So I went with black for the pie safe. Mainly because it is a safe (no pun intended) color choice for me. While I really loved the aqua colored pie safes, I thought it would be harder to display my lovelies in it. There are not many colors that can go well with aqua and I didn't want to be limited by what I could display in it (I'm a color geek like that.) On the other hand, black is a fairly neutral color and for the most part will set off whatever I choose to place inside the lovely pie safe.
Rather than using a paint to refinish the pie safe I chose to use Minwax water based stain in Onyx. This stuff was so easy to use! After thoroughly sanding the piece to remove the varnish, I used Minwax water based Pre-stain Conditioner. This helps the stain absorb more evenly into the wood. I applied 2 coats of stain with a sponge brush. After letting it dry I finished it up with a coat of wipe-on poly. What I really loved about using the stain instead of a paint is that there are subtle hints of wood visible under the stain. I think it adds more depth to the piece and definitely more interest than a straight deep black.
Now I'm just waiting for Mr. PD to get crackin on removing the door panels so I can finish those up. I'm also planning on painting the inside and off white color so that it will really show off anythign I put inside.