Diy Restoring An Antique Sewing Table: Tips And Ideas

How to restore antiques sew tables. Advice on shellac, wood treatment, as well as common repairs.

So you went to a local garage sale and brought home an inexpensive old beat up sewing table because you figured you could fix it up. Once you got it home however, you have no clue where to begin or what even to do. The very first step you need to take to restore your antique sewing table is to access the damage. Is it just normal wear and tear? Is any of the wood rotten? If so, it will have to be replaced. Cracked wood can either be replaced or glued (you will need to hold the crack together with a vice, so make sure the crack is fixable first). Are all of the legs level? If not, you will need to sand down the longer ones to the same height as the shortest so that the table will not rock.

Next you will need to decide how much work you want to put into restoring this table. Is it worth it to you to take the entire table apart? It is safe and possible to even take the table apart and still be able to be put back together again? If so, you need to separate as many of the pieces as you can. If not, you will continue on with the instructions with the table as one solid piece.

If the table has been stained or varnished, you will need to use stain or varnish stripper to remove all traces. Make sure you follow the directions given on the remover can. You will need an old paintbrush to be used just for the stripper. You may also need a wire brush or a scraper in order to remove every last bit of the varnish. Make sure you get into all of the crevices if you did not take apart the table. According to the instructions on the remover you use, you will need to wait to allow the wood to dry.



Your next job will be to sand out any scratches. Use a power sander where you can, and sand what you need to by hand. Begin with heavy, rough sandpaper to even out any deep scratches, and finish off with a fine grain to make the wood real smooth. You may want to use a tool such as a Dremel for the hard to get to smaller areas - they come with many attachments. It is very important to make sure everything is very smooth if you ever plan on using this sewing table. Any rough spots will grab a hold of material and could ruin it.

After sanding, make sure to lightly wash the wood off to remove any left over sawdust. You will then need to allow the wood to stand and dry some more. Once the wood is completely dry, you can stain it any color you like. Follow the instructions on your can of stain, making sure you have good ventilation. If possible, do the staining outside.

When the staining is completed and dry, you should use shellac and apply a few layers, allowing the shellac to dry in between each coat. This will give your table a very smooth surface which material will flow over easily and not get caught and snag on the wood. If you have taken the table apart, I suggest making all repairs, do the sanding, put the table back together and then do the staining. Including your drying time, you can have a beautifully restored antique sewing table in one week.

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