If you ask my husband, Jeffrey, there is nothing I like better than saying yes to someones old sewing supplies. An artist at Rosewood Art Centre so kindly gifted me a cast iron treadle base. The weird thing about this treadle is it was half the height of the regular treadles.

After just a couple of minutes of research I found it was from the White Sewing Machine Company and made in 1913. The reason it was so short was because it had six wooden drawers.

The obvious upcycle with a little work was that it could make a great coffee table if I could source the glass. I put out a post on facebook looking for the glass and BOOM!  Someone had the perfect piece. Thank you, Sabrina!

Last year I made two sewing treadle desks for work out of treadle bases so I already knew the process of painting them.

Many of these old machines were made out of panel veneer wood that curls easily when it gets wet. This also means the treadles are rusted and need sanded prior to painting.

I used a course sanding block and wore a mask to do this. Next, it would need to be painted with a primer. I got white due to the bright color I wanted to paint the frame.


Once the rust and chipped paint was sanded off and cleaned I could add my first coat of primer. Painting these treadles takes a lot of paint and patience. This video only shows one side of the painting process. The treadle needs to be flipped to each side to get into all the metal angles, curves and spaces.

I had a lot of trouble deciding on the paint color. The color I wanted, a bright pink, was empty on all the store shelves. I first bought a florescent pink and then the morning of I ran to check one more place and purchased the back up color, Magenta.

I tested both and neither looked the same as the can lid.

I thought the pink looked a little orange and I liked that. It was different and would brighten any room. The painting took almost the entire day of popping outside, putting on the mask and then checking for spots over and over. I had to let the paint cure for 24 hours. This is the hard part.

Once cured I was able to stick the little plastic sliders on the table. They worked like a charm.

Once the glass was cleaned I was happy to put the final piece together.

I absolutely love the way it turned out!

Behind the scenes~

Perhaps these colors were inspired by my latest project.

Didn’t stay clean for long with the holiday weekend and cleaning the garage.


Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!



Tracy McElfresh
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