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How To Sell Your French Provincial Furniture On Craigslist

French Provincial Louis XV Style Chair

French Provincial Louis XV Style Chair- Seller Shawnum On Ebay

Many people inherit vintage furniture sets from their parents and they don’t know how much they are worth in today’s market or where to sell them.  I am not an appraiser of furniture, and cannot give a fixed amount for a piece, but I can tell you that French Provincial sets are really popular since Restoration Hardware, Aidan Gray, and Wisteria all sell the same looks for hundreds of dollars.

French Provincial furniture has become a hot commodity with people who are looking for the same looks for a lot less.  Wisteria and Aidan Gray sell french provincial furniture with stunning paint finishes, new linen upholstery, and it really goes to show how these vintage sets can look stunning with a little bit of improvement, modern upholstery and a coat of paint.

For years, as a hobby, I would pick up french provincial bedroom sets and repaint them.  It enabled me to try out new finishes and resell them on craigslist.  For me, I enjoyed the process of learning new faux finishes, but I was also able to gather some valuable lessons in reselling vintage furniture.

From my experience the three main buyers for French Provincial furniture.  There are those who are looking for a set for their children, and the other market is the individual who is looking for additional furniture for their homes, and last but not least, there is the last buyer who turns furniture over for a profit.

The first set of buyers are usually parents of toddlers who have outgrown their baby furniture, and are looking for something beautiful, but within a budget.  Often times they are looking for something freshly painted, which looks like new. Sadly, solid wood furniture can be hard to find, which leads many people to craigslist, ebay and second hand shops which carry vintage quality furniture.  New parents enjoy the first time experience of decorating their children’s rooms, so often times they want something nice, and not used and abused.

In the past I would pick up french provincial dressers, paint them a cream, distress them, glaze them and resell them for around $280 for the typical french provincial dresser.  9 drawer dressers I would price around $320-$340.  These dressers were freshly painted and refinished.  If you are selling a simple vintage dresser without the paint finishes, don’t be afraid of pricing your furniture a little high, which gives you plenty of room to lower your price.  Most new parents want a fresh creamy white set, than any other color.  When I experimented with color at one point, I also noticed some of these buyers moved on to other pieces because they wanted white dressers, not colored pieces.

The second buyer are people who are interested in decorating.  They are looking for French, Swedish or cottage looking furniture to improve their homes.  French furniture has been tremendously popular in all the current magazines.   Since this furniture is not available at an affordable price point, it forces most people to buy it used.

I have noticed that some cities have more french furniture than others.  Port cities will have more french furniture than the middle of the United States.  The bigger cities have a fair bit of nice looking antiques on their local craigslist, and within thrift stores, but every location will vary.  Living in Washington DC, I found I really had to dig around for French Provincial sets, while living in Seattle, more sets would show up monthly.

The third set of buyers are the people who are looking for sets to refinish, and turn over for a profit.  These people can range from the average husband or wife who paints to supplement their income to antique shops with a country wide market.  These buyers are working with budgets, so they will try to get the lowest price possible.

It is important for both buyers to be fair and deal with each other with the utmost respect.  Remember, buying from one another is supporting families not huge box stores with multi-million dollar budgets.   Spring and summer are times where these vintage sets would come out, where as the winter times are slower.

In terms of how much to sell your set for….

Looking through craigslist is a great place to see what other people have their sets marked at.

To do a country wide craigslist search, COPY one of the lines into google search:

french provincial set site:craigslist.org


french provincial dresser site:craigslist.org


french provincial site:craigslist.org

From my own experience, I normally didn’t sell furniture in sets.  The reason for this is many people think twice when a person is asking 1K for a used set, compared to 200 dollars for a piece of furniture.  From my experience, most of my furniture tends to fly out the door around $180-$280.  Beyond the $300 range, people tend to hold back.  Again, start out high, and you will have plenty of room to move around.

French Provincial Dining Sets:

If you have a french provincial dining set with a hutch and a table and chairs, consider selling the table and chairs as one set, and the hutch separately.  In the past I have refinished hutches and sold them for $380.  Depending on the location you can sell them for less or more.

French Provincial tables vary in price.  Round french provincial tables are quite popular and very hard to find.  I have sold only 2 in the past several years.   Many people who have smaller areas to work with love the smaller french tables which work perfectly in a nook, or the house that doesn’t have an official dining room.

Vintage dining room tables donated at thrift stores often have the leaves misplaced, so expect this if you shop at second hand stores.  If you do have a set which does have the leaves, it is worth quite a bit more, than a table which the leaves are missing.  French provincial chairs are also hard to find.  Most often, typical french sets have 5 to 6 chairs.  It is not uncommon to also buy sets with only 4 chairs.

Most of the time I would find sets without chairs and would sell the individual tables for $180- $380.  10 foot provincial tables are hard to find, and would be listed close to $400 or more depending on the style.

Generally in the past I have sold my french provincial tables for around the $180- $380 mark, China Hutches around $340 mark and a set of french provincial chairs $280 for 6 or so, depending on the look.

Pricing furniture on craigslist is much different than having a retail store which typically asks for much more.  French provincial furniture on ebay are often listed by antique stores whom don’t mind listing at a certain price point until it is sold.  In addition, furniture which is antique, is worth more than furniture which is vintage.

French Provincial Bedroom Furniture

Every set is different.  I have seen some sets with 7 pieces, and others with only three pieces.  Some provincial bedroom sets were created for children, and others for adult bedrooms.  One dead give away that a set was originally marketed towards children is they often include a hutch or desk.  Some of the Dixie French provincial furniture often comes with only one nightstand, which I would find frustrating, because most adults like sets of two.  Wood dressers were mostly marketed towards adult sets, but white sets were common for adult sets as well.

I specialized in selling dressers which were repainted, and distressed, and the average price I would ask is $280. Larger dressers I would sell for more, and french provincial sets with serpentine fronts (the wavy fronts), I would sell for much more because they were very hard to find.

