Rose and I were estate sale shopping when she stumbled upon an end table labeled as a “dough box”. The table had a hinged lid that revealed storage inside and pointless decorative handles on the side of the box portion. The veneer finish didn’t impress me, nor did I know the history of a dough box, but the price was right so we took it home.
According to Home Things Past, dough boxes were used in the 1800’s for kneading and letting bread rise. Since the box had legs, it didn’t take up space on a table and could easily be moved around. The lid on the dough boxes kept dust, and mice, off the dough. ReNew2U.com provided some background regarding dough boxes becoming end tables. Around the 1950’s, Ethan Allen, under the name “Colonial Furniture by Baumritter”, produced maple end tables styled after dough boxes of the past. The end table Rose convinced me to purchase was clearly styled after the Ethan Allen creation.
My first step was to remove the faux handles and fill the holes with putty. I gently sanded the veneer finish prior to priming and painting the end table. I modernized the dough box with a gray paint, but added a surprise of bright green paint on the inside. I was annoyed that I could not originally determine which side of the lid could open, so Mr. R&R mounted a dainty knob to prevent future confusion.
I don’t advise placing food in this dough box. That being said a dough box end table is a great conversation piece.