Most of the furniture I pick up is in rough shape. It is usually dinged up or really dirty. Sometimes it is just falling apart. I can usually get a good deal on it because of the condition. This is a Martha Washington sewing cabinet.
I forgot to take a "before" photo, but it was pretty dinged up. I am not sure why they are called Martha Washington sewing cabinets. I do know they were popular in the 1920s and 30s and Sears Roebuck and Co. sold them for under $10.
Maybe it was called a Martha Washington cabinet because of the dresses with the side bustles that were popular during Martha's time?
I don't know if the old bustle dresses came with pockets but this cabinet had deep pockets on both sides of the drawers.
I began by painting the cabinet with a primer. The wood had a mahogany stain and I wanted to prevent bleed through.
I painted the cabinet with Waverly chalk paint in the Cashew color.
I distressed the piece with 100 grit sand paper. I coated the piece with Varathane Crystal Clear Satin Polyurethane to seal and protect the piece.
This cabinet had nondescript wooden handles on the original. I wanted to liven this piece up a bit and add some color.
I found six similarly sized wooden spools of thread with colors I liked.
I drilled a hole a quarter inch into the spool to accomodate the nut for the drawer screws. I glued the nuts with E6000 adhesive.
I wiped off the excessive glue and allowed them to dry completely.
After 24 hours, I placed the screw through the existing hole in the drawer to attach the spool and tightened it. I secured loose ends of thread with a tiny bit of glue from a glue gun.
The tray below was in one of the drawers. I used old sewing patterns and decoupaged them on to the tray.
Once it dried, it was also given a coat of polyurethane.
I love the way this piece turned out. It is now whimsical and colorful and would be a great addition to any sewing room.
I particularly love my big pickle jar of old wooden spools. It tucked really nicely under the sewing cabinet.
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