Nightstands in my experience, I would sell anywhere from $40- $100 each.   If you have a set of two, they can be a great find for the decorator, or the parent looking to improve their children’s room.

I normally didn’t sell the mirrors with the dressers, because it tends to date the dressers even more.  I would sell off the mirrors by themselves for $40-$60 dollars each.  Many people like the curvy mirrors for their fireplaces than for the dressers.

French Provincial Living Room Sets:

French Provincial upholstered sofas and chairs can be the hardest to sell out of all the sets.  Vintage sets often have spectacular frames, but terrible fabrics.  These sets are often bought by those people who don’t mind putting the work into them to have them slip covered or re-upholstered.  A french sofa from Restoration Hardware can easily cost up to 4K, so these vintage sets are really great for the specific buyer who doesn’t mind investing in the right fabric for their home.  A professional upholsterer can range anywhere from $400 to $2000, so remember that they might be keeping that in mind when looking at a vintage set.  The living room coffee tables and end tables fetch around $60- $100 dollars a piece.  Marble coffee tables can range from $180- $280.  There is a huge market for these pieces because of the style.

Including words like “shabby” or “cottage” “cottage furniture”, “shabby chic”, “painted furniture”, “beach”, “coastal furniture”, “white furniture”, all will call attention to those buyers who specifically look for french furniture.


Drexel Touraine French Provincial Furniture

Drexel produced a stunning french provincial furniture set from the mid 1950s through the mid 1960s called Touraine which is still quite popular today.

Drexel designed both a bedroom set and a dining set in this series.  The furniture was inspired by the curvy lines classically found in Louis XV furniture which became popular during the period of 1730 to 1775.

The Touraine bedroom dresser sets featured very soft lines which were accented with gold and cream.  Louis XV furniture often has a very feminine look which can seem very sensuous and romantic.  The unbroken curves are one of the key features of classic Louis XV furniture.

This unique style is expressed in the delicate curves of Touraine dressers which extend down from the drawers to the legs of the furniture.

The Touraine collection is one of the only french provincial collections to feature a serpentine shape other than Bassett’s Versailles collection.

Serpentine chests and Bombe furniture is quite difficult to create and quite hard to find.  A genuine antique french serpentine chest can be quite rare and pricey for any collector.

The larger 9 drawer Touraine chests feature 6 side drawers and 3 smaller middle drawers.  This unique design offers a substantial amount of storage space.

The nightstands in the Touraine series do a great job of drawing inspiration from genuine Louis XV nightstands which feature a slender style often not seen in other french provincial collections.

Prices can vary greatly  for individual pieces in the Touraine collection, and complete sets often go for $1500- $2800 depending on the condition.

5 Ways To Update Vintage French Provincial Furniture

French Chair With Raw Wood

French Provincial Carved Oak Linen Dining Chair

 Vtg Link Taylor 12 Drawer French Provincial Dresser

So you bought a vintage set of French Provincial furniture, and it looks as though it hasn’t been touched for 40 years. Is it salvageable? The answer is yes, heck yes! We show you the best techniques to update this style of furniture that will make it look like several hundred dollars.

1. Strip Your Set and Go All Natural

Raw wood has always looked good, and has never looked better. Over the summer I took all the furniture in my basement and united the finishes by removing the paint. Most of all the furniture I had in this one room was all miss-matched sets, but interesting enough, they all had the exact same wood underneath. The sofas we bought came with a mahogany finish, but underneath they were pine. After removing the paint from 6 pieces, I had a fully united set. I could then introduce color with the slipcovers and the paint finish on the walls.

Inspiration- A Louis XV Limed Oak Chest- here

Instead of Using a non-toxic stripping agent to get rid of the old paint or stain is the greenest way to go. Products like Franmar’s Soy Gel Paint and Urethane Remover work well to remove all types of abrasive paint and stain , while still being gentle on the environment. This product is also 100 percent biodegradable. It works by trapping particles within itself and keeping you from being exposed to them.

Soy Gel Paint Reviews:

Garden Web“My current fave is Soy-Gel, which I got from the Real Milk Paint Co., though it can be ordered from the manufacturer and other suppliers. I added it to a recent order more out of curiosity, and without much hope. But holy smokes, it works like gang busters if left alone to do its thing. I haven’t done a big project with it yet, but I plan on stripping a pine floor. My test patches have been great! I have tried just about every chemical and mechanical method, and So far Soy-Gel is the best I’ve found.”

My Experience With Stippers:

After using many of the most popular strippers on the market and having very limited success, I decided to try out other methods, which lead me to Heat Guns.

After purchasing a Wagner Heat Gun for about $20 dollars, I was thrilled with the results. Not only did it work fast, it also saved me a great deal of money with chemical stripper. The heat gun I purchased has two settings, one high, and one low. After the heat gun starts heating up, you will notice the paint start to bubble, which you can scrape off with little effort. The best technique for removing paint is to slowly move the paint gun along the paint, for an even amount of heat in each section. Heat guns can also ruin wood if they are left on the wood too long, so you don’t want your heat gun positioned in one area for two long. The wood can turn dark, which can be impossible to sand out. While some suggest wood tools, instead of metal tools, I enjoy working with a multi purpose metal tool, such as this one from Shur-Line. Working with heat guns for stripping paint, it is imperative to buy a Respirator made for fumes. One of the draw backs of heating up the paint, is the fumes they produce, so a respirator is a must have when using this technique.

Products That Might Be Worth Trying:

– Wagner Power PaintEater – $59 Removes paint, ergonomic handle, and may be better than those attachments meant for your drill.

Electric Paint Remover Sold through Chicago $63

TruePower Electric Paint Remover-$39-

  • Removes paint, paint chips, paint oxides and mildew, and feather finishes paint edges.
  • Use on wood, masonite, concrete and steel
  • Will not abrade surfaces – Perfect for large, flat, solid surfaces

MUST Have- Safety Gear

Breathing in fumes from stripper, stain or paint can create heath problems that can effect your lungs long term. If you have a garage, workshop, or even a storage shed, working from within it will help contain any harmful dust or debris from being let out into your yard or the surrounding area. Purchase a heavy duty respirator designed for paint fumes. I am so glad to come across the MSA Safety works Paint and Pesticide Respirator because it is comfortable to wear for several hours straight, and it will save your lungs for today and long term.

