Learn how this repurposed sewing table was upcycled into a desk.

Repurposed sewing table upcycled into a desk. Learn how to repurpose an old sewing cabinet into a useful computer desk.

Many years ago my husband’s aunt gifted us an old sewing cabinet with a sewing machine inside. She was no longer using the sewing machine and she knew I wanted to learn to sew.

I used the sewing machine for a while, it did a great job. However since it was quite old, I was always a little scared that something would happen when I turned it on.

Old sewing machine table with sewing machine inside.

Eventually my mother-in-law bought me a brand new sewing machine. Which meant the old sewing table was no longer being used.

I could not bring myself to dispose of the table because I knew that I could somehow use it for something else.

This month’s At Home DIY Challenge: Update with Paint. My husband suggested that it would be the perfect time to bring the sewing table back to life.

At Home DIY Challenge is a monthly challenge that I have been doing since last year with a wonderful group of bloggers. Last month’s theme was Upcycle It Projects. I shared an upcycled wall hanging.

He suggested we remove the old sewing machine from the table and that he would add a shelf in its place.

With a shelf in its place, it would become a perfect compartment to store a laptop.

How to remove a sewing machine from a sewing table

To remove a sewing machine from a sewing table you must pull out the sewing machine and lock it into place.

Old sewing machine cabinet with sewing machine inside.

Carefully unscrew all the screws that attach the sewing machine to the table.

Remove screws to lift sewing machine out of the sewing cabinet.
Remove screws to lift sewing machine out of the sewing cabinet.

Remove the sewing machine from the table by lifting it off the table.

Lift sewing machine out of sewing table.

If you do not plan to keep the sewing machine, ask around to see if anyone is interested in having it for their sewing machine collection. If not, contact your local ecocenter to see where you can bring it to have it properly recycled.

Empty sewing cabinet.

Check the inside of the table and remove any leftover hardware that you no longer need.

We found it easier to remove the hardware by flipping the table onto its top.

Bottom of sewing table.
Hardware inside the sewing table.
Hardware removed from sewing table.
No hardware

How to add a bottom shelf to a sewing table

To add a bottom shelf inside the sewing table, you must measure the inside to determine how big the shelf will be.

Things to remember:

  • You do not want the self to be lower than the front panel of the table, otherwise you will see the shelf when looking at the table.
  • If you are planning to store a laptop on the shelf, make sure to leave space around the shelf so that air can circulate.

We opted to add a board that’s 9.5″ x 21.5″. It leaves a nice gap in the front and in the back for air to flow. It also clears the corner hardware.

Measuring the inside of the table.
Measuring the inside of the table.

To add the bottom shelf, we attached 4 corner braces on the board. Then we fastened the braces inside the sewing table.

Supplies to make shelf for the sewing table.
Add corners braces.
Table shelf with corner braces.
Insert shelf inside the sewing table.
Make sure it's level before attaching.
Attach shelf inside the sides of the sewing table.
Under view of the shelf.
Shelf inside the sewing table.
Laptop inside the sewing table.

Thank you to Fusion Mineral Paint for providing us with paint and painting supplies for this project. We are extremely grateful for their support.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How to paint a sewing table


  • Fusion Mineral Paint TSP
  • Shop towels
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Paint – Fusion Mineral Paint
  • Paint brush – Good quality
  • Paint roller and pan – Good quality
Sewing machine cabinet with sewing machine removed.
Fusion Mineral Paint Enchanted Echinacea
Paint and painting tools from Fusion Mineral Paint.


Step 1: Remove the hinges from the sewing table and place the table top pieces on a flat surface.

Step 2: Remove the drawers and knobs. (The knobs on the drawers were glued on. I was worried that if I pulled them off that I may damage the front of the drawers. I opted to leave them as is.)

Step 3: To work comfortably, prop up the table by placing the legs on paint cans.

Place furniture onto paint cans to lift them from the ground.

Step 4: Clean the table, table top pieces, and drawers with Fusion TSP solution.

I like to mix the Fusion TSP concentrate and water in a spray bottle for easy use. Wipe away with shop towels.

Fusion Mineral Paint TSP solution inside a spray bottle with water.
Spray Fusion TSP onto surface.
Spray Fusion TSP onto surface before painting.
Wipe the surface dry.

Step 5: If there are any dents, scratches, etc.. that you want to fix. Now is the time to do so.

I had a few scratches on the top, I left them as is. I like the worn/used look.

Step 6: Sand the surface with 220 grit sandpaper.

Scuff sand the entire surface before painting.
Sand piece before painting.

Step 7: Remove the dust from the surface with shop towels.

Remove dust before painting.
Wipe away dust before painting.

Step 8: Use a good paint brush and paint the table.

Here are tips for avoiding brush strokes when painting furniture and cabinets.

Furniture ready to be painted.
Enchanted Echinacea paint from Fusion Mineral Paint
Paint being poured into a paint pan.
Applying paint to roller from a paint pan.
Use a pointed sash brush for contour.
Painted contours.
Roll first coat of paint onto the surface.
First coat of paint.
First coat of paint on sewing table.

Step 9: (Optional) The wood knobs can also be painted using the same steps as above or they can be replaced by new knobs.

Step 10: After 4 hours, apply a second coat of paint.

Please note: Fusion Mineral Paint has a top coat built into it that is very durable, stain resistant, and waterproof once cured (it takes approximately 21 days to cure).

Applying second coat of paint onto the repurposed sewing table.

Step 11: (Optional) An additional top coat can be applied, this guide will help you determine which finish is best for your project.

In our case, we opted not to put an additional top coat since the table will not get excessive use.

How to update a sewing machine bench

Use the same step as above to paint the sewing machine bench.

If you want to update the bench cushion, you can easily reupholster the cushion.

Or you can update the bench cushion by painting it as described below.

How to paint a bench cushion

Step 1: Clean the vinyl cushion with Fusion TSP solution.

Step 2: Lightly sand the surface with 220 grit paper.

Step 3: Remove the dust.

Step 4: Paint the vinyl cushion with Fusion Mineral Paint.

Step 5: Wait at least 4 hours and apply a second coat of paint.

Sewing Table Makeover

How to repurpose a sewing table into a desk.
DIY repurposed sewing cabinet upcycled into a computer desk.

Doesn’t it look awesome?

I really like the color combo of the pink and the geo fabric we used to reupholster the bench cushion.

And I love that it was an easy update too!

Do you have a table you would like to give it a fresh new look?

I have a great step by step tutorial on how to paint a table and stain a tabletop if ever you would like a more in depth look.

Update with Paint

Are you ready to see everyone’s update with paint projects for this month’s challenge?

See More Update With Paint Projects

At Home DIY Logo
Learn how to upcycle a sewing table into a desk with this tutorial.

Wow! Everyone did such a wonderful job!

It’s crazy how paint can give new life to things!

Do you have something you’d like to update with paint? I’d love to hear about it!

P.S. The repurposed sewing table can also be used as a makeup vanity.

Have a wonderful day my friends!

How to repurpose a sewing table into a desk

1 repurposed sewing table

Prep Time:
5 minutes

Active Time:
2 hours

Additional Time:
4 hours

Total Time:
6 hours 5 minutes


Estimated Cost:
Less than $40

Learn how to make this repurposed sewing table. It’s a great table to use as a work desk or a makeup vanity.


  • Sewing table
  • Board to make a shelf
  • Corner braces to attach board
  • Fusion TSP solution
  • Shop towels
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Fusion Mineral Paint
  • Fabric to reupholster bench


  • Paint brush – Good quality
  • Paint roller – Good quality
  • Paint pan