Painted French Provincial Triple Dresser

Oh this dresser… this French provincial triple dresser.  It had seen much better days by the time I got a hold of it.  It was covered with cigarette burns and the top was chipping away.  It smelled of smoke and needed some love!! But who doesn’t like a challenge??

French Provincial Triple Dresser by Vintage Charm Restored

To start off I thoroughly cleaned her.  Which I do with every piece but this one was going to need more love than most.  I used soap and water to start, and then a hot vinegar solution, and then the trusty TSP…. I threw away all of the rags that were drenched in that horrible smell.  Don’t forget to wipe down the inside tracks and drawers as well.  This got rid of the smell, but if it doesn’t don’t stop cleaning!!  The top needed to be completely sanded down and I was up to the task.  Which took 2 different strippers and a whole lot of sanding!! I mean a whole lot of sanding!! Those old finishes were meant to last if not abused!!


Be sure to always be prepared- wear a mask.  You don’t want to breathe in the stuff coming off. When stripping always wear gloves and long sleeves and be cautious to how and where you are removing the old finish.  Most of all take your time and do it right the first time!!  This job is so glamorous!!


I started with Citristrip gel and it wasn’t strong enough.  After I got that layer off, I sprayed on Kleen Strip waited for about 15 minutes and went after it.  It did a pretty good job but still wasn’t completely off.  I sanded with an 80- be sure to use even pressure so you don’t get swirly marks… and then went to 150 grit and then to 220 grit and then by hand I used 400 grit.  Completely clean the dust off with wet rag and then let dry.



I painted the entire base out in American Paint Company’s Plymouth Rock.  It is a very soft vintage pale gray.  For this top I used a new product to me and I am in LOVE!!

General Finishes Java Gel Stain was the perfect fit for a beautiful top on this!!


I think when you are painting out a piece that has detail it is easier to paint out the entire thing in your base color and then go back with an artist brush and paint out the detail colors.  Slow and steady hand and you won’t have much touch up to do.  I did very minimal accenting on this piece because I went with the darker top.  I didn’t want it to become too busy.  My original plan was to paint out in metallic but once I sanded the top down- my vision completely changed.  I say go with it when that happens.


So you can see I brought in some metallic.  I trimmed out all the drawers and the lines with American Paint Company’s Navajo White and then went over it with Modern Masters Oyster.  It’s just the perfect pearl iridescent color.  Not opaque so you will need to do more coats for more effect.  I have used it a number of times for subtle accents… you can see it here on Mia’s bed.

I decided not to distress- meaning no sanding to bring out the finish underneath.  I used a mix of clear and dark waxes to add that vintage aged feel.

You can see this picture below is during the drying period of your wax.  I love the way the American Paint changes during the waxing… it’s like a fool proof guide to let you know when your wax is completely dry.  The darker splotches in this picture are the areas that the wax is not completely dry yet.


I love how it finished it out.




Painted French Provincial Triple Dresser by VIntage Charm Restored

Tomorrow I will walk through how I paint out my hardware for a long lasting finish.  Thanks for stopping by.

This dresser is for sale!!





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  1. Diana says:

    Looks fantastic! Good job!

  2. You did such a great job.

  3. Sherilan says:

    Great job! I have been looking for a dresser like that to redo also.

  4. Wow Lori it looks fantastic! Love the stained top!

  5. Meegan says:

    Oh my goodness!! Would you believe I had this exact dresser in my room as a young girl??? You made an amazing transformation. Love it. Pinned it.
    Make it a great day!!

  6. jamala says:

    You have really transformed this dresser into a masterful piece.. It’s absolutely gorgeous.. I wish you lived nearby, I’d love to have it.

  7. Kimberly says:

    So beautiful! I love the color & finish. Just gorgeous!

  8. Adrianne says:

    Oh, what a BEAUTY!! Love!!

  9. Yvetta says:

    This is beautiful. I am interested in buying it. What do you want for it?

  10. dee says:

    This dresser is simply beautiful. Love the two color scheme. Please tell me about “Modern Masters – Oyster “. This made the dresser POP! Where can I find this paint? Any other info you can give me on it would be greatly appreciated. I’m recent to your blog and just love your ideas! Thanks and have a wonderful week!

  11. dee says:

    Lori . . . More PLEASE . . . sorry I’m a little confused about the painting procedure you used. Did you paint the entire bottom of the piece in APC Plymouth Rock? Was the top painted in only General Finishes Java Gel Stain? Were the drawers painted in APC Navaho White over the APC Plymouth Rock? And last were the lines or detail painted in Modern Masters – Oyster? Was this the right procedure of paint colors? If so please give me info on General Finishes Gel Stain and Modern Masters – Oyster. Do I have the names of each of the last two products correct and where can I purchase them. I am familiar with APC paints. Thanks a million girl . . .

  12. Letitia says:

    Beautiful job! Can’t wait till I can tackle my own job like this!

  13. Sheila J says:

    Where did you get the gel stain? Love it!

    • Lori says:

      Sheila, I ordered mine off of Amazon. You could go to General Finishes website to see if they have someone local for you. I am a Amazon Prime member so shipping is free for me… it’s awesome stuff!!

  14. Deana says:

    This dresser turned out beautiful!! I love the dark top, such a great contrast.

  15. Beautiful. I’ve never used the gel stain. Did you have to put a poly or wax over it or was the gel enough?
    so pretty!


  16. […] Top was finished off with General Finishes Java Gel Stain… as seen here and here… […]

  17. Lindsey says:

    Hi! I love this piece and want to attempt something similar. I had one question: Did you use the navajo white on the drawer fronts before going over the trim with the metallic? Where exactly did you use the navajo white? I understand the rest of the piece was plymouth rock. Thanks so much!

  18. Gloria Tulip says:

    I have the same bedroom suite. Bought it for my 5-year old daughter in 1965. The tops of my pieces are in perfect condition. And the gold trim on the furniture is in great condition. Right beneath the gold on the dresser some of the paint has chipped off. I would love to do what you did, just leave the tops as they are. I would not mind getting rid of the gold. How would I be able to paint the gold trim without my brush touching the laminated top?

  19. Clair says:

    I have almost the exact dresser, but was disappointed to discover the top was pressed wood. Can that be sanded or even stained? I think i will have to paint it… 😉 any ideas? Thanks!

  20. Tiffany says:

    I have a similar bedroom set that I am wanting to refinish. I would love to stain the tops, but that pesky laminate on top is slowing me down. Is that what was on yours? I have tried the Citristrip but it did absolutely nothing!

  21. Stormi says:

    Hi there, how much of the metallic paint did you need to cover the dresser?

  22. Kim says:

    Hi. I don’t know where u are located but I have 3 dressers and 2 desks for sale. They are French provincial. Please email me if you are interested. Thank you.

  23. Susie says:

    Love it, and painting that detail was excellent. Any time I’ve tried to do that I mess it up badly. Can you tell me what chip the crevasses

  24. Fuchsia says:

    Can you please tell me where to find your hardware painting toturial? Thankyou!

  25. […] I showed you this gorgeous makeover on this dresser  and last week shared the makeover on another French Provincial beauty here. On both dressers I […]

  26. […] in Modern Masters Oyster Metallic paints to highlight a few details.  You can see those here and […]


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