French Provincial Bedroom Furniture Makeover


Today we are refinishing French provincial bedroom furniture and learning to push through doubt, all at the same time!  First, let me give you a quick rundown of how I found this piece and chose these colors.  When St Vincent de Paul thrift store opened by me, I ran down there immediately and found this pretty piece that needed an update.  I paid $55 for it.

french provincial dresser before with text

I had a Facebook Live on Dixie Belle’s Paint page, and for something fun I decided to challenge myself to paint with 3 randomly selected colors.  I put all the paint chips (65ish or so) into a bowl, and drew 3 on the spot.  My daughter helped me out by running down to my paint workshop, finding the paints and bringing them up to me.

During the color drawing, I was literally sweating bullets.  My biggest fear that I didn’t even realize until I was in the moment was…Florida Orange!  I didn’t know what I’d do with that color, especially in combination with other colors.  But I lucked out and got 3 pretty compatible colors – Peacock, Kudzu Green and Haint Blue.

If you want to see the 3 videos where I painted this piece, you can find the playlist here.

French Provincial side view

Here are all the products I used.

Resource List:

(Note: These are affiliate links for which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for your support!)

If you want tons of information on Dixie Belle paint and products, you can check out this Comprehensive Guide post, and download it free here by clicking the picture:

Blending a Base Coat

I’m not gonna lie, I was making this finish up as I went along.  I started laying the colors down and blending where they came together.  I was going for balance, but not symmetry.  Water was my friend with the blending.  Once I had the front covered, that was the end of the first video.

french provincial dresser top

Color Washing

The colors were pretty bold and a little disjointed, and the piece wasn’t feeling authentic to me and my style.  I was doubting myself and doubting the process.  But I pressed on, hoping I could figure out the steps to a finish I was ultimately proud of.

french provincial dresser side

Using Drop Cloth, I painted a very small amount of paint at the top and sprayed quite a bit of water until it was dripping down and washing over the piece.  Using a large oval brush, I kept spreading the paint and going over the drips.  I let it dry and did the process again with Drop Cloth.  The purpose of this was to blur the colors and create a little more age through the layers.

Still doubting.  Still pressing on.  I did one more color wash (like I’d done with Drop Cloth) with Stormy Seas, a gray-blue.  And that was the step that brought it all together for me.  I love how this piece turned out!  If you do something in the creative realm and you don’t regularly doubt yourself, then you probably aren’t challenging yourself.  That is when the magic happens.  

Lastly, I added bits of the Redesign with Prima Rose & Rouge floral transfer to the drawers.  I sanded them with fine sand paper to dull the colors, similar to the paint finish, and sealed with Clear Coat in flat.

french provincial dresser detail

Creating a Driftwood Look on the Laminate Top

The top was a very shiny laminate, so I painted it first with Slick Stick.  This primer allows paint to adhere really well to slippery surfaces.  Then I went in with Voodoo Gel Stains in both Tobacco Road and Up in Smoke to create a faux wood look.  I brushed them on, blending together as I went.  The brown was more dominant than I wanted, so I did another coat of gray, and added some White Magic as well.

Then it felt a bit too light, so I added Black Glaze.  With tops, I tend to just layer everything under the sun until I am happy with it!  I sealed it with 2 coats of Clear Coat in satin.

french provincial dresser top side

I re-installed the original vintage hardware because it matched the feel of the piece perfectly.

If you liked this project, you may enjoy these as well:

Spanish Moss Dresser

Classic and Beautiful White Floral Dresser 

Triple Dixie Dresser

As always, if you learned anything or were inspired here, Please Pin!

french provincial painted dresser
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15 thoughts on “French Provincial Bedroom Furniture Makeover”

  1. Casey says:

    Love this! Do you do any work to sell?

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Casey! Yes, see my Furniture for Sale page on this site or follow me on Facebook for all the latest. xo, Shannon

  2. Suchot says:

    I love this piece so much – it’s so pretty!!! Saw it over at Eclectic Red Barn. <3

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Suchot! xo Shannon

  3. Beverly says:

    I love how you blended all of those colors. The piece looks amazing. Congratulation, you are being featured at Thursday Favorite Things. I hope you stop by.

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Beverly! I appreciate the feature!! xo Shannon

  4. Once again you’ve created a gorgeous piece! Unrelated question for you — I just used Dixie Belle Best Dang Wax in clear today on the top of a French provincial dresser I just painted (I used Slick Stick as well!). I followed Dixie Belle’s video instructions and it was a disaster! Granted, I didn’t use their paint — I used Rust-o-leum chalked matte paint. The wax left the entire thing covered in splotchy patches and in some places it even took the paint off! (the paint had dried for over a week so that shouldn’t have been a problem. . . . ) I could have cried:( Any ideas as to what I might have done wrong and whether or not I can paint over it? Thanks for your advice and thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! Pinned! xo Kathleen

    1. Shannon says:

      Hi Kathleen,
      Oh no! I hate when a project goes wrong, but stick with it. I’m sure you can fix it! With Dixie Belle’s wax, you want to add a small amount (thin coats) and you need to buff it well after 15 minutes. I can’t really speak to the Rustoleum paint, but after a week, a good quality paint would not come off from buffing the wax. Dixie Belle wax is water based, so you don’t have to remove it in order to paint right over it. Hopefully, you can re-paint the top and perhaps seal it with a liquid top coat instead of wax. Best of luck! xo Shannon

  5. Kathy A says:


  6. What a fun piece, light and airy and very romantic still. Lovely accents you have added and a great tutorial! Love redone pieces!

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Sandi! I really love how this one turned out too!

  7. Absolutely stunning makeover! Thank you for the great tips on blending the paint colors. I love that you “played” until you got the look you wanted. The blending is perfection and the colors compliment each so beautifully.

    1. Shannon says:

      Thanks, Marie! Isn’t it funny that the colors were selected for me? I’m tempted to do the challenge again to see what happens.

  8. Rebecca Payne says:

    I love, love, love this. Thank you for sharing. Rebecca

    1. Shannon says:

      You’re so welcome, Rebecca!

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