Refinishing a Hand Crank Sewing Machine

Years ago I acquired a hand crank sewing machine. There has been some renewed interest in the “decals” so I thought I’d share the story. I bought this hand crank because it was pre-1900 and that is my main interest in antique sewing machines. It was a Singer manufactured in 1898. With the condition the machine was in when I bought it, it could not be used. There was rust on the bed of the machine. I only have machines in my collection that I can actually sew on. 🙂

Back of the machine

Back of the machine

Front of the machine

Front of the machine

There was enough of the original decal design left on the machine that I could make out what it used to be ~ the Ottoman Carnation. I found a picture of the Ottoman Carnation decal on the internet and printed it out. Then I sanded the machine down to the base metal.

Front

Front

Back

Back

After I removed all the paint I purchased a good high-gloss spray paint and coated the machine twice.

Front

Front

Back

Back

I then put it all back together and gave it to a friend who volunteered to hand paint the decals for me. Armed with the color pictures she did her own beautiful version of the Ottoman Carnation decals. I loved it!

Front

Front

Back

Back

There was one glitch though. When she sprayed the machine after painting it with the clear coat, it crinkled up! She was very despairing of this but when I saw it I told her that it added to the age of the machine and not to worry. I’m not sure why this happened as it was the same brand as the black coat, but again, I thought it just added to the character of the machine.

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8 thoughts on “Refinishing a Hand Crank Sewing Machine

  1. What a lovely job you and your friend did on this machine. Most of my machines are in pretty good shape, paint and decal wise, but, my 2 oldest don’t have much paint left on the base of the machine, and one of them has silvered decals (what is left of them). I’d love to do a repaint of one of the some day.

  2. Wow what a talent you & your friend have. Just beautiful & from the pics, you can’t tell about the finish or I was just too taken with the pattern. I have a Singer, just got for $25. It is electric but old enough to not have a model number. Also have a Ruby treadle…both have gorgeous designs.

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