Vintage Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet Makeover: Painted Green

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I wanted to share my find for the past weekend.  While browsing around in one of my favorite local thrift stores, I saw this precious vintage Martha Washington sewing cabinet.   

Vintage Martha Washing Sewing Cabinet before makeover

Negotiations for Vintage Martha Washing Sewing Cabinet

I explained to the store owner that I was interested in the cabinet. Poor thing’s leg was broke, so I guess they thought nobody would want her. I scored it for $10 bucks.  It was so unique. At the time of purchase, I had no idea what the cabinet’s use is, but I knew it was definitely vintage.  There were two storage compartments on each end, which were very deep. 

The History

I decided to post a picture of the cabinet in one of the Facebook groups that I follow, to see if anyone knew the origin.  Low and behold someone did.  I was told she was a Martha Washington Vintage Sewing Cabinet!  How neat!  It was pretty obvious too that this was a vintage piece.  The wood, the smell, just gave it away.  Although after doing some research, I knew it was not from the 1800s.  This is when the original Martha Washington cabinet was made for George Washington’s wife.  She liked to sew and knit, so the deep compartments were to store material and yarn!   

The Makeover

First, I gave her a good cleaning with vinegar and water solution.  I use two parts water and one part vinegar for small jobs. The Hubs glued the broken leg back into place and also added a screw.

I decided to go out of my comfort zone and use color. The color I chose was Dixie Belle’s Chalk Paint in the color Kudzu.  The green was a bit too bright. I added a touch of Dixie Belle Bunker Hill (blue) and Rebel Yellow to darken up the green.  This would darken up the green and give it a farmhouse look.   I gave the entire piece, except the top, one coat.  

The top is naturally worn and I LOVE the way it looks.  Therefore, I did not want to paint over it.  I gave it a nice rub down with Bees Wax.  

After allowing my paint to dry for about 4 hours, I heavily distressed the cabinet with 220 grit sandpaper.  Update: I received many emails asking why I painted this cabinet. This cabinet had severe scratches and dents that were not feasible to repair. Sometimes paint is our only option.

Now knobs for the vintage Sewing Cabinet

I found these cute wooden knobs on Ebay for $3.00 each.


I sealed this piece with one coat of Dixie Belle’s Best Dang Wax. See some of the original wood peeking through. It gives it such character. I hope Mrs. Washington would approve!

Vintage Martha Washing Sewing Cabinet after the makeover

Supply List for the Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet Makeover

Dixie Belle Chalk Paint in Kudzu, Bunker Hill, and Rebel Yellow

Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax

Bees Wax

Wooster Silvertip Paintbrush


Looking for more furniture makeovers ideas? Here are other projects you may like!

Two-Toned Vintage Dresser Makeover

Vintage Wash Stand Makeover

“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it will be.


6 thoughts on “Vintage Martha Washington Sewing Cabinet Makeover: Painted Green”

  1. The paint color you choose did her justice and doesn’t detract in any way from her specialness Christina. I think she looks lovely with her new coat of green

  2. Linda at Mixed Kreations

    What a great buy! I wish that I was able to go to Goodwill more often so I could find these awesome deals. Yall did an awesome job on it. Gorgeous!

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