>> Monday, August 25, 2008
Today I finished the last step of refinishing the sewing cabinet. It felt slightly rough after the first coat of polyurethane dried, so I sanded it all over with 220 sandpaper and brushed on another coat. This is what it had suggested on the can.
And it worked really well. Sanding created a bit of a whitish dusty look (which I wiped clean with barely damp paper towel) but it felt much smoother and after the 2nd coat of polyurethane dried the surfaces felt very smooth and nicely finished. I've varnished things before and never bothered to do the "sand between coats" step but I admit now that it really does make all the difference.
So now the cabinet is done and I can show it off. It really doesn't seem like that much work when you look back, it was just sort of frustrating at the time doing the stripping but I think I have the hang of it now. But it's a reminder that I wouldn't really want to try anything more ornate, or too big to rinse in the sink!
As I mentioned luckily it was really only the top that was damaged so the rest is still the original finish and in nice shape. This is the back view:It's funny because in the craiglist picture it really looked worse than it was. Also, the sides were up in the photo and one panel seemed to be sagging. I thought the hinges might need replacing and even had a quick look on ebay and found some listed. But when we picked up the table and moved it, a metal rod swung out and it turns out there's a support for the larger side panel that tucks into the table when it's not in use. And the hinges are in great shape and look practically new.
I used a cream-with-tan-stripes upholstery cotton (a sample square from the Textile Museum sale) to re-upholster the bench. I chose the light colours because it just lightens up the whole set which is a bit dark. Also it matches my new/vintage Bernina sewing machine - but that's a topic for another post. Here's a glimpse of the inside of the bench:
This is the table with the sides out and the drawer open. I didn't refinish the inside of the two side panels so they're not perfect but the polish with mineral oil spruced them up quite well. I did refinish the little panel in front of the sewing machine, so you can see what a nice match the stain was to the original finish.
I'm so glad that the cabinet turn out so well. As I mentioned it would have been less trouble to wait for one in great condition to turn up, but then again it's very satisfying to take something that's been a bit neglected and bring it back to life. Also it was a bargain at $55.
And don't forget that includes the sewing machine inside. That's been brought back to life too, I'll show that next post. Thank you for the comments!