A New Take on a French Provincial Dresser

Nina Lombardo-Mylott
by Nina Lombardo-Mylott
3 Materials
It was love at first sight. Her curves had me mesmerized but her outdated orange shellac finish was....well it was just sad. I had to save her!
So pretty, but so dated
The first part of this challenge was convincing my hubby that he needed to come with me to pick up and load yet ANOTHER piece of furniture that I just HAD to have.   Now understand that at this point it is snowing, and our garage is already overflowing with furniture that I previously just HAD to have.  "But this ones different" I told him (said in my most earnest voice), "Just look at the curves!".  Eventually he relented and off we went to pick up my latest zillion pound prize.   We unloaded her into the garage, and there she sat.... and sat.... and sat. 
We stared each other down for weeks while I waited for the "vision" to come.   (The dresser I mean, not my husband.  Well him too ha ha.)  
Paint?  What color?  White?  Ugh, boring.  Blue?  Yes blue, that's fun.  No, too specific for re-sale.  Black!  yes black.   No, too understated for this beauty.   Full strip and stain?  No, still not right.   Then it came to me, and I'm explaining to my hubby why he has to help me move my next giant victim into the house RIGHT NOW because I HAD to get start working on her RIGHT NOW!!!! (After weeks of sitting in the garage...He's too good to me)
I stripped the top down to bare wood then sanded it before applying General Finishes Java Gel Stain.   I love the richness of the color.   I then repeated the process with the center bank of drawers and the bottom trim piece.   I sealed them with my favorite top coat, General Finishes Gel Urethane then stepped back to admire my progress thus far.  (And of course made my hubby come admire it too).  
Just look at that shine!
I wanted the wood to be the focus of this piece, so I chose to do the remainder of the body and the remaining drawer fronts in a rich, matte black.  I used Plum City Paint in a color called Detroit & Superior.  It goes on so smooth I can hardly stand it.  The flatness of the finish is a perfect contrast to the shine of the wood.  (Cue the hubby to AGAIN to come look and ooh & ahh appropriately)

I sealed the paint in Annie Sloan's black wax to add even more depth and to add durability to the finish.  The hardware was perfect just the way it was.  I simply cleaned it and let the fabulous patina stay fabulous.   (Cue hubby to come ooh and ahh AGAIN, poor guy)
In love!
I am in absolute, unapologetic love with this piece.   I couldn't be happier with the finished result or with my hubby for being so darn supportive of his crazy, paintbrush wielding wife.

Happy painting!

Suggested materials:
  • Plum City Paint   (http://plumcitypaint.com/?wpam_id=4)
  • General Finishes Java Gel Stain
  • General Finishes Gel Urethane
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 12 questions
  • Claire Claire on Apr 19, 2020

    I have this same dresser (along with the other bedroom pieces)!!

    I would LOVE to copy your idea! I have a large mirror over the dresser. Should I stain the trim around it or paint it black?


  • Tiffani Tiffani on Sep 07, 2020

    Does the Plum City cover or do you have to sand first?

  • Joel Joel on Jul 05, 2021

    Is there a way I can find the middle drawers hardware? I have the exact same one but I'm missing 1 handle for middle drawer

Join the conversation
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  • Isb67571760 Isb67571760 on Jun 24, 2022

    Absolutely beautiful!

    And just like that my well laid plans of the perfect Dixie shades for blending and complimenting hardware and appliqués have went in a completely unexpected new direction I think 😬🤨

    Plum City Paint? Never heard of it but you are right it definitely looks flawlessly smooth!

    Stunning work!!

  • Kristi Quintana Kristi Quintana on Oct 26, 2022

    Extraordinary and gorgeous! I'm in the camp of not liking painted furniture, but this is just beautiful!!