IN CASE YOU MISSED IT | rebuilding a pie safe

A few weeks ago, I took a trip out to one of my favorite antique stores (Beaver Creek Antiques in Hagerstown, MD) to pick up a pie safe I had been mulling over for a while.  It was perfect.  Chipping, creamy-white old paint, still wearing all of the original tins and she is an old girl who has lived a good life and has gotten even better with age.

This post is not about that pie safe, though.  This post is about the one that had, shall we say, issues.

But, it also had potential.

And things with potential are my favorite.


So, some obvious issues…the neon green curtains.

Well, as Kriste put it, “Someone tried.”

The other issue was that this poor pie safe was basically in pieces.


The bottom was missing and one side had come apart.  Fortunately, the missing tins from that side were in one of the drawers.

I would write a tutorial on how I fixed this, but I basically figured it out as I went along!

I started out by glueing the wood rails, the cross pieces, back in place.  They had tongues on each end that fit into a groove.  I clamped them, so the glue had a chance to dry overnight.


I took some measurements for the bottom shelf and to cut a piece of wood for the missing rail along the bottom of the side.


I found a scrap piece of wood in our workshop and asked Jeff to cut it to size for me (I don’t do table saws) and cut a groove in the top of it, so the tin has a place to rest.

Since this piece doesn’t have tongues, on the inside of the board, I drilled two Kreg pocket holes on each side, so I could screw it in place.


I had an old piece of wood on hand that was almost exactly the right size to make a new cupboard bottom.  Jeff cut that piece down for me, too, so it fit perfectly.


I like that it’s an old piece that looks like it has always been there.  I tacked all of the shelves and the new/old bottom in place with finishing nails.

And now it’s ready to paint…


Now, I know some people aren’t going to like this piece painted.  That’s okay.  I wanted to paint it to camouflage the repair on the side and because this wood didn’t particularly speak to me.  I can’t explain it, but this wood didn’t look as old as it actually was and that bugged me.  I could tell from the interior wood, hardware, tins, construction, etc. that it’s an old piece, but the wood on the outside read too “1980’s country reproduction” to me, even though it wasn’t.

All of that to say, it’s getting painted.  If you like it wood, take one last look at it…


I applied a couple of coats of a custom-mixed MMSMP white.  It was a little bit of Mora and Grain Sack mixed with Farmhouse White.


The wood on the interior of the cabinet was very dry, so I applied a generous coat of Hemp Oil to hydrate it and bring out that pretty patina.  I lightly distressed the edges and areas where the paint chipped a bit and sealed the paint with the new matte Tough Coat.

Lastly, I needed to deal with the big, gaping holes in the doors.  The best option I could think of was screen.  The gray color would match the tins and is fitting for a pie safe.  More than glass would be.

I cut it with a utility knife and tacked it into place with wood strips that were used to hold the fabric in place.   I used some fiberglass screening out of an old window screen, so it was lightweight and easy to work with.


Given the shape it was in when I bough it, I am so pleased with how it turned out.






And it really is a perfect piece for my “Farmhouse White” themed booth.


Did you happen to notice the pretty ironstone compote in the pie safe?


I spotted it and practically leapt towards it.  There was absolutely no doubt, unless the price was obscene, that this piece would be coming home with me.  It has a flat bottom, so it’s more like a mini cake pedestal with decorative edge.  I’ve never seen one like it.

The price wasn’t obscene and it, of course,  came home with me…


4 thoughts on “IN CASE YOU MISSED IT | rebuilding a pie safe

  1. Denise P

    Hi there! Fun to look back at an older post. But it needs some editing. There are a couple of random pics in there – one of Marion’s new house and one of some curtain rods (I think)

  2. Tracy

    I found one similar to this although drawers on the bottom. The hemp oil steals the show on this one. Can’t wait to try this!

  3. Vicki

    Love how it turned out. Glad you explained about the front of the pie safe. I too was thinking the wood on the front looked like a reproduction piece. Love the paint and glad you left the inside wood.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *