Old World French Country Dresser

french country dresser left

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. 

french provincial collage

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.

french country dresser before

Here are the supplies I used to transform this piece to a French country look.

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Sea Glass and Vintage Duck Egg

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.  When it was dry, I trimmed the paper to the correct shape with a sharp exacto knife. 

The satin also went on top of the paper to protect it.

french country dresser right

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.

Best Dang Wax and Gilding Wax

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. 

french country dresser closeup

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.

french country dresser hardware

Walnut Staining the Top for that French Country Dresser Look

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!

french country dresser top

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

french country dresser pin

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

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Coral Chalk Paint Dresser

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Morrocan Dresser

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Metallic Chalk Paint Elegant Look

6 thoughts on “Old World French Country Dresser”

  1. I LOVE this! I also refurbished an original one of these dressers. Did you know they were sold by Sears (whole bedroom sets) in the 1970’s? They called it the Bonnet Collection. The drawers are fabulous! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. Pinned! xo Kathleen

    • Thanks, Kathleen! I didn’t know the part about the Bonnet Collection; that’s fun! I have had the good fortune to do a bunch of these now, but I love this one the best. xo, Shannon


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