2. Old World Patina – Paint Or Stain?

After centuries of trying to perfect our furniture, it comes at no surprise that many companies are selling the all natural chalk paint and milk paint products that our ancestors used. Milk and chalk paints can be a sensational source of color. If you are after an old world Provence look, consider either stripping your furniture and staining it, or painting it, and distressing it.

Take the Finish Off

I have found for my furniture, stripping the existing finishes off allows the piece to age naturally over time without seeing several layers of existing paint. I sit at a beautiful curvy French desk all day long, and one of the areas where my arm hits as I type on my keyboard shows the white paint that the desk was painted in originally. The desk is blue, and the white just sticks out like a sore thumb. If I would have put the extra work into the desk, and removed the paint, then over time, the natural ware would show the wood. Wood or existing paint? Wood is so much more attractive.

Distressing looks so much nicer with the natural raw wood. Something about having the all natural wood showing through the finish allows for a nicer aged finish than simply painting over the existing paint or varnish. Working with the raw wood really can go a long way for creating the old world distressed finishes. Stripping all the existing paint gives you a raw look, rather than working over a poly finish.

Layer Your Colors:

Layering paint can produce a sensational old world effect. Try several tones of blue, and combine it with a layer of white. Consider several layers of paint which you can then hand sand, adding the right amount of distressing. Layer on a translucent glaze, or wax to complete the look.

Work With Stain Finishes:

Consider doing a “wash” instead of a solid color. After removing your paint finish, consider mixing your paint with part water, and applying a stain. You can also buy semi transparent stains through your local hardware store. Using a beige, and then white stain would produce the aged old world looks that are so well loved.

Add Texture:

In this article we show a chest with beautiful texture on the drawers. A gray toned blue is used under a creamy white, with beautiful texture that shows off an old world paint finish. Adding texture can be easier than you think. Simply get a box of un-sanded grout. Paint your furniture using a base coat with NO grout added. Once it is dry, mix together a bit of grout with the existing paint. Next stipple on the finish with your paint brush and let it dry over night, or for two days. Once it is dry, lightly sand it, and add your top coat. Using the same technique, mix together half and half paint and un-sanded grout and paint on an even coat of paint. Using two colors like the picture shown in the article will produce the best results. For a subtle effect, consider using a creamy beige and white together. The colors don’t have to be opposites to work well. Once the dresser has dried over night, take a hand sander and start sanding the finish. The texture from the first coat will show through to the second coat. Add additional wax, or glaze to make the finish pop, or leave it as it is.

Old World Techniques -Additional Articles:

-Improve Your French Dresser Or Sideboard With Faux Marble – The French Provincial Furniture
-Decorating Secrets- 60 Quotes From The Best Experts In Design – The Swedish Furniture
-Add Dimension To Your French Furniture- French Style Authority
– How To Faux Crackle French Provincial Furniture- The French Provincial Furniture
-Designers Pick Their Favorite Gray Paints- The Swedish Furniture
-How To Paint French Provincial Furniture A Perfect White – The French Provincial Furniture
-How To Paint French Provincial Furniture Black- The French Provincial Furniture

3. Go New And Modern With Color :

Do you like vibrant colors? The lines found in the French styled furniture can powerfully pull off the sensational bright colors. There are so many bright colors that I admire but don’t have the guts to put up on the walls, so why not put it on a piece of furniture.

Do you like the brighter colors, or the patterned printed chests? You might want to just buy spray paint for those high gloss mirrored finishes.

In the past I have hand painted gloss only to find paint lines from my brushes. With brighter red, or yellow, it can take up to 7 or 8 coats of paint, so spraying your paint just makes more sense. Often times the gloss you find in spray paint can be so much more vibrant and glossy than regular gloss paint in the quart size. Oil paint can produce sensational glossy finishes. Overall, I have found for those really glossy finishes, it is worth buying the spray paint, than hand painting. The coverage is faster, and the gloss is so much more vibrant and glass like.

Glossy finishes are best achieved with spray paint, and why not buy a case of your favorite color online? For some of my last couple projects, I have been really impressed with Krylon’s Paint and Primer sprays. I started looking online when my local hardware stores spray paint failed to impress me. Never do I see the lavenders, the soft grays, or light blues. The nicer colors are online, and many companies are starting to sell by the case.

French Chests From Cote France

French Chests From Cote France

Krylon Spray Paint

Color Master Colors By Krylon. These colors above come from their website, and if you look on their website, you can toggle over the colors for the name of the paint swatch that you love. Type the specific paint name in Amazon, and you can buy it in cases of 6 with free shipping.

Additional Articles:

– Go Bold With Red- Part 1 Grand Sophisticated Interiors – The Swedish Furniture

– Go Bold With Red- Part 2 Country Interiors- The Swedish Furniture

– High Gloss Painted Furniture – The Painted Furniture Online

– Absolutely Breathtaking French Painted Furniture- French Style Authority

– How To Paint Black Furniture-A Dozen Examples Of Exceptional Black Painted Furniture- French Style Authority

– 10 Ways To Use Pink, Orange and Coral In Your Home- French Style Authority

– Decorating With Pastels For A French Styled Home- French Style Authority

4. Add Furniture Jewelry

Ormolu is the jewelry of the furniture trade. Antique and reproduction furniture ormolu can be found on ebay making it easier than ever to dress up that worn antique, or that vintage chest that is outdated.

Reproduction ormolu can be found in bronze, and there are sellers out there who also produce these beautiful appliques in stain-able wood filler. Being able to buy appliques in unlimited quantities allows you to dress up the chest of your dreams.

The high gloss looks found on bombe chests are often accented with heavy ormolu or furniture appliques.

