probably ruined now. Even the beautiful drawers have fallen apart, what a waste.

  • Ardale Ardale on Jul 29, 2017
    Turned out very pretty even though it was a lot of work but well worth it! I have never heard of your Feronite could you tell me where you got it? I always sand all rust off with a drill and round wire brush attachment and don't stop until I've sanded down to clean metal. Then if needed use either fine sandpaper or steel wool to finish up and leave a smooth surface.

    • Carole Carole on Jul 29, 2017
      Feronite is a brand name of a rust converter. If an item is quite rusty you may wish to seal the rust before painting which prevents it bleeding through your paint and continuing to rust. I bought it at the hardware store. You can ask in your hardware store for a rust converter that you apply to metal prior to painting. You would only use it if the rust is quite noticeable.

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