Dorotha Pie Safe

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Dorotha Pie Safe

This pie safe has been in my husband’s family FOREVER… literally FOREVER.
When his Great-Aunt Dorotha passed away, he bought it at the Estate Auction.
It was built by Dorotha’s grandfather.
I cannot even comprehend how old that makes this piece of furniture.
All things considered, she was in pretty good shape.
We cleaned her up and kept her for the past couple of years in our dining room, as she was.
So for a long while now, I have been wringing my hands…
how should I transform this piece of history?
Will I give her the honor she deserves?
I knew she would be an amazing piece to paint but I just couldn’t decide…
black? old white? country grey? duck egg?


Duck Egg… I am so glad I chose this hue.  It’s the perfect color.
It’s soft and sweet but it lends character, don’t you think?


I used Old White on the inside so that it was brightened up a bit.
I love the old plank boards on the back panel – such beauty!
And this is the original glass, it’s a little wavy in places but amazingly, it’s in pretty good shape.


You can see the history in this cabinet.  I kept the original milk knobs and fixtures.


I had to change out the drawer pulls because they were in pretty bad shape.
I found these at Hobby Lobby and I think they suit the style very well.
As you can see, this drawer is broken but doesn’t that just add to the story?



I love the side panels with the old wood… uneven and gaped.
This is truly my favorite piece that I’ve ever had the pleasure of painting.


You can find the “Dorotha Pie Safe” linked up at…

Too Much Time On My Hands

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  • Reply
    February 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Nicole, that is just a lovely makeover, you have definitely enhanced it beautifully. It gives me confidence to paint my old Victorian blanket box!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    REALLY love this makeover! I am in love with turquoise already and like distressed stuff too…so it's just up my alley! Would love to know how you do the distressing…I haven't quite figured that out yet!

    • Reply
      February 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm


      Thank you so much! You made my day 🙂
      Distressing is my favorite part of painting furniture and I do it a little bit differently than the recommended way. My way is a little messier but I think it's easier. I always use chalk paint (annie sloan brand) and it dries really fast, and as soon as it is dry, I sand it. On a side note, this leaves a fine dust on everything! You should definitely wear a mask when doing a large piece of furniture or you'll be coughing up colored dust all weekend 🙂 I like to allow the furniture to determine the area that "distresses" so when I run my sandpaper block over the piece, wherever it is naturally wearing and showing, I focus on distressing in that area. I also focus on rubbing areas where there is a lot of natural use like around handles, knobs, edges, etc. I highly recommend doing this outside or in the garage because it is messy, did I say that already? Then I use a wax or protective coat of glaze over the finish. The recommended way is to wax the piece before distressing and it does make less mess but it uses a lot more sand paper or sand blocks and it's harder to rub off when it already has wax on it. I personally think it's easier to clean up chalk dust mess than it is to sand off waxed paint. I hope that helps 🙂 I'd love to see pics of your project after you're finished.

      On a side note, if you like turquoise, you will probably love Annie Sloan chalk paint color – "Provence"

  • Reply
    Christina Kelly
    February 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I love this transformation and agree the blue egg was the perfect color. I also love that you painted the inside white, I think it was the perfect contrast and really does keep the piece light and airy. Just beautiful. btw, you better never fix that drawer, I agree, it adds to its charm.

  • Reply
    Between Blue and Yellow
    February 8, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Very pretty! I've used those same pulls before.

  • Reply
    February 8, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    It turned out beautifully! I love Duck Egg–good choice!!

  • Reply
    The Refeathered Roost
    February 9, 2013 at 12:49 am

    I love the color choices. Surely, Dorotha would be very pleased. I can't imagine otherwise looking at this beautiful piece. So happy to have found your blog!

  • Reply
    February 9, 2013 at 1:29 am

    What a awesome piece of furniture! So special that it was built by a family member. You did a wonderful job keeping the character of the old piece. Thanks for sharing this at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  • Reply
    Inspired by you
    February 9, 2013 at 2:36 am

    That is such a great piece! Color looks wonderful on it!

  • Reply
    A Primitive Place ~ Tammy
    February 9, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Wonderful cabinet!
    I can't believe those pulls came from Hobby Lobby.
    What a fabulous find.
    When I first saw the photo, I thought they were original.
    They sure go perfectly.

  • Reply
    lauren @ West Furniture Revival
    February 9, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Love that color it turned out beautiful, I'd love to feature it if that would be ok please let me know

  • Reply
    February 9, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Really very pretty! I love that you had the courage to paint an old family piece.

  • Reply
    Restyled Vintage
    September 6, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Hi, I just found a link to your site on Pinterest…I love this piece! I haven't been a huge fan of ASCP Duck Egg but you've converted me! About to start work on a large hutch dresser in these colours, thanks to your inspiration 🙂

    xx Karen

  • Reply
    Restyled Vintage
    September 6, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Hi, I just found a link to your site on Pinterest…I love this piece! I haven't been a huge fan of ASCP Duck Egg but you've converted me! About to start work on a large hutch dresser in these colours, thanks to your inspiration 🙂

    xx Karen

  • Reply
    The Rambling Redhead
    November 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I love this. I just found a similar piece (although likely not as old) for FREE on craigslist. I have been contemplating getting it and putting it in the garage to work on this coming spring (too cold in the unheated garage to do it in the winter). My only hesitation is that I don't have a lot of patience for sanding and worry that this will take me forever. How long does it take you to refinish a piece like this, normally? I am very tempted. I would love to use the piece in my new crafting studio that I am putting together in a room in our basement.

  • Reply
    At Rivercrest Cottage
    January 4, 2014 at 3:04 am

    your pie safe looks great. love the broken drawer. makes it that much more special.

  • Reply
    Kathryn Ferguson Griffin
    January 10, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I love it! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features at the Anything Blue Friday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog! Here is the link to this week's party. Hope to see you again at the little blue soiree! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  • Reply
    Denise Stain
    January 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Love your color choice and the distressing is amazing! Looks fantastic! Pinning now 🙂

  • Reply
    January 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Soooo beautiful!! I just loved it and gonna copy the idea 🙂 I have a cupboard that I want to paint but I didn't know how. Now I know! Thank you for posting.

  • Reply
    Trish Martin
    November 23, 2014 at 2:55 am

    This is gorgeous.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    I am so glad I happened apon your blog! I love what you did and I'm so glad u explained how u did the paint before the wax! I was looking at some diff methods, and wasn't sure about using wax as I've never used it before..I have a china cabinet I want to paint in a rich cream colour with the inside in blue. It will become a towel/blanket display case for our guest room……I want to distress it , and I like that u didn't wax before…Is the wax necessary afterwards? or is a clear spray coat ok to seal the finish? I'm not using chalk paint..I can't find it I have a really nice quality paint with primer in it for this project.

  • Reply
    Jane C
    May 17, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Very beautiful piece! I am thinking about using duck egg for a nightstand. Did you mix the duck egg with old white to lighten it up or use as is? Love this look!

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