Add Furniture Escutcheons

Dress up your chest with keyholes, or otherwise known as escutcheons. Buy a set of identical keyholes for each drawer of your chest. Keyholes can be gold leafed, or painted the same color as the chest. Consider dating your metal furniture appliques or keyholes with aging solutions. In this post ” 9 DIY Recipes For Rusty Hardware” From Hersite, you can get the look of aged hardware in your own home.

Additional Articles:

-French Furniture Restoration ~Gold Leafing Tips- French Style Authority

5. Pattern Your Furniture

Patterns can look so wonderful in a space lacking interest. There are several ways to get the look of a pattern on your chest, which range from complicated approaches to simple techniques.

One of the harder techniques would be hand painting furniture. For those who have the gifted talent of hand drawing, this may be a project that you can accomplish over a weekend. For those who don’t have the natural abilities of drawing, there are several other approaches that can give you a professional look without much try.

One of those ways is an overhead projector. An overhead projector may be your new best friend after seeing how simple it is to copy a design without much work than having a marker in your hand. With this chest, I simply photocopied a flower pattern from a cardboard box that I bought from Ikea. I had gold paint in one hand, and outlined the flower, and painted it in after I traced out the design. This zebra painted dresser was traced using an overhead projector, as well as this dresser. Overhead projectors allow you to trace a perfect, proportionate design right the first time. They also allow you to match up the existing pattern which has been already traced on to your furniture, allowing for even spacing for the next pattern. This also works quite nicely on walls. Take your favorite comic book, custom graphics from books and be able to re-produce them with ease.

How To Paint Furniture Black Like A PRO

Gorgeous Black French Dresser From Cassie's - Primitive And Proper

Gorgeous Black French Dresser From Cassie’s – Primitive and Proper

French provincial furniture has caught popularity with designers and decorators as the new Tuscan looks sweep the magazines.  More decorators are getting resourceful transforming old vintage pieces that have the charm of high end looks, into the expensive antiques they see in the designer show rooms.  Black has always been one of the most popular choices of the past and of today because it is a color that works with every other color of the color wheel.  Black and white will always open up your choices for your walls, and fabrics compared to other colors.

Perhaps you are an experienced painter, and have transformed hundreds of pieces; we would love for you to leave your insights into painting tricks and tips of the trade.

 If you are a new painter, I hope I can share some valuable tips that I have learned first hand over the years that I have painted furniture, and hopefully to encourage you in your next transformation of your plain dresser into something spectacular.

Anyone can paint a dresser black, but there are certain tricks to make your painted pieces higher end.  When painting, your final product should look as though you didn’t do it at home.

Rustic painters prefer to see brush strokes, and in antiques you often see brush strokes, but one of the biggest tips I can pass on is that your piece is very smooth that it looks like a manufacture finish, or a higher end antique worth thousands. Part of achieving that finish is either using a spray, or using a foam brush which evens out your painting strokes.

Another way of adding to the overall finish is faux techniques most people do not know how to do, or even consider which we explain more below.  Each of these steps will make your painted piece look as though you bought it at a high end shop, and antique gallery, or possibly pass as an antique.

1.  Distressing

Distressing is a sure way of adding depth and interest to a dresser, table, or nightstand.  When I first began painting, I always made sure I primed my furniture, because I wanted the paint to stick to the furniture I was finishing.   I was afraid of the paint lifting off the furniture, so I always made sure I primed.  As I experimented and advanced in my painting, I found I was pretty limited when it came to distressing because you cannot buy primer in black.  Often times they could tint primer, and the best you could get was gray.  Behr has come out with a paint and primer mixed together, but at that time I was pretty limited.  Looking at all the distressed pieces out there, I couldn’t understand how many painters achieved the finish of distressing.  It wasn’t until much later, (almost a year)  that I just disregarded priming all together, and made sure my pieces were sanded well, so I could use my main color of paint instead of primer AND then paint.   The options then started opening up for me.

Some of the vintage french provincial furniture have “baked on” white epoxy finishes that are almost impossible to remove with stripper, so in those instances, if you want a two-toned affect, you will need to prime your piece, and paint it red, and then finish it with a black coat.  If you are an experienced painter, you could faux finish your piece in a wood color, and then go ahead and paint it black and distress it.  This will give you the same effect of a wood piece painted black.  This goes the same for melamine tops which are often seen on french provincial furniture.  Be sure to really sand your melamine top before painting.

The trick to distressing is the sponge sanders found at your local hardware store.  I have found using a sponge sander gives you the flexibility and control of where and how much you want when it comes to distressing.  Using a hand electric sander can often take off A LOT of paint, which can force you to go back and repaint some of the areas.  Using a hand electric sander might come in handy if you have several layers of oil paint that you want to expose.  When it comes to regular latex paint, the paint is just too thin, it often takes off too much.

The art of distressing is to sand in the areas which would be worn.  Sand under neath drawer handles, or on the feet of your chest where feet would bump over the years.  Sand where items, bowls, vases would be placed on the tops of your buffets, or on the edges showing the beautiful lines of your furniture.  Distressing is a sure way of breaking up the black and giving an interest that grabs the eye each time in passing.

Martha Stewart Chinoiserie Sideboard

Martha Stewart Chinoiserie Sideboard

2.  Glossy Black

Furniture will always be a high-end designer choice when it comes to furniture finishes.  Glossy black paint always looks fantastic on curvy furniture such as french bombe chests or serpentine dressers.  When it comes to gloss finishes, the biggest tip I can pass on is to be sure the furniture you are planning on transforming is without blemish.  Glossy finishes will pick up every imperfection which is even more magnified when you use any type of gloss finish, so fine sanding is imperative if you choose to go this route.   Spray painting could be the easiest option if you are doing a small project like a chair.  If you are planning on doing a larger piece such as a buffet or dresser, use a sponge brush, which evens out each stroke.  You may have to do 3 or 4 coats of paint, but your piece will be as even as a babies behind.

