Passionate about vintage jewelry and clothing, Hayley
Ninnis sells these items through her Etsy store. Hayley
Ninnis also enjoys refurbishing furniture and is currently at
work on a White brand sewing machine.
Each part of a vintage or antique sewing machine responds
differently to the restoration process. The wood elements
are likely to require some degree of refinishing, which you
can accomplish with a few simple and easily available
tools. After applying a coat of mineral spirits to see how
the wood will look with finish alone, you can clean it with
Murphy oil soap and water, then coat any white rings with
denatured alcohol. If you prefer, however, you can coat the
rings with petroleum jelly to sit overnight.
As far as paint splatters on the wood, you can scrape them
with a razor blade if you place masking tape on the razor’s
corners, which can cut into the wood if unprotected. Epoxy
can fill in any missing wood pieces, and gel stain returns
colors to their former glory. You can then turn your
attention to the sewing machine portion of the piece.
Begin by wiping it down gently and pulling out any old
fibers with tweezers. You may need to clean the gears with
kerosene oil, then apply machine lubricator to make the
interior ready to use. Check for parts, such as the belt,
that may need replacing. Finally, clean the finish with
mineral oil and use a silver polishing cloth to brighten the
metallic parts and make them shine.