French Provincial furniture, with its classic curves and elegant detailing, lends itself perfectly to a painted makeover. In fact, French Provincial furniture finds are some of my favorites for makeover projects. These painted elegant pieces of furniture can easily become the centerpiece of any room. They seem to exude a sophisticated, timeless charm.. In this post I’ll share several French Provincial Painted Desks And Vanities.
And before we move on to project details, if you are new to painting furniture I’ll invite you to learn more at Chalk Mineral Paint Success
What is French Provincial Style Furniture?
There is just something special about this style of furniture. Especially when painted, these pieces blend the elegance and sophistication of French Provincial design with a fresh, modern flair. And whether you choose bold colors and metallic gold or silver accents or more rustic, old world pastels, or aged finishes, they add a unique elegance to your space.
French Provincial style furniture, originated from well, you might guess . . . France! How did you know, right? This style is characterized by delicate carvings, and emphasis on comfort and functionality, but blend that with an elegance as well. The furniture often features rounded ornate legs and scalloped carvings.
How To Paint French Provincial Furniture
So, let’s talk about painting these fancy ornate pieces of furniture. In many instances, they feature a slick veneer finish, which added a polished look. Often these pieces have some gold or tan color on the edges and inside the engravings and carvings. While these features enhanced the style, they also poses a challenge when it comes to painting.
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Consider Using A Primer For French Provincial Painted Desks
To fully cover the darker gold and tan edges, any old stains or odors, and provide a good surface for paint to adhere, a bonding primer may be needed. Not at pieces require this and often it is dependent on the type of paint you choose. Many paints indicate that no primer is needed as they will stick to most surfaces, even slick veneers. But, if in doubt you can always use a bonding primer.
A quality bonding primer will adhere to the slick veneer on one side and providing a textured surface on the other for the new paint to latch onto. With this, the primer ensures that your hard work doesn’t chip or peel away. And no one wants to spend time painting a piece of furniture only to find their efforts ruined when the paint peels off.
For both of the French Provincial Painted Desks I did opt to use a bonding primer. It’s a simple step that for me adds a layer of security. And, I typically find that it reduces the amount of paint I use overall. Many bonding primers come in various colors also. for these projects I used Wise Owl Stain Eliminating Primer.
Clean Your Furniture Project Piece
However, before priming first you want to clean your project piece very thoroughly. You can use Dawn dish soap and water, Dixie Belle White Lightening mixed in water, or Krud Kutter Spray Degreaser. They all work well. Honestly the Krud Kutter is the easiest to use. I recommend after cleaning, give your project a good rinse with clear water and a clean cloth.
To learn more about Prep, check out How To Prep Furniture For Painting.
Next up I’ll share the two French Provincial Desks that I painted. They were both painted in Wise Owl One Hour Enamel Paint in Black Cherry. It’s an excellent paint and what a beautiful color, like dark cherry. While I didn’t intend to paint both the same color, I fell in love with this color and just had to use it again. And it is also a beautiful color to pair with gold accents.
A French Provincial Painted Desk In Black Cherry & Gold
Let’s review the first project, the Gold And Kacha Inspired: French Provincial Desk Makeover. This was my first ever French Provincial Makeover. And, to be honest, this is where I fell in love with this style. I did use the Wise Owl Stain Eliminating Primer in Clear and followed that with several coats of the Wise Owl Black Cherry paint.
The paint did require several coats to cover thoroughly, however I think using a darker primer would have solved this issue. To enhance the elegance of this piece, I finished it out with a stenciled design done in gold paint.
To stencil, I used The Modern Moroccan Stencil by Kacha and Redesign With Prima. And finally, I finished out the decorative edges using a gold paint made by mixing Posh Chalk Pigments in Lemon gold with a clear topcoat.
This desk is a prime example of how paint can transform a piece. It was originally a dull and dated maple finish, but with some sanding, priming, and the magic of Wise Owl One Hour Enamel Paint in Black Cherry, it became a stunning statement piece. The gold accents on the hardware and legs add an extra touch of elegance to the desk.
A French Provincial Painted Desk With Damask Stencil Design
The second French Provincial style painted furniture makeover that I painted was a similar desk with one row of drawers rather than two. But overall, both are the very same style. In my blog post, Painting A French Provincial Desk I document my steps for this project.
First this desk was primed with the same Wise Owl Stain Eliminating Primer but in gray. And I painted with the remaining Black Cherry Wise Owl One Hour enamel Paint.. I couldn’t help it as I just love this color!
Next, I added a stenciled design to the desk top in gold using the Victorian Damask Stencil by Dixie Belle and more gold accents using Posh Chalk Pigments in Byzantine Gold. Ooh la la! I sure love gold accents, especially with regal bold colored paint!
And lastly to add a bit more flair I added some gold script furniture transfers to the drawer fronts. These transfers called Sweet Notes by Redesign With Prima go perfectly with other gold accents.
Overall, this project showcases the power of adding gold accents to furniture pieces, elevating them from ordinary to extraordinary. With the right techniques and materials, you can achieve a luxurious and regal look on their furniture pieces.
Whether you’re going for a French Provincial style or simply want to add some glam to your home décor, incorporating gold accents is sure to make a statement. So why not give it a try in your next project?
Consider Painting Or Replacing Original Hardware
And you may notice that on both desks I updated the original whitish hardware with gold paint. Changing the hardware by painting it or switching it out is such an easy way to transform the look of the furniture piece. You can literally find hardware in so many designs and to match any décor style or theme.
So now that I’ve reviewed these two desk makeovers, I’ll share some others from various furniture painters and furniture artists. These are all so amazing and beautiful and I hope you’ll find inspiration for your next project.
Summary: French Provincial Painted Desks and Vanities
So, you can see how many ways you can transform this lovely style of furniture with paint. Hopefully by seeing a few of these makeovers you’ll be inspired to create your own design. The options are endless as far as possible colors and design elements to enhance the French Provincial Style.
From neutral to bold colors, transfers, gold leaf, stenciling, stripes and more there are so many possibilities. The curves and scalloped edges of the French Provincial style works with simple single color palettes to ornate, multiple color designs.
So, if you come across these beautiful French Provincial desks and vanities at furniture sells, thrift stores and such don’t be afraid to take on a project of your own!