3.  Faux Finishes 

Faux finishes often has some sort of highlight in ornate details of the furniture.  Often painters try to replicate this aged look by applying a beige or gray paint to bring out the beautiful depths of heavily carved furniture.  With my experience, I highlighted an empire dresser that I painted black with a light gray paint in the areas it was carved.  Over all, I wasn’t pleased with the look, because the gray painted areas looked too heavy and obvious it was paint than occurred over time with natural age.  I washed it off and noticed that the watered down remnants of paint that were left, perfectly highlighted the areas leaving a aged look, pointing the eye to the more detailed parts of the chest.  It did a remarkable job of making the dresser look more expensive than it was.  If you do plan on trying out this technique, dilute your beige/gray paint with a glaze, and be sure to have a damp rag to remove the extra paint leaving very little behind as your highlight.

Graham And GreenGraham And Green

Painting Black Furniture

 I never considered using a green wash on black until I had seen it done on an antique metal canister, so I tried it for myself. The trick with using green paint, is to paint with a damp rag in your other hand washing off the excess paint.  Like the gray / beige paint in the suggestion above, it is almost more useful mixing your paint with a glaze.  As the green paint dries over the black , you will get a feel of applying more or less in the areas you want aged.  Like any aged furniture, you want to try to leave the green paint where rust would normally happen.  I have used it on ornate chairs, and it has really pushed the value of my furniture up a notch.

4.Using Red As A Base Coat

Another technique often seen with black furniture is distressing with a red showing through as the under color. This is particularly striking with Asian furniture. This is simply accomplished by painting your furniture piece with red, and then painting your top color black.  When using this technique it is not imperative that you use oil paint, but it is my preference.  You can use regular latex paint, which will work perfectly.  As normal, distress the furniture in worn areas.

5 Paint Color Choices For Provincial Furniture

Painting furniture can be an outstandingly satisfying craft. You can find an old, outdated piece and breathe new life into it with a simple color of paint. Once it’s in a new space, it can brighten and invigorate it, adding charm and drama all at the same time.

Sometimes the hardest decision of all is what color to use. When you want to go bold, here are some top color choices to consider.

Emerald Green

Emerald green is the hot color of 2013, according to the design industry. It connotes thoughts of riches and a recovering economy, and its lushness can bring a look of jewel luster into your home.

Because neutrals are still popular to decorate with, a splash of bright, bold, emerald green can be a lovely contrast against beiges and tans. Think about painting a chest or end table emerald green and adding some gold or silver accents or hardware. You’ll have a standout piece that will take charge.


It seems red is a classic for painted furniture, one that can last through the years. Every room can hold a bold piece of red painted furniture, and the colors can range from candy apple to deep garnet. Like emerald green, a deep jewel tone will add drama, and a brighter red will add cheer.

Whether it’s a chair, table, or something else, a red accent piece of painted furniture will work well with almost any other color schemes, from neutral palettes to brighter colors ranging from blues to greens to yellows. Red can add freshness, drama, or whatever look you’re going for.


Colors of nature are very in right now, so painting a piece of furniture with the bold tones of blues in nature will be just the thing to do in 2013. Blue can be soothing like the sky, or invigorating like the sea. Choose from any blue shades to create a bold standout piece that will bring the natural world indoors.

Like red, blue tends to work well with most other color palettes and is a wonderful contrast to black and white.


Whereas pink or purple may be too young to place in areas other than girl’s rooms in the home, lavender is like pink all grown-up. A single painted piece of lavender furniture will pop in a room and add that vintage drama that can bring the room to life.

Lavender is a great color to mix with other bold tones, like yellow and green, or use it against a white palette for extreme drama. Have fun with it – go bold – remember, it’s not a kid color anymore!


Yellow is taking off on the runways now, so why not bring it in the home. A bold piece of yellow painted furniture, from chests to chairs to dining tables, will add a fresh new feel to any room.

Yellow can brighten darker areas and works great with natural woods or metallics. Don’t be afraid to go bold – lean towards the canaries, lemons, and golds rather than the softer butter and cream yellows.

Adding that piece of boldly painted furniture to your home will invigorate your home. Take a look around at what you have already; you never know, the very piece you want may already be in your home…just waiting.

Heather Legg is a writer who writes about small businesses and Spokeo removal, the art of creativity and keeping a positive perspective every day.

DE TONGE Provincial Table- Famous French Furniture Manufacture-Coco House, Palm Beach, FL

Wrought Iron Leaf Iron Chandelier In A Happy Yellow- dos gallos

Antique Yellow Painted Wicker Fiddelhead Chair – BG Galleries -Weymouth, MA

French Painted Tole Garden Table – Milord Antiques


Cabinet de curiosités Clément Lafaille, après 1766. Style néoclassique. Muséum d’histoire naturelle de La Rochelle. Source

Yellow Reproduction French Vaisselier- Traditional Home

Yellow Painted Provencal Armoire – Cote Jardin Antiques

Louis XV Painted Buffet – Bremermann Designs

French Commodes – Available Through Cote France


French Painted Buffet Deux Corps-  Jean Williams Antiques

Blue Painted French Furniture- European Paint Finishes

Etienne French Painted Furniture

Cote France Tables

Green Painted French Provence Styled Furniture- Available Through Cote France

Louis XV Period Painted Console Table,  Bermingham and Co – New York

Au Rendez-Vous de Montmartre, Paris And Beyond Blog– Red Painted Desk Cote France

Red Painted French Louis XV Chest- Cote Jardin Antiques


29 Of The Best Rustic Iron Hardware For Your Provence Chests

There has been more of a public draw towards rustic natural wood furniture without the heavy lacquer or polyurethane finishes. Many people are gravitating towards the unfinished furniture with all natural stains that look worn, rustic and embody a and antique old appearance.

If you like this look above, you may really enjoy bleached pine furniture.

The dresser above is featured on Decompras Elmueble is made of natural oak and tends to embrace the elaborate stylings of Provence furniture.  Instead of the prominent gilt hardware featured on classic French furniture, Provence style gravitates towards the rustic iron which works nicely on this piece.

