Craigslist Sewing Desk Before and After

Hey Everyone!  I am soooo excited to reveal my “new” sewing desk!  I bought this sewing desk off of Craiglist for $40.  I just bought a vintage sewing machine and really wanted to have it mounted in a cabinet so I could have a flush surface for quilting my quilts.  I bought a vintage machine with a long arm and while I am still trying to get it up and running, my sewing cabinet is complete!  Here are the before and afters and how I went about refinishing this cabinet.

Let’s start with the Before… pretty bad right?  It fit the criteria: not too large and sturdy.


Upon further inspection, this piece was a little rougher than I originally thought.  Instead of just sanding and paint, it needed primer… I looked at Centsational Girl (an awesome resource btw) so see what kind of primer she liked best, so this is what I bought.

I bought the spray kind… Pros and Cons of the spray kind: easy clean up, no washing brushes or worrying about drips you can’t clean (this is oil based), and convenient for multiple layers.  Cons: 1 can barely did this little cabinet, more costly in the long run, and overspray can be an issue.  Verdict:I will buy a quart or gallon next time and cheap brushes I can just throw away.

So I took apart the cabinet and primed the surface.  I did do a little sanding before, but that was before I decided to prime.  With this primer that is not necessary.  I did 2 coats.  Be sure to following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Next was the paint!  It was so fun to decide which color, I knew I wanted aqua or turquoise…

I Instagrammed the color choice right from Home Depot!!

Originally I was not going to seal, but I decided with some of your tips and the use this table will get (plus children and moving a lot) that I should.  This was what i picked.  Same verdict with this as the primer… convenient, but the overspray was annoying and not as cost effective.

Then I put the cabinet all back together… AND…


Look at all of that flush sewing surface real estate.  I cannot wait!

The machine all tucked away.

A little cubby box

So there you have it! I hope you guys like my little table and that this inspires you to refinish something in your home to make it more lovely or something inexpensive from Craigslist that you can make awesome!  Here are some good “pinnable” before and afters ;)

Here’s to hoping I can get this thing to make a decent stitch!  I’m sure I messed it up when I took it apart to clean it… oh well!  Happy furniture refinishing!

Check out my Parties page above to see where I linked up!

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  2. Ravishing Rose says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! I have two vintage sewing machine cabinets that also need some love that were given to me. One I will redo in that gorgeous Sweet Rhapsody blue as my creative color. Great job and thanks for sharing your cabinet and tips. Toodles

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  6. That looks awesome! I would love to do that! :)

  7. i am totally jealous! the flat surface is wonderful…lucky girll.

  8. Beautiful job and color.

    I have been intriqued with the Annie Sloan chaulk paint, and have bee thinking about
    changing the color of one I did in the 80′s… with antique over it, see it’s truly
    retro…but so am I.

  9. Beautiful! I just bought a vintage sewing cabinet – looking for some refinish ideas, thanks for sharing

  10. Beautiful! I love the color you chose…it is so bright and cheerful…and very vintage. :)

  11. The color is so bright and cheerful…I love it!

  12. BEAUTIFUL color choice! Love the update

  13. This color is awesome! I love love it!
    I painted an old desk white, but then my machine likes to stick the paint:(
    New Follower!
    Hugs, Jen

  14. you are stylin’ now girl!!

  15. This is so beautiful! I have one almost exactly like it that was my Grandmothers. It has her sewing machine in it still. I am in a re-vamp furniture kick as well right now. I’ve re-covered chairs and now I’m painting some tables. One of these days, my house will be finished, but we’re taking it one piece at a time!

  16. Wow, it came out so completely different than your starting point. Major transformation! And I so love that color – especially with the high contrast of the back machine. Good jerb!

  17. Such a lovely color choice! I love the way this turned out.. on of the pretties sewing desk makeovers I have seen!


  18. Sorry totally commented on the wrong blogpost befor, meant this one of course!! Silly me :)

    Melanie this make over is amazing. You did such a great job. The color is really awesome and fun.

    Found you trough your sister-in-law Rachel. I’m always happy to find other bloggers with good sewing/d.i.y. skills ;D

    <3 Elisa

  19. That’s absolutely gorgeous. Love the color and hope you get your machine up and running! =) XOXO

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