Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Grandma's Monster.

Deep in the dark, damp basement
has lived the monster I inherited from my Grandmother.

We don't always get along;
it's seen many more years than I
and doesn't tolerate my lack of patience with it.

It is my Grandmother's sewing machine,
and despite it's age and use,
it just keeps right on sewing.

While in the process of sewing,
I call it none better than a hateful monster:
it breaks so many needles,
bunches and chews up material,
and breaks up my threads.

I get so exasperated and think a new machine will work better,
but this thing keeps on working;
and with a few tweaks every now and then
we manage to get the jobs done.

I decided it was high time to rescue it from it's moldy environment
and put it in a place where it's life would be better preserved...
and I might actually use it more.

 I resorted to Annie Sloan's chalk paint again.
This is graphite, a deep gray, almost black.

As I was painting,
I noticed a decorative strip was missing on the front door.
I'd never noticed it when it was wood,
but it was quite obvious with the paint.
So I turned to a solution I'd seen on a blog.
First I marked the areas with tape
so that I could keep the width of the strip the same,
and so I'd create a straight line.

I put on some gloves because this is some toxic smelling/feeling stuff.

This multi-purpose repair putty
has a picture of repairing a soap dish in a shower,
so it's a pretty strong adhesive substance.

As long as the dark blue and white remain separated,
it seems to stay moist like clay.

When a piece is pulled off and smooshed together,
a chemical reaction occurs,
and it will begin to set up in about 5 to 10 minutes,
so I've found it is best to use small portions and work in segments.

Otherwise when it starts to dry,
the piece becomes hard, crumbly, and totally unmanageable.

I rolled a thin piece out and stuck it to the cabinet.

Then after that had set-up about 10 minutes later,
I added a second piece to fill in any gaps and to try to give it a more even appearance.
This is definitely something that needs a bit of practice,
but I'm satisfied with how it came out for myself on the first two pieces I've used it on.

(I'll show a decorative piece on a chair I just fixed in the future).

After the graphite chalk paint,
I decided to experiment,
and I used regular latex paint on top for the colors.

I used a white called "Linen" and the green was a collaboration
of two colors,
as I'd done on the floor.
When thoroughly dry,
I waxed the whole thing with Fiddes and Son "Clear" and "Rugger" waxes.

 Some pretty glass knobs I had ordered through Van Dyke's Restoration were added.
(They were a great sale when I ordered my kitchen hardware).

 The added putty strip is a little rough,
but I think it looks better with it
than it did without.

 I have to tell you, the latex (I used satin and semi-gloss paints)
seemed like a plastic coating over the chalk paint.
It seemed to peel a little easier than I had hoped in places,
but the wax helped seal it
and the chipped places ad to the old look,
so I'm fine with it.

I think if a flat paint was used over the chalk paint,
this would not be a problem.

I am pleased with her pretty transformation
as well as her bright new location.

 I think if Grandma were alive,
she'd be happy to see I'm taking much better care of her machine.

I am so very happy to be BACK!!  My computer had a bad mother brain
(sounds rather Frankenstein, doesn't it)
and had to be rebuilt,
so I had a week's break to can vegetables,
vacuum fleas,
work on projects,
and spend some time with the kids,
and my sister who came down for a visit.

But I did miss you all and look forward to catching up!

Thank you so much for all your sweet comments on my previous post!)

Linking up here:
Home Stories At o Z 
Furniture Feature Fridays

The Shabby Nest

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


  1. It really turned out wonderful, Tonya!

  2. wow! the brighter paint and antiquing looks really great! i'm sure you will still have your share of arguments with the monster though. :)

  3. I think the new sewing table turned out great. I have never used that special repair putty before, but, I am going to get some. As for what you did with it, believe me, we would not have known if you didn't show. Super. Have fun sewing.

  4. I think the new sewing table turned out great. I have never used that special repair putty before, but, I am going to get some. As for what you did with it, believe me, we would not have known if you didn't show. Super. Have fun sewing.

  5. Your grandma would smile sooo much, I'm sure! :)

    Visiting from The Shabby Nest linky party tonight

    ~Suzanne in NW IL

  6. I love your color combo. That is good to know that you can put other types of paint over chalk paint. Your 'fix' is is really not even noticable. I am all about doing a fix that does not involve getting out a saw, etc. I saw your post over at "Miss Mustard Seed".

  7. Kristin @ Chi-Chi StudioAugust 25, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Wow--it came out beautifully! The putty strip was an especially good idea...great job! (Found you through Miss Mustard Seed)

  8. Glad to see you back. I missed you!


    PS. Grandma's machine is looking spiffy, and I think the putty strip was a good idea.

  9. I hate sewing but I have to say I love the transformation, perfect.

  10. So glad your back, I missed reading your blog all week!!! The sewing machine looks wonderful.

  11. What a nice transformation! The greeen and the graphite together is a great combination.

  12. Good morning folks and I'm sure some of you are watching hurricane Irene's movements especially if you live on the east coast. ............. I have a post called "Lancaster on 2 wheels" today on Amish Stories where i tour the Amish country side taking pictures and observations which I've just posted................Enjoy your weekend everyone and i hope your out of Irene's path and safe. Richard from Amish Stories.

  13. So charming~ the new paint job looks wonderful. Love the color and antiquing you did! Well done! Would love for you to come share this at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

  14. How fun! I love the green and the detail.
    I'm your newest follower!

  15. Love it, again!!!! It looks so nice. What a great idea for the decorative strip. I think it looks good. What a great place to sew, in the new Bright room! You're blessed! Enjoy.

  16. super cute! I love the colors. you did such a great job!!

  17. What a great job you've inspired me to redo my grandmother's machine! It doesn't work but I just can't get rid of it. Thanks for sharing the idea with the repair putty I think it worked great. :)

  18. I didn't know that putty even existed! Your sewing cabinet looks really pretty, even if she is a monster inside. :)

  19. Nice transformation. Your trim fix turned out great. Never heard of repair putty before. Definitely will keep it in mind for future fixes. Thanks for the tip.

  20. You are a smart cookie. I can't tell your molding from the wood molding at all. Love the green. I think grandma would love it.

  21. What a great job you did-the putty trim looks fab too-I've gotta try that chalk paint-I'm your newest follower!

  22. If a rebuild would solve the mechanical snafus, this might become a "transformed monster". Creating a new trasure from the old is great fun!

  23. Wow I've never heard of that putty before but that's a great tip! Thanks for sharing! PS. I LOVE the color you choose.

  24. Loved the colors you used. Great idea on the putty. I'll remember this hint! Thank you for sharing on Keeping it simple.

  25. Love how this turned out. BRAVO!

    I wanted to let you know that I've got a great giveaway that ends Friday. It's for $100 to, and trust me they've got something I know you'll love!

    Stop by and enter ASAP. I'd love to see what you would do with their products! See you soon!



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