A. Classic Hardware Drop Pull-Oil Rubbed Bronze $13.50

B.Classic Hardware Drop Pull Oil Rubbed Bronze $16.43

C.Bosetti Marella Louis XV Brass Handle Pull,Antique Brass Distressed $8.50

For More Brass Styled Hardware see this post…..

Classic French Provence Choices:

1.Classic Hardware Knob Oil Rubbed Bronze $6.27

2.Classic Hardware Drop Pull Natural Rust $25

3.Classic Hardware Drop Pull Distressed Antique Brass $14.50

4.Classic Hardware Pull French Antique Gold $10.71

5.Classic Hardware Drop Pull Antique Brass $14.71

6.Classic Hardware Pull French Antique Gold $15.26

7.Classic Hardware Ring Pull French Antique Gold $9.74

8.Classic Hardware Drop Pull French Antique Gold $17

9.Liberty Hardware Pull Kentworth $22.93

10.Liberty Hardware Pull Kentworth $22.93

Rustoleum produces an amazing spray paint that takes on the very looks of all the high end Oil Rubbed Bronze hardware. Ebay has some of the best selection of french hardware lots, and if you find a lot that you love why not spray the hardware to look like the high end oil rubbed bronze french hardware?

If you like the look of the old rubbed bronze hardware, and have a dresser with good looking hardware that you want to update, consider purchasing the Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze. I have had great success with it through the years. It particularly looks great with rustic barn colors, natural woods, black and really primitive colors. I think you will enjoy it as much as I have.

Here are some of the projects I have used it with in the past:

Dresser 1 – Striped Colonial With Sprayed Hardware

Hutch 2– Painted Black Hutch with Sprayed Hardware

Colonial Dresser– Painted Black Sprayed Hardware

Dresser With Sprayed Hardware– Look how I sanded around the brass hardware after the Oil Rubbed spray paint has dried, to reveal more of the shape of the hardware.

Additional Rustic Hardware For Countryside French Homes:

1. Cast Iron Large Gate Door Pull Set Of 6 $30

2.Bosetti Marella Classic Series Ring Pull, 1.97-Inch Diameter, Old Iron or Brass $7.

3.Bosetti Marella 1800 Circa Brass Round Knob, Oil Rubbed Bronze $7

4.Bosetti Marella Louis XVI Brass Drop Pull Oil Rubbed Bronze $10

5.Classic Hardware Appliance Pull Antique Brass $147

6.Classic Hardware Knob Natural Rust $10

7.Classic Hardware Card Holder Distressed Antique Brass $6.38

8.Classic Hardware Knob Natural Rust $16

9.Classic Hardware Hinge Natural Rust $13.50

10.Classic Hardware Card Holder Oil Rubbed Bronze $4.33

Classic Rustic Ring & Bin Pulls:

1.Classic Hardware Bin Pull Distressed Antique Brass $12

2.Classic Hardware Ring Pull Distressed Antique Brass 10.82

3.Classic Hardware Card Holder Distressed Antique Brass $7.68

4.Classic Hardware Bin Pull Distressed Antique Brass $5.30

5.Classic Hardware Ring Pull Distressed Antique Brass $4.76

6.Classic Hardware Knob/Plate Distressed Antique Brass $9.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://thefrenchprovincialfurniture.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/cabinethardwareideas.com-5-Tips-To-Re-Decorate-Your-Kitchen-For-Less.pdf” title=”cabinethardwareideas.com-5 Tips To Re-Decorate Your Kitchen For Less”] [pdf-embedder url=”http://thefrenchprovincialfurniture.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/cabinethardwareideas.com-7-Secrets-That-Kitchen-Designers-Use-For-Easy-Beautiful-Updates.pdf” title=”cabinethardwareideas.com-7 Secrets That Kitchen Designers Use For Easy Beautiful Updates”] [pdf-embedder url=”http://thefrenchprovincialfurniture.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/cabinethardwareideas.com-2014-Kitchen-Trends-Glass-Cabinets-And-Open-Shelving.pdf” title=”cabinethardwareideas.com-2014 Kitchen Trends Glass Cabinets And Open Shelving”]


French Provincial Furniture Hardware

Antique Vintage French Provincial Style Brass Drawer Pulls Furniture Hardware

French Provincial Style Brass Drawer Pulls – Ishovelhead On Ebay

While painting vintage french provincial furniture maybe one of the best ways to transform an existing heirloom, changing the hardware can be just as dramatic. 

French hardware is still some of the most beautiful hardware on the market, and while most french provincial dressers already come with fancy french hardware, that doesn’t mean you cannot add on additional ornamental details which can push it up a notch.

Antique French Hardware is available through ebay or at specialty hardware stores online.  I was fortunate enough to live close to a specialty hardware store in Arlington, Virginia, but they still did not carry any of the antique styles I was after.

Today if you want a vintage Louis french style dresser pull, ebay is still the best place to look other than searching your local salvage antique stores.

The best way to plan out your furniture transformation is to start with the decision of hardware.

Changing the pulls of your dresser must be done before  painting, as it requires sanding down the drawers and filling in the previous hardware holes with wood filler.

I have found that Plastic Wood – Wood Filler has been the best brand I have worked with to fill in chips of wood, or existing drawer holes.   The trick to this brand is to close the container as soon as you are finished taking out as much filler you are needing to use.  The material over time and exposure to the air will get hardened making it more difficult to fill into the gaps of wood.

Buying the 4 ounce container over the 8 ounce container will almost guarantee you wet wood filler to work with, as you use it sporadically amongst your furniture makeovers.   After the wood filler is dry, sanding is imperative.  Sand the areas around the wood filler and apply another layer of wood filler, making sure the area is even with the existing wood.  After the second coat dries, be sure to sand with a fine sandpaper to even out the overall texture.  Don’t forget the inside of the drawer.  You want the inside to be just as beautiful as the outside.

