Refurbish a Sewing Cabinet

I picked up this sewing desk from a garage sale for $1 ! In terrible condition. I only bought it because sewing desks aren’t easy to find and they’re super expensive to buy new. It definitely needed some repairs before it was ready to use. As soon as I got it home I started pulling the horrible old veneer off before I remembered to take a photo. Peeling the veneer was so satisfying. Too easy, like peeling the label off a jam jar. A few corners had been superglued back down and there was a patch of water damage so I had to sand those parts back to flat.

Underneath all the ugly veneer is MDF which stands for Medium Density Fibreboard. Lots of cheap furniture is made from MDF but it’s not a material I would recommend having in your home unpainted. And certainly do not sand it without wearing a quality dust mask. MDF is made up of sawdust held together with formaldehyde which is a small molecule that is toxic, volatile and a known carcinogen. They say the only reason formaldehyde hasn’t been banned from use like Asbestos is because there is no replacement product that binds stuff together nearly as well as formaldehyde does.

Where possible, always select real timber furniture instead of anything made from MDF.

Knowing this about MDF, I painted it with a sealant coat straight away and then two top coats of paint that I already had in the shed. the bright colours were from little test pots.

I replaced the drawer pulls found at The Crows Nest for a $1 each. How smart does it look now?