Sunday, November 22, 2009

Antique Pie Safe Restoration

I have wanted an antique pie safe for as long as I can remember.  I am always lusting after them at antique stores, where they're set up with charming displays of ironstone bowls and platters, vintage aprons and tea towels, primitive candles and twinkle lights.  And the finishes!!  They usually wear coats of milk paint in barn red, mustard, county black, or a crackle.  But alas, it's seldom that I've run across one for less than $500. 


One day, I pulled up Craigslist and put "pie safe" in the search field.  The very first item that came up was an ad for a vintage pie safe for sale, in MY little town, for $80.  Yep, $80.  It had a small pic with it and I could see that it was two different colors...and the ad said it was in rough condition...but who cares????  it was right here in MY tiny town....and it was $80!!!!! I answered the ad and a day later, it was mine.

The lady I bought it from said it had come from her aunt's farmhouse, and after she received it, it had been in her pole barn for quite some time. And so, yes, it was in pretty rough condition, but its "bones" were still good.  There was no rotting of the wood.  Just lots and lots of dirt and grime.

I was hoping it had punched tin on its doors or cabinet sides like many pie safes have, but instead it has a small circle with a screen in it at the bottom of each side, which now that I have lived with it for a little while, I think I actually prefer. 

The drawers were in particularly bad shape.  I'm pretty sure at one point some furry little creatures were using them for a cozy warm house.  They were pretty bad... unfortunately, in no way did it resemble the cute little mice houses you see on the old cartoons where Mama mouse is tucking her little baby mice under a pretty quilt in their little matchbox bed. 

The first thing I did to the drawers was to clean them in bleach water, then ammonia, then Murphy's Oil Soap, and then let them sit in the sun for days.  The rest of the it, I just cleaned and cleaned.

When I finally got it all clean, I treated the whole inside of it and the drawers with wood conditioner.

And then I stained the whole inside and the drawers with a dark wood stain. 

After it dried, the inside looked like this:

The next step was to chose a color for the outside.  After much handwringing and indecision, I finally decided to go with a dark barn red.  I knew that I was going to distress it a bit though, so I was concerned about the two different colors on each side. 

Why was it two different colors anyway???  At first I thought someone had experimented with the dark brown paint and painted over the original finish.  After further inspection though, I realized what they had done was strip the original dark brown paint off but they only got halfway done.

With such detailed trim, I decided that stripping was not an option and the best thing to do was to match up the dark brown as well as possible, paint the whole thing, and then paint all over it with red milk paint.

Wonderful husband went to the paint store with me, and I was so focused on finding the perfect red, I told him to just pick out a brown that was as close to the original as he could get.  I found my red, came home, and started slapping on the brown paint.


It was a little light, but then again, it didn't really matter because it was going to be covered up anyway.

But the more it dried, the darker it got....until it was almost identical to the original paint (Wonderful Husband!!).  By the time I got it all painted, I had completely forgotten about the red.  This pie safe wanted to be just suited him.

After it was dried, I lightly distressed the carvings on the doors,

and around the door pulls, and then prettied it up some...


Here's another shot of the BEFORE and AFTER


I still need to find some drawer pulls and I'm thinking I'll probably line the shelves with fabric, but the hard part is done!!

I can honestly say this is probably the best $80 I have ever spent.  I love it!!  And all the extra storage!!  And it motivated me to finally start a project I've been meaning to do forever....put most of my dry goods in Mason jars with cute little altered tags (which will be next week's post).

I'm linking this up to Susan's Metamorphosis Monday & Kimba's DIY Day.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm a WINNER!!!

I'm so excited....I never win anything but today I did!!!  I entered a giveaway over at Heather's Fabulous Funs Finds and won...................

these sweet Ho, Ho, Ho letters from A Touch of Sunshine's Etsy Shop.  How cute are they???  The shop has quite a few other fun decorations that are "primitive handmade woodcrafts for your home."  They are all very whimsical.  Love them!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kitty-Cat Dining Area

I have a small little nook area between my newly-aquired pie safe and a small wall jut-out that separates the kichen from the dining room.  I decided it would be the perfect place to put my kitties' food and water since where I keep it now (at the end of the island) it is always getting kicked or knocked over.  I thought that since I was going to relocate it, I would try to dress it up and personalize it a little for them. 

I started with a frame from Goodwill.

I took a small cardboard canvas that I got from Michaels (I got a 3 pack of them for less than 5 bucks).

I cut it to fit the frame.

Made sure it fit.

Got out the chalkboard paint.

Sprayed a few coats on and then after they dried, "conditioned" the whole board by rubbing it all with chalk and then wiping it off. 

Took some pretty ribbon I found on clearance at Michaels.

Attached it to the back.

Wrote all three kitties' names on it.

And hung it on the wall.

I also made another little sign to go with it that I forgot to take before pics of.  I got a plain wooden plaque at Michaels for 99 cents, spray  painted it with a dark red paint, and then used acrylic paint (antique white with a little burnt umber mixed in) to write on it. I also strung a peice of ribbon on it and hung it up.

Here are both new wall hangings.

I got them some new food and water bowls from GW (49 cents each) and a few placemats in different colors from the Dollar Tree.

Here's the whole area.  I hung the wall hangings quite low--kitty height :-)

Here is Sir Oliver Winston Crinklemeyer III (aka just plain old "Oliver" to those who know him well enough to be on a first-name basis with him ) trying to decide if he approves of his new dining room. 

Apparantly he is completely ok with his new eating area, which I wasn't really concerned about since he never lets anything come between him and his dinner.  And I'm happy to report that like him, his two sisters, although not in the least bit impressed with my attempt to pretty-up their dining room, seem to be ok with the relocation of it as well.

I'm linking this up to Susan's Metamorphosis Monday and Kimba's DIY Day.  I'm excited to see everyone else's projects too!

Metamorphosis Monday


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chalkboard Paint Menu Board

Today I made a framed chalkboard that I will use as a menu board to announce what's for dinner whenever we're having something yummy.  

I found this framed corkboard on sale at Michaels.  I really wanted to just buy a framed chalkboard already made, but I couldn't find one that was what I wanted, and this corkboard was exactly the right size and frame color.

The only other supplies I needed were the paint and some painter's tape. 

I was a little worried about if chalkboard paint would work on corkboard. The back of the can says that it should be used on a non-porous surface, but i decide to try anyway...I figured the worse that would happen is that I would end up with a framed corkboard that had black cork. That could work too, right??

Here goes...

I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed.  In the end, I think I put on about 7 coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry before I sprayed on another.  And guess what??

It worked out just fine!  Yes, the "chalkboard" is a little bumpy, but overall, I'm very happy with it.

Here it is on my buffet table, which you may notice has been stripped of all color on its top...yep, on to the next project :-)

I'm linking this up to Susan's Metamorphosis Monday and Kimba's DIY Day (and there's a giveaway at Kimba's too!!).  Can't wait to check out everyone else's projects!