While I almost always like the projects I do when they are finished, I have to say I love this French country dresser so much. I’ve done a lot of these Henry Link French provincial style dressers at this point. If you need a visual, here’s a little collage with some of them.
I’ll keep doing them too because I love this style! This dresser came to me with the typical pale yellow and gold factory finish of these pieces.
Here are the supplies I used to transform this piece to a French country look.
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After cleaning the dresser really well with White Lightning, I gave it 2 coats of Vintage Duck Egg blending Sea Glass into the inset areas of the drawers. After it was fully dry, I did a light sanding with a very fine sandpaper.
Using a small amount of SprayWay glass cleaner and paper towels, I wiped it all down before sealing. I find the cleaner really grabs the sanding dust better than just water.
Also before sealing, I used clear coat satin to adhere a rough rectangle of the Distressed Damask decoupage paper to the center of each drawer. The satin also went on top of the paper to protect it. When it was dry, I trimmed the paper to the correct shape with a sharp exacto knife.
Then because I was sealing the paper with satin, I went ahead and gave the whole base and drawers 1 coat of satin. This also helped control the coverage better when I was applying the waxes.
The dresser was pretty at this point, but too fresh and clean for the look I envisioned. The distressed paper gives an aged affect, so the whole piece needed some aging in my opinion. To do this, I brushed on brown wax with the La Petite brush and wiped it back with a shop towel.
For a final seal, I did a coat of clear wax over everything. I could have used more Satin, but the wax has such a lovely glow that goes with the aged look. Again, I brushed it on with the La Petite brush and wiped it back with a shop towel.
For a little glowing shimmer, I used a small brush to add gold gilding wax to the corners of the drawers and a few other places as an accent.
If you’ve been around a while, you know I love the Golden Gemstone mousse so much. But it was too bright and brilliant for this dresser. This subtle aged gold gilding wax is perfect for this piece!
I also used gilding waxes to update the vintage drawer pulls. First, a base of bronze, and then a brush of gold on top. With some of the original white showing through, the pulls really make this piece more beautiful.
I always use Slick Stick on the tops of these pieces before I do anything else. This really helps any paints or stains to adhere well to the laminate top. Using the applicator pad, I added oil-based No Pain Walnut gel stain in long strokes to the top. This may sound crazy, but I kept working it until it was starting to dry and grab a little. That’s how I got the texture and variation you see.
The next day I added another coat of smooth walnut gel stain, and after that was fully dry, I sealed the top with 2 coats of satin. The medium-toned wood top with the muted blue-greens on bottom creates the French country look of this dresser. I hope you love it as much as I do!
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