How to Use Gemstone Mousse – Go for the Gold!

We first showed you how to use gemstone mousse in our post on how to chalk paint vinyl. Once again, we’re using it on metal. But this time, we’re showing off a true rich gold accent on a treadle Singer sewing base.

By the way, before we get to the nitty gritty, don’t forget to subscribe :).

Curb Side Find

We found this old sewing base abandoned and most of the wood moldy. Remember how  we showed you how to get smell out of old furniture? Well, unfortunately most of the wood was beyond help on this piece. We were only able to salvage the drawers, the base and the sewing machine (which Hubs has become proficient at restoring!).

As we did with this tiered plant stand DIY, we would normally sand away all the surface rust on the metal. But instead, with this one, we’re going to embrace it and prevent further rust by using a clear rust inhibitor.

I kind of regretted painting over the Singer logo on this Singer Sewing Table Makeover, so now’s my chance to have a do-over using the Gemstone Mousse!

Speaking of do-overs, it’s time for another Do it Over Designers challenge.


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Gemstone Mousse Video

Watch this short video to see how easy it is to transform metal insignias with Dixie Belle Gemstone Mousse!

Do It Over Designers

Today we’re taking part in the Do It Over Designers blog Hop hosted by Ann at The Apple Street Cottage.

We’re a group of bloggers who take something old and/or unused and ‘do it over’ into something new. These items can be found in closets, barns, garages, yard sales, thrift stores, you name it! Check out the other projects at the bottom of this post. And be sure to drop back in throughout the week to visit them all!

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How to Use Gemstone Mousse

First, you must mix the contents of the Gemstone Mousse jar by stirring it. Think the exact opposite of how James Bond likes his drinks! Gemstone Mousse tends to settle and separate, like you see below. And because it has a thick consistency a mere shake won’t do it.

See the pretty gold accents on the sewing machine?

With time, the gold will wear off like you see below.

This machine was patented in the late 1800’s, so it’s no wonder the gold embellishment wore completely off the base! 

Gemstone mousse will brighten up the details on the metal base that have all but disappeared! You can’t even see the beautiful details on the emblem on the wrought iron sides.

Clean the Metal

Gemstone Mousse won’t stick to the metal unless it’s thoroughly clean. For this we use old socks saturated with Varsol to get into all the nooks and crannies. We use Varsol because we don’t want to introduce anything water based that might get trapped and encourage more rust.

Varsol is also our cleaner of choice for this task because it will degrease and remove difficult dirt. And it evaporates easily.

You might be wondering why we don’t use a TSP cleaning product like White Lightning for this. That’s because TSP can damage metal. While it’s great for wood, this metal base wouldn’t be a candidate for it.

Cleaning the wrought iron base with Varsol for how to use gemstone mousse

A cotton bud can help get into unreachable crevices.

After cleaning, let the socks and cotton buds dry out thoroughly out of the sun before disposing (like all solvents, Varsol is flammable).

Apply the Gemstone Mousse

So how do you use gemstone mousse?

After thoroughly mixing the contents so it’s thick and creamy, you can apply Gemstone Mousse with a paint brush, sponge applicator or even a finger. I actually love to apply gemstone mousse by finger painting it on, like I did with this washboard decor and the metal pieces on this painted sewing box (where I showed you a great trick for painting small pieces).

However, for this sewing machine base, I find a sponge makeup applicator is the best way to go. You only need to put the tiniest bit on the applicator – a little goes a long way!

The foam applicator gives me just the right amount of control I need for hitting just the flat surface of the lettering.

Using a foam makeup application to show how to use gemstone mousse

Here’s how the Singer logo looks after just one coat. We’re stopping at one coat because I think it looks perfect as-is. We’re not trying to make this look brand new. We just want the some contrast that will allow the details to shine again.

Finishing the Singer sewing company logo for how to use gemstone mousse

Now do the same on the sides of the wrought iron base. Before, I couldn’t even read what this said.

One of the cast iron emblems before showing how to use gemstone mousse to restore it back to it's former glory

Already an improvement; adding mousse brings it back to life again. But there’s one more thing before we can call this done that will really make the golden Gemstone Mousse pop.

The last step is to seal the metal and Gemstone Mousse with a clear coat.

Seal the Gemstone Mousse

You can brush on a clear sealer. But you must let the Mousse dry thoroughly or brushing  will reactivate the mousse because it’s a water based product. We don’t like to take the chance of smudging our hard work so spraying is definitely the best way to go.

When you’re using a spray can, use the same principles we taught you in how to paint using a spray gun.

