a new latch & knob for the pie safe

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Furniture Makeovers34 Comments

On Friday, I took care of another annoying project that was so small it hasn’t even been on any to-do lists.

The pie safe in our foyer needed a new latch…

Ever since I bought it several years ago, it’s had a hook and eye latch on it that was functional, but it looked out of place on the old piece.  It’s one of those things that you notice each time you use it and then promptly forget as soon as you walk away.  More pressing things require attention, so the metal, hook & eye latch stayed.

Over the past year, it’s been rocked in the old wood so often that it’s started falling out of its holes.  And, without the latch closed, the doors will swing open, exposing the mess inside.

Today, I finally decided to add a knob that looks more fitting on the piece and a magnetic catch to keep the doors closed.

I tried a few different knobs from my stash, mostly antique glass and ceramic knobs, but I ended up using a slightly discolored new glass knob.  The “dirty” glass looked best with the chipping paint and patina.

It’s such a small change, but it looks so much better!

I also added the magnetic catch on the interior, so the doors will stay closed.

The catch on the inside lines up with a metal piece that will “stick” when they come in contact.  You can tell from the interior that this piece has worn a lot of hardware over the span of its life.  I was a little amused by the fact that a pie safe once had a lock and key on it.

This piece does need some more attention, but I’m not sure what I want to do with it, yet.  I do love the cream, chippy paint, but it is shedding and it looks a little grungy in our new-ish home.  I think it would benefit from paint, but I am unsure about the color.  I’ve also considered stripping it (the white paint is not original), but that would take an eternity and I’m not sure I have the patience to stick with it.  The last option is keeping it as is, but sealing it so it doesn’t chip anymore.  Well, I suppose there is one more option that involves selling this piece and buying something to replace it.  I’ve been looking for something, but haven’t found it, yet.

As I’m doing with many other things in this house, I’m going keep it in the back of my mind knowing that one day, inspiration will hit!

a new latch & knob for the pie safe

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34 Comments on “a new latch & knob for the pie safe”

  1. Oh I wish you would do it blue! I have a piece about that size, and I’m dying to know if it would be as gorgeous as I think it would.

  2. I’ve learned so much about lead paint this year from an expert i follow who has kids with lead poisoning . I would be careful with this piece if the paint is loose . I love this piece it looks perfect there.

    1. Yes, I had to do lots of research on lead paint when I got into refinishing furniture. I agree that this should be sealed.

  3. Seems to me, there should be another knob in the other door. It would be balanced and both doors would be kept shut. Seeing the empty screw hole is not the best.

    1. Ha, I get that. I tried another knob, but they were way too close. It is pretty common on old cabinets like these to just have one knob. The hole is just another part of the character and history of the piece.

  4. I agree that the piece would look balanced with another knob. The existing hole would shout at me every time I passed by.

  5. I think it is a great piece but it is just doesn’t do anything special for that space. Maybe because the white cabinet on white wall with a white chippy piece on top. It is a holding piece right now and you will find just the right piece to go in that area, some things take time and you have done so much in a short time in you house. That little wall will come together and you will know it when you find the pieces and jus the right pop. Hope your having a great summer!!!

    1. Yes, I agree that it doesn’t do much there. I think it’s just the wrong style for the house and the white paint doesn’t make it pop. I would love to have a warm wood piece there to balance the cool wall color and slate floor. I just haven’t found the right one, yet.

  6. I love that knob and have used it all n several things in my home too. If you repaint the pie safe, keep it a shade of white. It would look more original than if you went with a green, or blue, or gray, or black. I love the pie safe too.

  7. Even though not original paint I love that “chippyness” and color. I have to admit, I would be crazy seeing the screw hole left. I’d do another knob, too. Keep till you find perfect piece, but this could still go anywhere in your home so I wouldn’t sell….

  8. Marian, this is such a beautiful antique pie safe. I would like to see you seal it so that the paint doesn’t chip more. Plus, I love the old glass knob that you used! It just suits that piece. However, if you have a matching glass knob in your stash, it would really look great if you used it on the other side! Just love what you do with your antique pieces! Have a blessed week!

  9. Looks so much better. Question – now that you live in a “newish” home do you think you’ll get rid of your chippy pieces? I hope not! Love your blog! Have been following you for years.

    1. No. Some of them work, but the primitive style of this piece combined with the chippiness just doesn’t work as well in this house. I have chippy pieces in other rooms, though, and they work great.

  10. Marian,
    LOVE this piece. . .and the fit is perfection!
    I do understand about the dilemma. . .to paint or not to paint,
    to keep or not to keep. . .that is often the question within our homes!
    Love your choice of knobs and solution to keeping the door closed!
    Always find inspiration at Miss Mustard Seed!
    Pat

  11. A lock and key on it? Perhaps that’s why it’s called a pie ‘safe’, ha! (Sorry…I’ll go stand in the corner now. ) I love that piece, Marian. It is the absolute perfect size for that spot and can hide a multitude of sins. But I know what you mean about liking to move things around. Me, too. I recently removed my beloved glass-topped demilune table from my foyer and replaced it with an antique washstand, inherited from my Aunt. Best change-up I ever did!

