Antique Sewing Table to Coffee Bar: Step by Step Guide

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When I excitedly purchased this beaten up antique sewing table missing the 1966 sewing machine for $7 I saw a lot of potential my shopping buddy didn’t see. The hardware was great, the broken front drawer was an easy fix, and everything was in pretty good shape otherwise even if it was really, really grossly dirty. I scrubbed it down and got to work.

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Dove gray has been my color lately and I decided to stick with it since I already had the paint on hand. Folk Art’s Silver Gray Chalk Paint is my go-to for a nice, soft gray. First, I removed all the hardware and the hinge top. It was a bunch of screws and a little tedious, but important since it makes the painting much easier.

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It took 2 coats of paint to get the table covered. While Folk Art Chalk Paint is more affordable than some other brands, sometimes it takes a little more to get the job done. When the paint was dry, I mixed up a very dark gray glaze and wiped it over the entire table. Before applying my clear wax to seal and protect the paint, I took a rough sandpaper to the edges of the table to give it a lightly distressed look.


A tip for distressing:

Try to make it look natural like the wearing away of paint in certain areas happened over time due to frequent use.

Being too vigorous with your distressing can sometimes look like a mass-produced piece.

Focus on edges and areas that would be exposed to the most wear.


I love the results! My little coffee bar corner needed an update and this was the perfect piece. It could also make a great end table or, with an added inner shelf, a cool flip open bar. Not too shabby for only $7!

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