Painting French Provincial Nightstands

Painting French Provincial Nightstands

I love it when I find vintage furniture that is well made, but has some dings and dents. I can paint guilt free and transform the piece. Rather than languish in the back of an antique shop, someone will be able to use it in their home. I know there are people out there who hate to see quality wood painted, but if the piece is scratched and needs some repair, no one wants it. I rather see these well made old pieces refreshed with paint, than on its way to the dump!

A good example is this pair of Mid Century nightstands. I think they are made out of maple, they have dove tailed drawers with pretty brass pulls. But the finish was dinged up and they looked a bit sad.

Primer coat

The nightstand on the right has two coats tinted primer. A clean slate!


The nightstands were cleaned, sanded and painted with two coats of a tinted primer. Even the drawers were painted inside and out. I usually don't paint the insides of drawers, but these had some ink stains that I wanted to cover up.

base coat with gold trim

Detailed with metallic gold paint


After the primer coats, I painted the nightstands with two coats of an eggshell cream paint. In between coats, I lightly sand to get a smooth finish. I detailed them with a metallic gold paint using a small artist brush. Next step is glazing!

blue-grey glaze

Nightstand on the right has a blue-grey glaze


I like to use tinted glazes on my furniture instead of wax. Glazes can be manipulated better than a wax, in my opinion. Plus, they can be tinted to any color. I wanted a soft antiqued French grey look, so I started with a subtle grey-blue glaze.

antiquing glaze

Nightstand on the right has 2nd antique glaze
Now to 'dirty' them up and look old! I painted another glaze on them. A dark brown/black glaze along with some dry brushing achieves the aged appearance. Both pieces are finished with an acrylic satin sealant that gives the pieces durability.

Nightstand top

painted inside drawer

Painted inside drawers

scrolled foot

Pretty scrolled feet

Vintage brass pull

Original brass pulls

Painted French Provincial Nightstands


I'm happy with how they turned out and hope you are, too! For more photos and information, the French Provincial Nightstands are in my online shop.

Till next time!


french provincial nightstand
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