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Paint & Restoration Services (Details)

I saw James' work and I was very impressed. It takes a lot to impress me too because I use to do custom painting on hot rods! - Ray Elkins, Sew Purty Workshops
We refurbish and paint many models of vintage sewing machines, including the coveted Singer 221 Featherweight and the 301.

When we receive a machine, we first determine if it sews. Repairs are not part of the painting process. However, if the repair is something minor that we can easily correct throughout our disassembly and reassembly of your machine during the paint process, we will try our best to avoid repair charges as a courtesy. If we determine that mechanical repairs are necessary, you will be informed.

Customer pays all shipping, each way, and we encourage appropriate insurance for the replacement value of your machine. You can estimate your shipping to our zip code: 21742.

Bare aluminum (and steel) are properly treated and prepared for paint.

Chromacoats are color shifting hues. This is called "Voodoo."

Advantages of Our Service

  • We are an established LLC, not hobbyists.
  • Professional experience in auto restoration.
  • Proper aluminum preparation.
  • Proper decal placement.
  • An extensive machine breakdown and deep-level "spa" as part of the process. Many machines run and sew better following our service.
  • Attention to detail. We offer a premium level of service wherein we remove components that others leave in place for painting, such as the needle bar and rocker bushing pins on Featherweights.
  • Video presentation prior to your final payment.
  • We invoice through our LLC via PayPal and do not expect "gift transfers."

Pricing & Waiting List

There is a notification list - a "waiting" queue - and pricing is subject to the current offerings when your position becomes available. It is of course free to remain on the list.

We paint Featherweights, 301s, and other vintage models.

Current pricing begins at $1950, plus the cost of your paint choice and decals. (Primers, clearcoats, and other materials are part of the base price, not extra.)

When a position becomes available, we require a modest deposit to secure your pricing and scheduling. If uninterested at the time your position becomes available, or unable to commit at that time, we go to the next person on the waiting list.


Featherweights: Includes a deep clean, a 100+ part breakdown including opening, cleaning, and inspecting the motor, hook disassembly for deep clean, meticulously polished chrome, proper paint preparation, color application, new decals, and catalyst-hardened gloss coating. Completed machines are tested thoroughly for a proper stitch and video is taken prior to shipping.

Singer 301: Full service as described above under “Featherweights.”

Other Models: We refinish many other classic models, such as the Singer 15, 66, 99, and 201. Full service as described above under “Featherweights,” although there may be minor differences.

Projects Include:
  • Significant disassembly to allow for deep cleaning and proper paint preparation.
  • Motor inspected, cleaned, serviced as required.
  • Parts cleaned safely in appropriate solvents.
  • Hook disassembly for thorough cleaning as required (221/301).
  • Appropriate parts machine polished.
  • Proper aluminum/metal preparation.
  • Minor corrosion repair (severe corrosion may require additional fee).
  • Proper paint preparation and finish.
  • Catalyst-hardened gloss topcoat.
  • Final finish polished.
  • Reassemble / time hook / test for perfect stitches.
  • Video demonstration prior to final payment and shipping.
Pedals: We do not recommend painting pedals, but we will do so at your request for $35. Pedals rest on the floor, may be kicked a bit near table legs, and suffer constant rubbing during use - painting it just seems odd to us. More importantly, if you intend to use the metal bracket inside of many Featherweight cases to hold your pedal, there is simply no way that pinching metal against a painted pedal while sliding it will be conducive to a long-lasting finish. If you wish to have your pedal painted, we leave the “button” the original black and the rest of the pedal is painted.

Drip Pan: Our cosmetic preference is a black drip pan. We paint it black as part of your project. If you wish to have the drip pan painted the color of your machine, you must inform us and there is a fee.

Wiring: If your machine's electrical components have broken or bare wiring, we repair this for a nominal fee, usually no more than $30. Mechanical repairs are addressed more fully below.

Badges: In short, some can be removed while some must be masked. We make a reasonable attempt to remove the badge without damaging it. If the badge brads are stubborn or broken off on the inside and difficult to force out, we do not remove the badge as we don't want to grind them off from the exterior and risk damage to the badge. Original brads are not readily obtained and if a brad is broken, it must be replaced with a common brass brad that may not resemble the original brad due to its smooth, moon-like head. In cases of a stubborn badge, we mask the badge expertly.  If the badge comes off without risk of damage, then we're able to reinstall the badge following painting.

Additional Parts: We video opening your package and we do a cursory inspection for necessary parts to recommend; for example, some machines have broken bakelite thumb nuts or cracked power terminals, some are missing drip pans, etc. If you choose to replace any parts, we can usually acquire them based on availability and add them to your invoice. Parts purchases may require prepayment at our discretion.

Above, the purple machine has the Celtic Chain decal, while the brown machine has the Prism decal.


You may have seen painted machines elsewhere with decals poorly positioned. Rest assured we take great care with decal position. We don't consider this to be open to interpretation - there are correct positions, plain and simple.

Custom decals are possible purely at our discretion.  These start at $125 due to the design and printing process. Please be cautious about printing your own decals or providing water-slide decals that are not offered by a reputable, proven business. Not all decals are created equal. And please don't request stickers to be added to your machine beneath the gloss coat: water transfers only, please.

