Painting an Old Metal Sewing Machine

Give a Used Sewing Machine a Makeover

When I received an old sewing machine cabinet for free, it also included a Kenmore sewing machine. I love old, used sewing machines and use them regularly (yes, “them” meaning I have several). I gave the sewing machine cabinet a makeover so I thought I’d give one to the machine itself. Painting an old metal sewing machine is really quite easy!

Painting an Old Metal Sewing Machine - Completed

This is what it looked like before:

Painting an Old Metal Sewing Machine - Before

Once I removed the machine from the cabinet, I taped off the areas where I did not want paint – the throat plate, the needle and foot shaft, the presser foot lever, as well as the controls on the front. I also removed the belt from the handwheel and motor.

Painting an Old Metal Sewing Machine - Taped Off Controls

I applied a coat of rusty metal primer (<– affiliate link!) to the entire body of the machine, then applied two light coats of spray paint in a color I like to call “Obnoxious Pink”.

Painting an Old Metal Sewing Machine - Spray Primed

Painting an Old Metal Sewing Machine - Spray Painted

I also taped off the cord to the foot pedal and painted it as well.

I removed the tape then reinstalled the machine in the cabinet. This is not the original machine to the cabinet (even though I received it this way). Still, the color combo is fantastic!

Painting an Old Metal Sewing Machine - Finished Right View

Painting an Old Metal Sewing Machine - Finished Left View

Here are a few tips on painting an old metal sewing machine:

  • Cover up the parts you don’t want painted with painter’s tape
  • Use cotton balls to plug holes such as grease holes (for lubricating the inner parts in older machines) and the holes in the motor housing
  • Always use a spray primer, especially on metal
  • Apply the paint after priming according to the directions on the can – in my case, I could paint within an hour of priming and had to apply any subsequent coats of paint within an hour as well
  • Pick a color that suits you!

Painting an Old Metal Sewing Machine - Finished Front View

Using spray paint and primer, I gave a fabulous makeover to an old metal sewing machine (that still works!) and cannot wait to use it to sew something fabulous!

To me, painting this old metal sewing machine was a good choice… It came out great and I love it! Now I can’t wait to sew something fabulous with it!

Originally posted 2016-07-05 08:00:50.


  • R. Reagan says:

    Wow, I have the exact same sewing machine. I actually thought about painting it but assumed it would have some negative effect on the machine.
    Thank you for the post

    • Cher-Ann says:

      I figure that as long as the dials and necessary markings are taped, it should be fine! I gave it to a friend and as far as I know, she’s still using it! Good luck with yours if you decide to paint it!

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