Gold plating and buffing brass hardware are options for restoring genuine french antique chests.  With most french dressers I improve, I tend to spray the white washed french hardware gold, and finish it in gold leaf which gives it that genuine metallic feel.

Silver leaf is available, and is just as beautiful and works well with off white, beige, and french gray dressers.  While spraying hardware may be taboo to many furniture restoration experts, it serves as a quick up-date.

Additional Links:

  • 20 Common Painting / Furniture Restoration Questions Answered- Hersite
  • Ornamental Furniture Molds From Top Quality Moldings- Meranda’s Picks – Hersite


Pr. Antique Nautical Shell Brass Hardware Drawer Pulls From Kyle’s Antiques New Jersey






10 Vintage Brass French Handles Pull Furniture Hardware From Twin City Lady



HOW To Upholster Your Provincial Headboard

French Headboard Featured on Bob Vila

French Headboard Featured on Bob Vila

Buying a French bed is a timeless furniture choice.  Classic French beds have been around for centuries, and are still as much popular as the French style is featured and popularized in the higher end interior design magazines.

French antique beds are normally made from sturdy wooden frames and are often delicately carved which makes them both interesting and elegant.  The workmanship that goes into a carved bed takes patience and skill in order to get the precision and detail which can make them quite a bit more expensive.

Many antique French beds are made from a variety of woods, depending on their particular country and location.  Some of the most common woods found are mahogany, walnut or Black wood.

Often seen in the rococo beds, the footboards are also delicately carved, which makes them highly coveted.  A common signature to French furniture is the curvature of the legs of the furniture.  You will see the circular feet on many footboards, chairs, and chests.

There are a number of great styles when it comes to antique French beds, but if you are on a tight budget and you really want the look of a French home, why not go for the reproduction French provincial beds of the 50’s and 60’s? Many of the beds were made to mimic the antique Louis styles but on lower end scale. The 1960’s French provincial furniture is pretty easy to find, and relatively inexpensive in price.

1. Painting- One way of recreating the antique looks is to paint the frame of the bed. There are three main French styles you can paint.

A) Classic Gold is a very traditional French look. Gold works with every single upholstery as it acts like a neutral, so you are free to choose a variety of fabrics, as gold goes with everything. One very simple way of painting your piece gold is to spray it gold, letting it dry and gold leafing it for a realistic sheen of actual gold. Tips on leafing can be found here. Once the leaf has dried, you can rub on gray and with a damp cloth wipe the excess paint off which will stick in the cracks.

B) Classic cream is always a beautiful French choice. Be sure to get a creamy white with a green undertone. Once your paint has dried, add a brown glaze to add to the antique feel of aged furniture. You can buy glaze at your local home hardware store, or home depot, or Here – Wm Zinsser 04201 Blend & Glaze Decorative Painting Liquid

C) Swedish Grays are always an upscale French look. It is often a grown up style because it is not found on new furniture, but classic antiques. You can get that antique feel with gray and finish it off with a yellow wash. I have tried most of all colors with French furniture, and a cornflower yellow works the best over gray. Like the steps above, (after your gray has dried) paint on the yellow, (doing small sections) and wipe it off using a damp cloth. The muted yellow should give your piece the feel of a white wash but leaving the gray color intact.

2. Upholstery – You can create the rich looks of higher end antique French beds by simply buying the curvy headboard that was popular in the 60’s and upholster them with rich French fabrics. Classic antique French patterns were floral and landscape scenes. It is a relatively easy process to upholster a bed frame, so don’t feel overwhelmed.

You will need 4 major things to complete the task. 1. Batting 2. Fabric 3. A Stapler 4. Nail head trim.

The batting can be found at your local sewing fabric store. Ideally you want to find a flat foam padding, or cotton felt. You can always stuff inside the flat felt if it isn’t fluffy enough, but you will always have a smooth surface when it comes time to upholster. You do not need an industrial upholstery stapler, but they cost just as much as your basic stapler, (check below for links)  . A t-150 will work just fine, which can be purchased at your local hardware store for 20 dollars.   (I have been using a T-150 for years, and haven’t bought a electrical upholtery gun, but after seeing how cheap they are, I might order one!)

When it comes to finishing off your project, I would highly suggest getting nail head trim which you apply with a real nail every 3rd nail head. It gives you a nicer and cleaner appearance, and saves a lot of energy of lining up each nail so it is perfectly straight and in line with the rest. You can buy 30 feet for around the 7-15 dollar mark from Nails to You on ebay.  With that said, you can have your stunning French bed with fractions of the cost of an antique.

Hitachi N3804AB3 1 1/2-Inch 18-Gauge Narrow Crown Finish Stapler

Surebonder 9600 Pneumatic Fine Wire Staple Gun with Carrying Case

Arrow Fastener T25P Wire Staple Gun

Cotton Batting Medium Grade Roll Natural
Hillman Fasteners 122682 Upholstery Nail (Pack of 6)

Today with the convenience of ebay, you can shop around for antiques from all across the nation (and world) from the comfort of your home. Many antique dealers are now listing their inventory online which has made it easier to locate the antique you are after. With all the antiques in one location and the option of comparison shopping, it has made the prices honest, in addition to healthy competition to get the consumers business. Always go with a seller with a strong reputation of positive feedback. Be sure to get shipping quotes before committing to the bid to buy.

5 Ways to Update French Provincial Furniture

Painted Finishes on Vintage French Provincial Furniture Using An Overhead Projector – By Meranda S.

While French Provincial furniture is beautiful to look at just by itself, it can also become dingy and old looking over time. There are ways to make it more modern and artistic though. Here are a few ideas for ways to update your French Provincial furniture into a more modern style:

1. Update the Hardware –  Paint the original hardware.  Look to see how this French dresser painted in a cremy white has the original handles which are updated in a brushed bronze.  If you end up painting your dresser black, consider painting the pulls black and distress them to show the beautiful metal in the ornate parts of the handle.  This technique works with any paint color.  To make the pulls stand out a bit, consider adding a brown glaze to the painted pulls or a dark brown wax to show off the details a bit more.

