Super Mom – No Cape!

One mother sharing her knowledge with others

Art Deco Cabinet – Some Dis-Assembly Required

Posted by supermom on June 12, 2011

Dave spent the past few days taking apart and then sanding the Art Deco sewing cabinet and bench seat that we bought for my Singer 15-91.

This ended up being a bigger job than he had anticipated.  Not only did all the outside surfaces need to be sanded as expected, all the inside surfaces had to be sanded as well to completely remove the unpleasant odor.

At first, we assumed the odor was due to having sat unused for so long.   We tried washing it down, inside and out.  We changed buckets of water three times and each time the water was an awful brown by the time we got finished.  Then we let it sit outside for several days to air out (bringing it back into the garage each night.)

We think the previous owners must have been very heavy smokers and over the years, the smell and cigarette fumes had soaked into the finish.

Thank goodness, now that all surfaces have been sanded the cabinet just smells like wood.

The next step is to wipe all the pieces down with a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust that the vacuum didn’t get.  Then he’ll start the refinishing by re-staining the black strips along the bottom of the cabinet and bench seat and the drawer handles.

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6 Responses to “Art Deco Cabinet – Some Dis-Assembly Required”

  1. Sandra :) said

    Huge job – I know that musty tarry cigarette smell and the gross colour from the wash water – I smoked for 29 years, but thankfully I quit 8 years ago! I bet the cabinet is very happy to be clean and woody smelling now, and can’t wait to be reassembled and given a “spit shine”, lol!

  2. Nancy D. said

    Murphy’s Oil Soap, straight from the bottle and onto a rag will take the worst yuck and smell away. I learned that when we were using used furniture for the family cottage. The stuff is amazing and pretty cheap for what it does. I love that cabinet and I know it is going to awesome when it is finished!

  3. It will be beautiful and worth all the extra effort. =)

    My hubby may have caught the bug, too. He looks for them when we go to the thrift stores.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying, “Hi.”

  4. Phil said

    I am trying to do the same job, and wondered what the ‘secret’ is to getting the right hand drawers out. Thanks.

    • supermom said

      Hello Phil,

      If you look in the back of each drawer, in the bottom of the drawer there is a 1/4″ hole… pull the drawer fully open and take a small screwdriver that will fit in the hole and push down through the hole to release the spring lock. Pull the drawer out while pushing down on the screwdriver and it should come right out.

      To reinsert the drawer, line it up and it should slide right in. Make sure to mark each drawer for location in the cabinet as each can be slightly different in size and alignment and should go back where they came from.

      If you need further help, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  5. MsLee said

    I had the exact sewing machine cabinet/with machine that belong to my mother that was stolen from me during a garage sale I had here in California. It’s good to see another one and being appreciated.
    I also have a great appreciation for old sewing machines, I have 4 remaining from my mother and all are used regularly.
    Your honey did a great job on yours.

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