Painting mid century modern furniture when the original finish is in bad shape doesn’t bother me. Painting furniture is what I do. This mid century sewing cabinet looks great painted. You can’t go wrong with an off-white paint color and a touch of metallic gold. I don’t restore furniture to it’s original finish because it’s a lot of work. I’ve mentioned before that I’m lazy and it’s true.
My original plan was to just paint the cabinet white and be done. I have to admit even with the cool mid century style the new painted look was too one dimensional and I came up with a new plan.
I spotted the sewing cabinet at the Southern Kentucky Flea Market and it was $20. The cane panel on the front was the selling point for me.
Thankfully the sewing machine had already been removed from the cabinet. I still had a little body work to do though.
This piece will make the perfect side table, nightstand, foyer piece, you name it.
Supplies for this project:
- Painter’s Tape
- Beyond Paint – Off White
- Rustoleum Metallic Gold Spray Paint
- Quality Paint Brush
- FolkArt Brilliant Metallic Paint
Before painting furniture there are always repairs or updates that need to be taken care of. In the past when the JTS and I have worked on sewing cabinets we just nailed the top done and that was it.
This time I decided to remove the hinges on the side where the top is hinged so it can open and close.
Then I used my brad nailer to nail the top to the body. This way there isn’t that tiny space caused by the hinges. The space wasn’t really noticeable on past pieces but I knew this would make a major difference in the finished look of the mid century style cabinet.
The cane panel on the front actually opened to the inside. There is no drawer or little compartment for thread, etc. inside.
The piece is too short to pull a chair under so I guess that is why the door opens....for leg room. Sure would be awkward while sewing.
I removed the side hinges from the door and the cabinet. Then I held the front cover firmly in place and used the brad nailer to attach it to the cabinet casing.
This brad nailer is so easy. I would much rather use it than a hammer and nails or a screwdriver and screws.
The photo comparison above shows how I closed that gap by removing the hinges and nailing the front in place.
Someone mistreated this nice piece. The top of the cabinet had a bunch of water rings. Guess they didn't have a coaster.
I smoothed out the top with my power sander before I started painting.
Next I wrapped painters tape around the metal caps on the feet to keep from getting white paint on them. I'm kind of messy.
I choose Beyond Paint in off-white for the paint finish. Painting furniture with Beyond Paint is quick and easy because it requires no priming or sealing. Win-Win I applied two coats of paint for complete coverage.
When the paint was thoroughly dry I removed the tape from the metal feet and placed tape over the newly painted wood above the metal feet. Don't want to get metallic gold paint on the white legs.
I gently sanded the top flat part of the metal feet before painting because they were a little rusty. Rustoleum Metallic Spray Paint in Gold is soooo shiny! It took about a minute to spray the metal feet.
The mid century modern sewing cabinet looked okay but it didn’t feel right. The white paint was too blah or too flat or too one-dimensional (photo taken before painting the metal feet).
I decided to pump up the look by adding bits of gold over the white. The FolkArt Metallic Treasure Gold paint is like butter, so smooth. I used a dry-brush technique and dabbed the gold paint around all the sides and raised edges.
Then I flecked bits of gold all over the body using the tips of the paint brush. I didn’t put gold paint on the legs. The spray painted metallic gold feet were enough.
You can’t really see the gold paint and the way it shines in the shots of the entire cabinet but you can see the paint in this close-up.
I’m happy with the finished look although I admit I expected more when I envisioned this piece painted.
The gold feet are the stand-out stars and such an easy part of the project. Spray paint can work miracles in a short time.
The cane panel painted white with the dark wood showing underneath adds depth and dimension to the cabinet.
If you aren't familiar with the dry brush technique I used to apply the gold paint watch my video below.....
How To Use The Dry-Brush Paint Technique On Furniture
I would need to use spray paint to cover that underneath layer of wood and it's hard to get into those tiny spaces with a paint brush without leaving blobs of paint and that isn't a good look.
What about the dabs of gold on the cabinet? Do you guys like that? I know it's almost impossible to see in the photos but it does make an impact in person. Would you have painted the cabinet differently?
Leave a note if you have time. Thanks for spending a bit of your day with me, Kathy
Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com