Thursday, December 6, 2012

One Man’s Pie Chest

I love remodeling furniture, so when I recently stumbled upon an unloved, but gorgeous pie chest at an estate sale, I was really excited to take it home, clean it up, and make it my own. 


This piece is from the late 1800s / early 1900s. The middle-aged man that I purchased it from mentioned that it had been passed down from his grandmother, but he wasn’t sure of the ownership prior to that. Back in the day, women would place their pies in a chest like this to let them cool.  It has narrow shelving – the perfect size for a pie plate. The open air front allows the pies to cool, while netting behind the woodwork prevents flies and other creatures from bothering the pies. The inside of the piece was painted bright blue for the same reason - because it is a common school of thought that blue paint repels insects (which is why a lot of porch ceilings are painted blue).



When I purchased the antique (for something like $50) a couple of pieces of the front woodworking were broken, the screen was torn, the paint was chipped, and it was just plain dirty! But I knew how beautiful it could be! Because one man’s pie chest is this woman’s treasure.
I took it home, cleaned off the layers of dust, primed the entire piece (it took several coats to cover that blue!), and ripped out the screen. I fixed the cracked woodworking by using dry wall putty to hold the pieces firmly together before repainting. I’m sure there’s a better way, but it’s what I had and it worked – you can’t even tell it was ever broken.
When it comes to projects like this, I am very fortunate to have a close friend whose hobby is painting. She can rattle off paint colors off the top of her head as if she were listing the names of her best friends. She’s that good. In fact, she’s the one who had me paint my guest room in Behr’s Dolphin Fin. So we went to Home Depot together and she set me up with the perfect yellow to compliment my Dolphin Fin – Martha Stewart’s Egg Yolk. I was worried it would be too bright, but once again she was right. I painted the outside of the piece in Egg Yolk and painted the inside in an ultra white paint.
I removed and spray painted the rusty hardware with Rustoleum’s Brushed Nickel for metals – one of my all time favorite DIY items. If I had it to do over again, I would have taken off the hinges, stripped them of their original paint, and spray painted them as well. Instead, I painted over the white with yellow and have had to do a couple of touch-ups due to the latex paint not adhering well to the metal. Live and learn.
Because the shelves are removable, I knew that I wanted to do something unique on the backing. I saw a tutorial on Pinterest for using wrapping paper and double sided tape as backing for book shelves. I was certain that it would be difficult. But surprisingly I found the perfect wrapping paper at the first place that I looked, cut both pieces of paper perfectly on my first try, and paper stuck very easily with the tape! It was super easy!
I used my photo coasters to hold the paper in place while I measured and cut.
Oh, and I didn’t replace the netting with anything. I like the look of the open piece. And I don’t have a fly problem. Nor do I bake pies.


And here is the finished product:

I have added my “new” piece to my guest room to use as a dresser / open storage piece for my guests and will probably add some picture frames and treasures along the way. I’m happy with the way the room has turned out with the addition of my Egg Yolk yellow accents!

The Guest Room
To see how this room has changed over time, view this post.
So much better and brighter now!
The best part of the guest room? Tonight one of my very best friends in the whole wide world is coming into town to stay in it!

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