  12. I think the look of your cabinet is great in that space. It’s a whisper for attention. A color might look a bit cluttered on the small wall. A second knob would be too close. To fill the hole, just get a bit of spackle or wood filler on your finger, and push it onto the hole. Wipe any excess with a damp finger.
    I have old casement window screens that are flaking. I would like to freeze the current look before they all turn the previous gray. I would like to know what what you would use to seal the paint.

  13. Yep I see a hall table or a wood piece like the 4 drawer chest in your living room…..with a mirror over it and a lamp and other bits and pieces of your magic. Do like that cabinet though.

  14. I love this pie safe and it’s color ❤️ maybe find a new home for the horse on top and put something with some color on it instead? A plant maybe?

  15. How about the same green used in the dining room? Or, move the pie safe to another room and swap with something else?? Either way, I know you will make the right decision because you know your home better than anyone 😊. Love your blog!!

    1. I have thought about painting it green, but I’m not sure if I can picture it that color. I have tried it in a couple of other rooms and it didn’t work either. I have a feeling this piece will end up being sold.

  16. I’m with Kathy, hang on to it “as is” until the right piece happens along. Oh, and I would put a key in the lock, even if it doesn’t work, and a tassel made from rough twine…

  17. I love that piece too and think it works but I understand what you’re saying about the chippy style maybe not fitting with your new home. We had a similar dilemma with more rustic items when we moved. We put some items that we love but felt were out of place, into the laundry room and they work well there. If you did replace it, could it go into the laundry/ mud room, studio or on the deck perhaps as a utility cupboard for gardening or BBQ tools? It’s such a lovely and unique piece. Looking forward to seeing the piece that you picked up today too.

  18. That knob is perfect but are you putting two knobs on? I’m such a symmetry gal, I would just have to have two even if one was a dummy one! I have issues, I know! I like the idea of an old key in the lock too. It’s so good to get those annoying jobs done. I’m going to do some annoying jobs right now. You’ve inspired me. Thanks.

  19. I say keep it the way it is, one knob and all. The chippy paint is beautiful and adds contrast. BUT if you ever decide to sell it, I’d drive from Virginia to buy it from you. I love that piece and your rocking horse. But do whatever makes you happy. Whatever you decide will be beautiful.

    1. I seriously may end up selling it at some point. I’ll keep you in mind if I do (or contact me if you see me mention it again.) There is a possibility we could bring it east with us next time we come. (We have family in PA and NC).

  20. I kind of like the screw hole and worn spot next to the new knob… The missing knob works with the other elements of the pie safe to tell the intended story of its age and hard use.

  21. My antique pie safe has only one knob. It is how it was made originally. I don’t think it looks off at all. It is an old piece with character.

  22. I have always loved that particular piece, so glad you kept it after you moved. And the chippy horse on top is perfection! Seal it and leave it just like it is!❤️

  23. Check out French Country magazine July 2019 for a fabulous bedroom done in blue and white with a crown canopy.

  24. Instead of stripping the whole piece, how about just stripping the metal inserts. That shouldn’t be too time consuming and would show off the beautiful designs on them.

    1. I think the metal will be the hardest to strip, actually! Each panel has tons of little holes in it that the stripper would get stuck in.

  25. This issue of removing paint reminded me you may be the person to have a solution for me. Let me start by saying I live in the house where he lived his childhood along with 4 generations before him. It was his great-grandfather eho added the last two additions which includes the current kitchen, master bedroom and upstair bath. This would also include part of the cellar where my paint problem is and he would have been told what was on the ceiling and walls. Despite what many today would think, all the peeling paint is not lead, but the entire cellar was whitewashed. Yes, just like Huck Finn had to do to the fence. However, I don’t have friends to con to do the work for me. The walls are pretty good, however the ceiling, which is fairly low (first section of house built in 1795) is peeling between all the beams. I’ve never done much to the cellar after my renovation. Ran out of money. This is where the original kitchen is located with fireplace I can almost stand inside. (I’m 5’2″). I hope one day to restore it and one above it in what I use as the dining room. But for now, I’m just looking for a cleaner space for storage and a spare refrigerator, and freezers and stove with oven. The laundry is under the new kitchen and has same problem. What is the best way to remove this old whitewash on ceiling which is peeling very badly? I’m going to paint over whitewash on walls. Any ideas? Thank heavens it is NOT lead paint. I’ve dealt with that with elimination of it or covering it with two rentals. Thanks.

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