How to Refinish Furniture in White French Provincial Style

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Credit: Christophe Living

Every house needs furniture. Whether you prefer the minimalistic look or like to have a house full of clutter. One thing is the same in all houses, furniture is essential.

Of course, the style of furniture you choose is a personal decision. It reflects your personality, your outlook on life, and gives you a sanctuary where you can relax and get away from the outside world.

In recent years there has been a much greater emphasis on repurposing existing furniture. This is generally better for your wallet and definitely better for the environment. You may be surprised by what can be achieved with this approach.


It should be noted that while it is fun to refinish furniture yourself, it is also worth appreciating what the professionals can do. For example, if you’re after French wardrobes, then you need to look no further.

Refinishing Furniture in White French Provincial Style

Wardrobe mouldings

Credit: Christophe Living

This is a distinctive look that can revitalize any room. It is a timeless look that will look great today, tomorrow, and for many years to come.


  • Stage 1 – Prep

The first stage is to place the item on a work surface. The surface should put your furniture at a good height to work on. It’s a good idea to cover the work surface with newspaper, this will protect it allowing you to focus on refinishing the piece.

During prep you need to carefully remove all furnishings. That means drawer or door handles, and any other attachments. You’ll find that old furniture generally uses flat head screws, make sure you have one handy.

  • Step 2 – Sanding

This is the most important part. Get the sanding right and everything else will simply fall into place. You’ll need to start with fine-grade sandpaper. Take your time with the paper or even a sanding block. It’s important to go over every part of the furniture.

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The aim is not to remove all of the existing finish, you want to scuff it up. This will ensure the primer can grip proper and your new paint will stay on the item, instead of flaking off.

That’s why it’s important not to rush and ensure you’ve scuffed the entire piece.

When you’re finished wipe the dust away to ensure the surface is clean.


  • Stage 3 – Priming

You’ll need a wood-based prier, preferably in a pale gray or white to minimize disruption of the topcoat.

Before you start use masking tape to carefully cover any part of the piece that you don’t want painted white.

Put a little in a paint tray and then paint the item of furniture. Use slow even strokes and go with the grain of the wood to create an even, drip-free finish.

You’ll need to let the primer dry completely before you add a second coat.

  • Stage 4 – Painting

Once the second coat of primer is dry you’ll be ready to paint it. You just need white paint. Again the aim is to slowly and evenly paint the furniture with the grain. This will ensure there are no drips os smudges that will ruin the final finish.

You’ll need to let this coat dry fully before adding a second coat. You may even want to add a third coat to ensure you have a smooth and consistent finish.

  • Stage 5 – Finishing

It’s now time to remove the masking tape and replace the furnishings you previously took off. You can also dip your finger in a small amount of gold paint and rub your finger over the raised surfaces on your piece of furniture. This creates the gilded look that states your furniture is white French provincial.

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