French Impressions

Cottage Craft, Cottage Home, