Mint-Green Monstrosity… Gone

I’ve had an ugly-ass pie safe sitting in my dining room for a while. I did a post about the pie safe shortly after I bought the piece.

Mint-green Monstrosity

I never did like the color. The more I looked at it, the more I hated it.

This is not a valuable antique. (My Dad thinks anything old is valuable.)

I probably paid too much for the thing. But that’s okay. I wanted it. It spoke to me. The piece had character. And that’s exactly what sucked me in.

The old, rusty, original, stamped tins. The knot-holes. The wonky doors.

It’s not a very-well-constructed item. In fact, I think either a kid built the thing or some poor pioneer/farmer.

Not only was it clumsily made, upon close inspection I realized it had been built of scrap wood.

It wasn’t exactly square. And the joinery was some of the more amateurish work I’ve seen.

Adding insult to injury, someone removed the original hinges and replaced them with very basic, brass, surface-mounted hinges. If you click on the image and zoom in, you’ll see what I mean about the hinges.

So why did I buy the thing? I knew I’d give it new life one day.

It sat in my dining room for a little more than two years. I wanted to paint it, really. But it’s a big piece — at least five feet tall and about three feet wide — and I knew it would take a decent chunk of time. Large, uninterrupted chunks of time are a rare commodity around here.

Still, I can’t believe I left that thing sitting there looking ugly for so long!

Finally, I decided to get that thing done. With Hubby’s help, of course.

Step one was to empty-out the piece.

Where to put all of the stuff that we’d crammed in there? On the dining room table, of course.

What a cluttered, claustrophobia-inducing mess!

Hubby and I carried the thing to the basement, where he removed and repaired the doors so he could install new, more-appropriate hinges. He actually had to cut a chunk of the old wood away and replace it with new wood to make the hinges work.

Newly-repaired Door

I painted the cabinet before he replaced the doors. Remember, I liked the character of the piece. I wasn’t trying to make it look new. Just better. So I covered that minty (or sea-foam green) green paint with a single, not-so-neatly-applied layer of Old Ochre chalk paint. In some places, I used two layers. But not many.

Once the entire piece was covered, I realized it needed something else. Some sort of oomph. Something to make it “pop.”

So I added some color to the interior.

A little bit of color.

There’s nothing symmetrical about this piece of furniture, so I applied the red (Primer Red) and blue (Napoleonic Blue) in an uneven pattern. I didn’t even use tape, I just eyeballed it. Tape would have made it too straight. Too perfect.

This is not a perfect-type piece.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to use dark wax on the piece, but that stuff really highlights imperfections. And since this pie safe is full of imperfections, I used both clear and dark wax.

Clear Wax vs Clear & Dark Wax
Clear Wax vs Clear & Dark Wax

I just love the way the dark wax settles into all the nooks and crannies.

Then it was time for Hubby to hang the repaired doors.

My Handy Hubby

Here’s another clear wax-only vs clear and dark wax comparison.

The door on the left is Old Ochre with clear wax.

Some of you may hate this rustic look. I like it.

I decided to make the drawer face red.

One day, my kids will either be fighting over this piece or happily lugging it to the dump.

It’s done! Maybe.

Sorry for the grainy pics. I used the phone camera.

I’m not crazy about those too-white knobs, so they’ll be replaced one day.

In place and ready to be loaded.


Cabinet Re-filled


Old stuff (no priceless antiques here).


It’s great to have our dining room back.

You can see the table again!

Here’s a reminder of what it looked like before.

Mint-green cabinet, stuffy crystal chandelier, and unpainted chairs.

It’s SOOOO nice to have our dining room back. I am not a neat freak, but all of that clutter made us both feel as if the walls were closing in on us.

Now it matches.

Not only does the pie safe look better, it actually matches the table and chairs.

So, do you hate the old, rustic look? If that’s just not your style, I hope you can at least appreciate the new life I have given these old pieces of junk. 🙂


6 Replies to “Mint-Green Monstrosity… Gone”

  1. My thoughts exactly, where are the pies? I, personally, like the look and functionality of things like old pie safes. There are modern reproductions available but they look too perfect. I like the look with the new hinges and the red drawer.

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