2. Go Pastel – Painting your furniture in pastel colors is a great way to keep the authentic feeling while still updating the look. Distress the paint finish with a hand sander.  Even brighter paint colors look antiqued with a bit of brown glaze.  Paint on the brown glaze and wipe it off.  Consider painting with an eggshell finish as your basecoat, which gives the glaze something to grip on to.  The glaze technique leaves residue giving you an aged appearance.  If a paint finish doesn’t look right, add some glaze and you will love the finished look.  Glaze makes everything look nicer, and is the trick many professionals use for brighter paint finishes.

3. Black, White or Red – If you want a really modern look, you can paint your furniture bold black ,white or red. Consider going glossy for a very rich French look. Rust-Oleum has a wonderful oil based line called “Enamels Spray” that produces a rich glossy lacquered appearance that doesn’t need any priming. Consider only using this brand in the warmer weathered months.

4. Bright Colors – Fun colors can bring new life to your furniture. Neon pink, bold blue, bright yellow and glossy green make it stand out and also give a great juxtaposition to the classic style of the furniture itself.

5. Cushion Crazy –If you have chairs whose cushions are looking a bit rangy, don’t reupholster them with the same old boring stuff.

Example of Tip 1- Look how the hardware is painted blue, and slightly distressed? 

6. Patterns – Add bold stripes of color to boring furniture and liven them up. You can change the whole look of a piece with just a few stripes. Use tape to make sure your paint comes out crisp and clean

7. Frames – If you have a French Provincial mirror or picture frame, do not toss it away. Make it into a centerpiece by framing something unusual like a wreath of flowers or a chalkboard. It will stand out and make your home a talking point.

These are just a few ideas on how you can update your French Provincial furniture. There are so many opportunities to make the most of this beautiful style. Just take a few minutes to think about what you could do with it!

Author Bio: Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare. They take care of all the necessary information related to “babysittingjobs.com/”. He personally thinks his blog will help with finding information on all things related to a babysitter.

Distressing Painted French Provincial Furniture

The best way to practice distressing techniques is on an old piece of furniture that is either a thrift store find, or something you don’t mind donating if the end result is not what you expected. Don’t begin your experiment with pieces that are valuable or antique furniture passed down in your family until you have tried this technique and are confident in the results.

Distressing adds a lot of interest and detail on painted furniture. It is the one technique that will improve a painted finish guaranteed! Over the years of selling white furniture, I have had more men love distressing than women. Distressing can look primitive, rustic and even masculine.

Your painted furniture should either have one coat or multiple coats of paint in the same color with bare wood under the paint. When distressing the piece of furniture, you should see the top color and the wood.

For a layered effect, use a neutral color as your base coat such as gray or black. When you distress the furniture, black will also show along side the natural wood color and your top coat paint color.

The worst thing you can do with distressing is have a white primer under a color. If your top color is white, then, it works just fine. Although you don’t want a red dresser with white paint peeking through.

The way to get around this is to fully sand your furniture before painting so you will have one coat of paint and your natural wood color which shows through distressing.

1. Distressing can be very simple. The first way of distressing is with sandpaper. Start by sanding it with fine sandpaper in the direction of the wood grain. This will greatly improve the look of your finished piece. Sand in the areas which would get banged up over time. The edges of the chest, the feet, the areas around the handle. You want your distressing to look as natural as possible. Use a hand sander, or a foam sander for great results.

2. Heavy distressing involves more than just sandpaper. Metal chains whipped on to a wood chest can depressions to the piece. Be careful that your distressing is random, and not obvious such as a screw driver, or a hammer. Chains work quite well for heavy distressing because the indents will be random than purposeful.

A. Now you want to emphasize the marks you made. You can either use a wood stain in walnut, or brown glazing. Either of these two colors will give the impression of dirt. Both techniques are simply done by painting on a coat of glaze or stain, and wiping it off quickly. Be sure not to use flat white paint with either two approches, as both the glaze and stain will permanently stain the white.

Antique Walnut Polyshade in Satin, or Pecan Polyshade in Satin are great stains to use over white or a color. Apply it with a brush and paint thinner, and wipe it off with a rag.

Be sure to wear throw away Vinyl gloves through this process, as it will save the time getting the chemicals off your skin once you are finished. Vinyl gloves stay on your hands easier than latex and can be used many times before throwing them away through out your painting projects

Simply paint on the stain or the glaze, and within a couple minutes after it sets and dries, wipe the stain off the piece which should leave just enough stain to collect in the holes to emphasize the distressed wood. Often times after glazing I like to add a polycrylic sealant to the furniture. With stain no sealant is necessarily. Enjoy your new antique looking white furniture!

This beautiful bathroom vanity is constructed in a size that is perfect for small bathrooms and is suited perfectly for any French Provence country decor. It has a durable resin top, one faux drawer, one door with one adjustable shelf inside, and a sliding back for easy plumbing connections. It is featured in a striking off white Bordeaux finish with rub through and antique finished fixtures with a biscuit ceramic sink. The Bordeaux collection also includes dining room furniture.

Floor to top of faucet: 41H Floor to top of backsplash: 39H Floor to top of counter: 35H Hardwood Solids with Red Birch Veneers; Resin; Ceramic; Metal

Bishop Coffee Table is shown in Antique White finish on base and Signature Stain top. This solid wood table has one drawer with antiqued drawer pulls.

LOUIS XV CONSOLE;Vintage Cygne Blanc finish on six drawer console with drawers finished in Heritage Stain. Antiqued hardware.

The Provence cabinet boasts hand carved detail and beaded trim for storage with feminine flair. Its antiqued mirrors and Vintage Cygne Blanc finish lend a nostalgic appeal.

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Provincial Antiques

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White is one of the most popular paint choices for painted furniture as it creates an atmosphere that is both soothing and tranquil. In particular, you are seeing a lot of French provincial furniture pieces painted in white. Here is how you can update that second hand find into something amazing.  Create a surface that paint can stick to. Sanding is a...


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