This Royal Blue Candy 201 has the India Star decal on the bed.

Mechanical Repairs

In-depth mechanical repairs are not included with the price of a paint project. Your sewing machine must sew upon arrival to avoid additional labor costs.  If a mechanical issue is rectified by virtue of our disassembly and reassembly process, with no significant impact to our labor time, there will be no charge and we're very happy to extend the courtesy. An example would be a missing hook assembly. You could provide the hook or rely on us to purchase one. If the machine is in sound condition and we simply replace the hook assembly in order to resume functionality, of course we're not going to charge you for the labor. We do NOT endeavor to squeeze every dollar out of a project; however, time-consuming repairs (and parts) must be addressed in pricing. If your machine has known issues, we like to discuss this openly early in your project and absolutely avoid unpleasant surprises for you.

Parts are solvent cleaned and machine polished.

The final product is immaculate.

Shipping, Invoicing, and Caring for Your Machine

What to Ship: We require your complete machine with bobbin case and your pedal. Do not ship your case unnecessarily as we reserve the right to return-ship your case separately from your machine, incurring greater expense. Your belongings will be carefully tagged and tracked throughout our process. Your bobbin case will remain with your machine. When we reassemble, time the hook, and perfect the stitches, we want this to be accomplished with your bobbin case and your pedal, just as you will be sewing with your machine.

Prepare to Ship Properly for Your Protection: Photograph your machine from multiple angles prior to packaging. With the machine packed inside the box, take a photo before closing and taping the top to demonstrate your (hopefully) excellent packing. We video opening your machine, so if there is any damage from shipping, your insurance claim should be easily processed. We have had only one fatally damaged machine over many years’ time (and not a Featherweight), and because we had excellent photos and proper insurance, the claim was paid immediately by the U.S. Postal Service.

Insure Your Package: Please insure your package for a replacement value you consider appropriate and could readily demonstrate to your shipper if they were to challenge the value after a claim; if the shipper damages your machine, what would it cost you to replace it? Advertisements for Featherweights in your region could serve to "prove" its value if you were challenged on that question. Our return shipping requires insurance as well - the basic value of a Featherweight plus the value of your custom paint job.

Caring for a Painted Sewing Machine: Your machine will be top-coated with a high-gloss, catalyst-hardened clear coat that provides protection, but you must understand that the final job is like the paint on a fine automobile: if you were to drop scissors on a Mercedes hood, you would be likely to get a blemish. You will no longer polish your machine with oil; you will use liquid wax like an automobile. Avoid scuffing your machine with jewelry; never put stickers or adhesive on your machine. Screw-in seam guides will blemish the finish and possibly crack the finish around the screw holes: don't use them.

Browse our colors and finishes below. Some finishes have links to videos so that you can see the effect of light on the finished object.

Candy Finishes

Candy finishes have rich color. We can spray these over a metallic base to provide a shimmering metallic fleck effect.

Click image to enlarge.

Pearl Finishes

Pearls have great color depth and shimmering iridescence with pearl luster.

Click image to enlarge.

Chromacoat “Color-Shifting” Finishes

Chromacoats change color depending on the angle from which they are viewed. More than just a subtle variation in shade, the color undergoes striking transformation. Colors are indicated below.

Click image to enlarge.

Sparkling Pearl Finishes

Sparkling Pearls offer a vivid shimmering effect in strong light, with a pearly finish.

Click image to enlarge.

Spectracoat "Dancing Light" Finishes

Spectracoat creates iridescent color enhancements that appear to move right before your eyes. It looks like “liquid silver” in low light, then provide a more flowing liquid silver rainbow in bright light. Don’t confuse Spectracoat with Chromacoat – while Chromacoat finishes dramatically change color, Spectracoat finishes offer more of a “dancing light” effect. Colors are indicated below.

Click image to enlarge.


Metallics are much like the finish on custom and fine automobiles. They provide a “metallic fleck” effect that gives the finish depth and shimmer.

Click image to enlarge.

Need more colors?

We have access to multiple paint lines, including House of Kolor. We can also match auto color codes in most cases. The Custom Paints product line shown above is our preferred and recommended paint, but we're willing to spray most brands. If it's professional grade and available for spray-gun use, we can likely use it.

What We Do at Still Stitching:

Our Film

  • We produced the only feature-length documentary on vintage sewing machines. Still Stitching has delighted thousands of viewers and urged the expansion of many collections. Many viewers tell us they watch it repeatedly. Ladies tell us that the film helped draw their husbands into their passion for vintage machines.

Custom Paint and Restoration

  • We are fortunate to assist many clients with procurement, high-end restoration, and custom painting of vintage sewing machines. While Singer 221 Featherweights are the most frequently painted model, we paint many other models such as the Singer 15, 66, 99, 201, and 301. We also refinish cabinets, treadle irons, and vintage sewing machine cases. Interested in our services? Contact us!


  • We are available for presentations to guilds and other groups interested in vintage sewing machines. Our focus is historical education. Contact us for more information.

Share Our Passion

  • We publish articles related to vintage sewing machines on this site, but for abundant photos and information, follow our Facebook Page. You can also subscribe to this blog.