Pie Safe: A Painting Tutorial

It is finished! Painting right now in this season of life is not enjoyable.  I need projects that I can give attention to for a short amount of time and can be easily interrupted then set aside.  Painting furniture is not that kind of project.  But I did it, I finished the pie safe and love how it looks in our new space.  I thought I would share my tips on how I paint furniture since I will probably take a break for a while from it.

Here is what the piece looked like when I bought it.  I liked the painted detail but it didn’t go with the room.  It also originally had screen in the doors but you couldn’t see the dishes inside so I removed the screen and added glass.


I decided to paint it a more neutral color, Quiver Tan by Sherwin Williams.  I always paint two coats, sometimes three.  If I were to distress the piece and age it with stain, glaze or wax I would paint one or two coats. I decided not to distress this piece because I didn’t want the original blue to show through so I painted two coats then touched up in some areas with a third.

When I paint a piece I paint a section by brushing in one direction first.


Then horizontally


In order to not see the horizontal brush strokes come to a stop at the edge of the vertical strokes I feather the horizontal strokes into the vertical strokes.


Then I go back with a bit of new paint and feather the vertical strokes over the horizontal ones.


Hope that makes sense!

My secret to inexpensive furniture makeovers is inexpensive paint so I buy $5 sample colors. The thing with buying sample colors is the guys at the paint store will tell you that the paint is not durable enough to be a top coat and I totally agree.  I would not use the sample colors on trim work or kitchen cabinets.  In order to provide a top coat I use Polycrylic, in clear satin by Minwax.  Polycrylic is water based so it won’t yellow over time like polyurethane.


I apply it using a foam brush.


The Polycrylic will leave a milky white finish when you paint it on but will dry clear.

I wanted a pop of color in the room so I painted the inside in Hazel by Sherwin Williams.


Here is the before one more time.


Here is the after.

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With love,


My New Pie Safe

We are home, again! After our three-week trip to England we needed some serious down time away from work, home and everyday life. We packed back up and headed west to New Mexico where we retreated to a cabin a few miles south of Taos.  It was refreshing to spend our days reading while laying by the Embudo river and exploring Carson National Forest.  So here I am today, unpacking, laundry, picking up the house, working in the yard… yada yada.

Before we left I had a few hours while Eliza was down for a nap to decorate a new piece I have been dying to get my hands on.  I bought this pie safe from a neighbors garage sale before we left for England.

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I probably realistically don’t have time to take on a new project right now but it was too good of a deal to pass up so I bought it with birthday money I have been saving since February. I plan on giving it a facelift with some milk paint, I have no idea when I will get to it but I will just add it to my list of projects!

Even though it isn’t the color I want, the inside was still begging to be prettied.  I gathered up all of my “white things” I had stored in various kitchen cabinets, closets and drawers and laid them out on my dining table, tuned Pandora to Amos Lee and let my creative juices flow.  An hour later I came up with this.

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I love how it turned out!  I also thought I would use this as an opportunity to share some decorating tips with you.

To create balance and visual interest group items in odd numbers.

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Your grouping can be of the same items like my pitchers above or can be a grouping of different items.

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The cream-colored plate acts as a back drop and adds another layer of texture.  It doesn’t compete with the grouping because it is rectangular and the same color as the inside of the piece.

Show case interesting items in front such as this set of salt and pepper shakers.

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Group items together that have a similar shape.

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 I bought this darling sugar bowl in England after seeing one at my friend Jess’s house.

Stack different sized plates to create a group of plates.

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The group of plates becomes one stand alone item.

A piece of furniture created for cooling and storing pastries seems like a fitting place for a cake stand.  I pulled these ramekins out of my kitchen cabinet to make room for baby equipment.  Notice how I stacked them in odd numbers.  If I had stacked them two and two then they would not have been as visually interesting.

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Hope these tips help you on your next decorating endeavor.

With love,