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Thread: Restore or Repaint old paint surfaces?

  1. #11
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2012
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    Sure, I want pretty sewing machines. I'm talking actual monetary value of a RARE machine (or ANY antique) to a true collector. My parents had a houseful of antique furniture...all refinished, reglued, reupholstered...just gorgeous. But they were fairly common pieces & they fixed them up to use. But let's say they had something TRULY rare & VERY valuable...& they were going to a big auction house with one of these pieces. The value would drop dramatically! Just watch Antiques Roadshow to see what I mean.

    My machines have ALL been restored to as "like new" as I can get 'em! Paint touched up, parts replaced, cabinets refinished, etc. But I don't have anything worth more than probably $350. I use them & if I sold one, it would sell for more than a crappy looking one, I'm sure.

    I was talking rare/valuable as opposed to more common, everyday machines....

  2. #12
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    I certainly agree with that.

    I would not "restore" a machine made between 1954 and 1865 for example.

  3. #13
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I guess I think of my mother's FW - it was her college graduation present in 1948. That machine is well used for sure. It has hundreds of nicks, scratches and pits. Mom never pulled out pins when she was sewing the camper canvas or the drapes or re-upholstering the couch or when she made me a new coat out of an old coat or some such project.... My sister and I cleaned and oiled it for her Christmas one year. She said it ran just as good as when it was new. I know new finish would make it look better, but all those nicks and scratches and pits are from honest hard work. Merit badges on the machine maybe... I wouldn't want to repaint that machine - it wouldn't be right. It would be like erasing memories or something. That machine will never look or act like a new machine anyways - things that should be tight are loose. It still sews and will keep on sewing for a very long time. We did try Glenn's method on a different FW and it turned out much better than I thought it would. I'd do it again in a heart beat if I had the time... I sure do have machines that could use it - just not my mom's.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  4. #14
    Super Member Glenn's Avatar
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    I agree with Steve that a good restoration will not devalue a sewing machine as he said we are not willing to pay much for them anyway and no one is except the ones that don't know. That being said we admit they are not worth much, this not an investment we sew with them and just like the way they look. People become so sentimental about their grandma's 1916 Red Eye they try to sell them for 500 to 1000 but in the antique business sentimental has no value. when I was still restoring antiques we repaired what was broken using the old methods of construction with old tools. the we repaired the the old finish that was bad using the same techniques and materials of the period of the piece, waxed the thing and stopped. By law we had to state what had been done but then again these valuble peices were based on a prestine piece with out any work and was for the true collector. I think it is perfectly fine to restore and old sewing machine as for as you want to go. Most of them come to us in sad shape or so dirty we have to clean them before they will move at all and then the pin rash and such. I say restore repaint the bad spots, repair the stencils if you can and sew with them. If it needs a complete repaint go for it. If you like them just cleaned repaired and sewing then that is perfectly alright to. If you restore just learn the correct techniques to do this restoration and you will be much happier with the results, remember you don't have to be perfect just do the best you can.
    Last edited by Glenn; 02-07-2013 at 06:36 PM.
    Glenn W. Cleveland

  5. #15
    Super Member solstice3's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    West Central Florida
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    Is it for you or resale? I refinished my treadle cabinet including new veneer. For me it was the right choice. If for resale as long as it is presented accurately

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