A couple months ago I found this beat up and dirty french provincial dresser on the side of the road. I was having a bad day, I don’t remember why, but I just remember thinking that I needed some kind of “win” to get me back on track. Then I found this lovely little dresser on the side of the road, and I felt that spark of excitement. With the van full of kids I managed to stuff this dresser in the back and happily take it home. With a little bit of paint and stain I knew I could complete an amazing french provincial dresser makeover.
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Before: French provincial dresser makeover
This dresser sat in the basement for a while, but I finally got around to refinishing it a few weeks ago. It was pretty dirty, but I saw a lot of potential. The top of the dresser had a lot of chipping paint, but that’s an easy enough fix.
Refinish the top of the dresser
To refinish the top, first I sanded off all the old paint using my palm sander to reveal the bare wood. I usually start off with 60 grit sandpaper, and do several different grits ending at 180. This gives a nice smooth surface for staining and finishing.
I conditioned the wood using Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner. Next I stained the top using my favorite, Minwax Jacobean stain. I applied it in a circular motion using a white rag, then wiped off any excess with the same rag. I finished off the top with several coats of high gloss spray can polyurethane to give a beautiful finish.
Painting and distressing the dresser
For the rest of the dresser I used a mix of General Finishes milk paint, which I also used for this dresser makeover for the girls’ bedroom. This paint is not like other milk paints in that it doesn’t chip and peel. It’s a water-based paint that self levels and dries very hard, but you can also sand and distress it to give it a farmhouse feel. And another bonus, it’s very durable so you don’t need to seal it.
For this dresser I did about a 1:1 mixture of Persian Blue and Snow White. Actually, I had planned to paint it white, but after two coats I just didn’t love how it was looking. So I changed my mind and did two coats of light blue over top.
I like to very lightly distress the paint by using 220 grit sandpaper and knocking off a bit of the paint on the corners and high points. It really brings out the details and accentuates all the curves, especially with the white paint peeping through.
I updated the original hardware by spray painting them with Rust-oleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint.
After: French provincial dresser makeover
The dark hardware pops so nicely against the blue paint. I absolutely love this style of dresser lately, the curves and details of a french provincial dresser are so beautiful. What do you think of this french provincial dresser makeover? Have you ever used general finishes milk paint for your furniture flips?