Do you have a blue-painted furniture project in mind? Whether you’re looking to give your furniture a fresh look or want to add some French chic style to your home, this tutorial for our french blue dressers is the perfect place to start.
Our client wanted oversized nightstands for her room and while these two dressers were originally separate pieces they fit perfectly together as a set of mismatched nightstands. They also wanted these to have the same finish from this french provincial nightstands makeover we did.
The muted hue of this blue adds a touch of sophistication and elegance to the dressers, while the glazed finish adds some grungy antique feel to the overall look.
The process of prepping, painting, and topcoating the dressers was quite simple. We even added distressing and glazing techniques to give them an even more unique look. We’ll walk you through each step so that you can recreate these French blue dressers for yourself.
Supplies Used for French Blue Dressers
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- Krud Kutter
- Damp Rag
- 220 Grit Sandpaper
- Shop Vacuum
- Tack Cloth
- Clear Shellac
- Amulent Paint from Chippy Barn Paint – Old Blue
- Fuji Q4 Paint Sprayer
- Varathane Polyurethane
- General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze
- Cheap Paint Brush
- Wipes or lint free rag
Prepping the Dressers
The first step in preparing the dressers for painting was to remove the little unnecessary appliques and the drawer pulls. This not only made the painting process easier but also gave us a cleaner look overall to make the dressers match each other better.
Once the dressers were stripped of any unnecessary details, it’s time to give them a good clean using Krud Kutter and a damp rag. Make sure to spray that Krud Kutter evenly on all surfaces. We’re cleaning to make sure there’s no dust or grime on the surface for the paint to stick to.
Learn more about how to clean furniture before painting, and why it is so important in our cleaning before painting furniture post.
If you’re worried about bacteria, germs, or bad odors lurking inside the dresser, here’s how to disinfect wood dresser using a simple and natural solution.
Then we lightly sanded the dressers with 220 grit sandpaper to scuff the finish up and help the paint stick to the surface better. If you’re not sure how to scuff sand, read our post on sanding before painting furniture.
Next, we took the dressers outside and applied 2 coats of clear shellac to both dressers. This helps to stop stains from coming through paint and helps the paint adhere better. We let the shellac dry overnight before moving on to the next step.
Even though clear shellac isn’t a primer technically, it acts like a primer in this case. If you aren’t sure about using clear shellac as a primer, here is a list of the best primers for painting furniture.
Painting the Dressers
For the painting process, we chose to use Amulent paint from Chippy Barn Paint in the color Old Blue. This paint is ceramic-based and known for its great coverage and leveling properties.
This paint is awesome because you can apply it smoothly with either a paint brush, roller, or a painting sponge. Either way, you can get a nice, level surface without any brush marks.
Read this post to learn more about how to paint furniture without brush marks.
But to make this project a whole lot faster, we put the paint in my Fuji Q4 paint sprayer and spray painted the dressers. We did thin the paint a little bit with maybe 10% water to paint ratio to help it spray better.
If you want to spray your paint on your furniture, here is our list of the best paint sprayers for furniture.
We applied multiple coats to make sure everything was fully covered and allowed each coat to dry for a couple of hours. Gotta say, we’re impressed with the amazing coverage and flawless application of the paint!
Distressing the Painted Dressers
For a more rustic look, we lightly distressed these French blue dressers. We used 220 grit sandpaper to gently rub away some of the paint around the edges and on the details on these dressers.
This helps to give it an aged look and adds character to the furniture piece! Here are more distressing furniture techniques to use if you don’t want to create more dust in your workspace.
Chalk paint is perfect for distressing because it’s very easy to sand away compared to regular latex paint. And this Amulent paint pulled through flawlessly and effortlessly created the exact distressed look we were aiming for!
Then we cleaned up the dust again before moving on to the next step.
Topcoat and Glaze on Painted Dressers
Once the dressers were distressed, we sealed them with 1 coat of Varathane polyurethane to make it easier to glaze, and we let the poly dry overnight. Since I have a paint sprayer, I sprayed the topcoat on. Here is how to spray polyurethane for more information on this technique.
We’ve also listed the best sprayers for polyurethane here.
But if you need to brush it on, here is our post on how to apply polycrylic by hand. The next day we followed up with General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze and wiped away the excess for a subtle antiquing effect. I have this video on how to glaze for you to learn from:
After glazing, it’s important to topcoat your furniture piece with polyurethane again, as this helps to protect the paint and add durability. We applied 2 more coats of Varathane Polyurethane for extra protection and sheen!
You can explore more options of topcoats for painting furniture if you would rather use something other than waterbased polyurethane on your project.
Learn more about sealing painted furniture here.
Creating a Weathered Look for the Tops
For the french blue dresser top, we wanted to create a weathered wood finish. We started by layering Suede Gray, Kindling, Alpaca, and Black with a paint brush, then adding a coat of Van Dyke Brown Glaze on top.
The glaze was applied with a damp cloth and wiped off for the desired effects. We added a few coats of glaze until we got the darker finish we were actually happy with.
And the last thing we did was seal the weathered tops of the dressers with 2 coats of Varathane Polyurethane. Again, this not only enhances the overall appearance of the dressers, but also adds protection against scratches, moisture, and other potential damages.
And there you have it – our French blue dressers turned nightstands all finished! From two separate pieces, we were able to create two beautiful matching nightstands that our client was thrilled with!
If you also have pieces you don’t know what to do with, check out how to get rid of a dresser in creative and practical ways.
We hope you enjoyed following along with our French blue dresser makeover and are inspired to take on a similar project yourself!
More Before And After Makeovers
Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.
- Remove any unnecessary hardware and appliques on dressers.
- Clean surface with Krud Kutter and a damp rag.
- Apply multiple coats of Clear Shellac to both dressers and allow to dry overnight.
- Put the Amulent Paint from Chippy Barn Paint in Old Blue in the paint sprayer and spray paint the dressers, applying multiple coats until fully covered.
- Lightly distress the french blue dressers with 220 grit sandpaper to create an aged look.
- Seal the painted dressers with one coat of Varathane Polyurethane before applying General Finishes Van Dyke Brown Glaze for a subtle antiquing effect.
- For the dresser tops, layer Suede Gray, Kindling, Alpaca and Black then add a coat of Van Dyke Brown Glaze on top for a weathered look.
- Seal the weathered tops with two coats of Varathane Polyurethane.
More French Blue Furniture Makeover Ideas
- French Provincial Nightstands Makeover
- Behr Chalk Painted Dresser Makeover
- Repurpose an MCM Desk into Nightstands
- DIY Blue China Hutch
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