Spraying the Singer treadle base with Tremclad after showing how to use gemstone mousse

Again, you could probably seal the metal with a clear coat from Dixie Belle. We love the satin and matte clear coats and 3 thin layers of gator hide will get you a tough waterproof finish. But, as we mentioned, we’re embracing the rust on this piece. So our clear coat of choice is Tremclad Clear to prevent further rust and seal it in.

When clear coating over Gemstone Mousse, I prefer the look of a slightly glossy finish vs. a matte or satin. Those would just dull the gold instead of compliment it. Compare this clear coat example to two pictures up and you’ll see the difference a clear coat makes!

Let the clear coat dry for the specified time on your product.

Singer base sits on a table as clear coat is drying for how to use gemstone mousse

For the top, we’re using a vintage baker board we found while thrifting. We also found all the accessories you see below at the thrift store.

The finished sewing table with top and decor items on top for how to use gemstone mousse

We have so many sewing table ideas on the blog right now now that we’re busting at the seams. So unfortunately we had to sell this base. It’s hard to let pieces go, but I’m always happy when others get to enjoy our work!

Pin for Later

Pinning is always welcome and appreciated.

Pinnable image for how to use gemstone mousse

Do It Over Designers

Our talented blogger friends have some amazing and inspiring DIYs for you! Don’t forget to visit these posts for more upcycled do-it-over transformations!

20 thoughts on “How to Use Gemstone Mousse – Go for the Gold!

    • Thanks so much Patti! It really is amazing what a little TLC can do to an old piece!

  1. I always enjoy your sewing table upcycle ideas, Sara. What a difference the gemstone mousse made to revitalize the metal base. The vintage baker board couldn’t be more perfect for the top. Another sewing table winner!

    • We just didn’t have room for another sewing table base, but I wish we could have kept this one! I did however keep the baker board – I could never part with that piece :). Even though, it won’t be the last sewing table update – I’m addicted to saving them all lol!

  2. Wow, the Singer sewing machine base restoration looks unbelievably amazing, Sara! You did a fabulous job – with the help of Gemstone Mousse! I hadn’t heard of it until you introduced us to it! Good stuff! The entire piece looks awesome and I can understand selling it! It’s a “Gem!” My mom had a singer sewing machine similar to that one. You had to know how to work your foot on the treadle to get a good rhythm going to get the needle to go up and down in order to sew – which I was never able to do successfully! But this certainly does bring back wonderful memories!

    • I’ve never actually worked a treadle but I would love to try! We have a friend who doesn’t have electricity at the cottage and he wants to find a treadle machine for his wife so she can sew there. We only found out after this one was unfortunately sold so we’ll have to be on the lookout for another one. We’ve yet to upcycle one for it’s original purpose lol!

  3. Gemstone Mousse is amazing stuff. I absolutely love this makeover, Sara. I passed up an old sewing machine several years ago and have been kicking myself ever since…the search continues!

    • So many people love the bases and pass up the sewing machines, which is a shame. Hubs has been restoring old sewing machines since the first Covid lockdown and I have a new found appreciation for just how amazing those old machines are. The engineering and durability is far superior to any modern machine on the market today. A friend of ours bought a plastic laden fancy sewing machine which broke after a few uses. Hubs provided one of his restored oldies but goodies and she is so happy with it. They really don’t make ’em like they used to!

  4. This is stunning, what a fantastic makeover. I’ve not heard of gemstone mousse before but it’s the perfect addition to this piece.

  5. Wow, what a great find, we would have to pay a fortune for one of those. I have never used the mousse it seems to work really great. Is it along to same lines and the rub and buff? Fabulous makeover as always.

    • I’m not sure if the look is similar to Rub ‘n Buff because I’ve never used it but as for the product, they are very different. Rub ‘n Buff is a wax that you don’t want to get on your skin while Mousse is water based. Mousse can be applied with a finger because it washes right off; it also has no smell at all and isn’t flammable. It has a lot going for it.

  6. We have a treadle Singer upstairs that still works.. I’ve had it for years and it’s still my go to when making something that just needs simple stitching. I can see myself giving it some TLC like you did so thanks for the tutorial, Sara. It’s going to come in very handy.

    • We’ve actually never come across a treadle that actually still has the machine and all working parts – it’s a holy grail that we’re still seeking lol! Glad it will come in handy 🙂

  7. The sewing machine base is amazing. I have searched for one but couldn’t find anything.

    • We had to sell it because of lack of room. If you lived near, I’d gladly give you one :). We always seem to stumble on these.

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