before and after

before & after: cindy’s sewing table + gail’s window

by Grace Bonney

i have a soft spot for red details so i was happy to see cindy black‘s sewing table before & after in my inbox this week. cindy inherited her mother-in-law’s 1960s sewing cabinet and decided to have the machine serviced so she could keep the table for its original purpose. but after examining the peeling veneer and particle board drawer fronts, she decided to give the table itself an overhaul as well. her first step was to remove the veneer from the drawer fronts using an x-acto razor and chisel, then she laminated a zebrawood veneer onto the top with a spray contact cement. the zebrawood was then finished with two eco-friendly products: velvit oil to bring out the color and alpha floor sealer to give it shine. red coral drawer pulls from anthropologie were added, and then the exterior was given a bronze sheen with some new spray paint. i love the final result and so does cindy- not only because she has a new working sewing table, but because the table is close enough to her dining table to double as a sideboard during party season. well done, cindy!

[have a before & after you’d like to submit for the d*s book or website? just shoot me an email right here with your images!]


CLICK HERE for gail’s window makeover after the jump!

this repurposed window project comes from gail at my repurposed life. gail cleaned up a set of discarded windows and used them to create this window box cabinet. click here for more details. thanks, gail!

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  • Gorgeous, gorgeous sewing table – her vintage machine is drool-worthy, and I love her treatment of the drawers. I’d love to see the rest of her home!

  • Wow, GREAT sewing table makeover! I love everything about it, from the fact that she had the old machine serviced to the combination of zebra wood and coral. I had no idea that veneer could be replaced like that. Amazing! I’m with Miss Jess–I want to see more examples of Cindy’s genius.

  • The zebra wood is OFF THE HOOK. Absolutely love. The coral is also a fabulous touch. Excellent, inspired work.

  • Thanks for the comments everyone! The zebrawood was ordered from Certainly Woods in Aurora, NY – 716 655 0206. I still have a 16″ x 48″ piece if anyone would like to buy it from me! The clear finish is called Alpha, which I buy from Eco-wise in Austin. It’s a water-based carnuba wax finish.
    That machine’s great, huh? Too bad they don’t come in that color anymore :)

  • i really love the made-over sewing table. i too, am hoping to inherit my mother’s old sewing table and give it a face lift. this gave me some great ideas.

    that window box cabinet turned out perfectly, too. you would never be able to tell that it was such a hodgepodge of pieces.

  • Wow, what dedication. The final result is beautiful! The whimsical coral pulls and the red drawer interiors are the perfect finishing touches. Love it!

  • What an inspiring conversion. The color choices are the best, and that machine? Who wouldn’t want that machine to sew on! It’ll run a hundred years.

  • Hello

    What a great job on the sewing table. I also really like the shade of blue on the walls behind the table. Would you mind sharing what color that is. I have been searching for a nice blue similar to what is in your home.


  • Hi K –
    The blue is a custom Benjamin Moore color that we matched to a chair. We started with ‘Seastar – 2123-30’ and went a bit lighter from there. Hope that helps.

  • I’m impressed by gail’s window. It looks like a perfectly restored window. It is not easy to do that and not break the pains of glass ruining everything you just spent the day doing… Looks Awesome in the end.

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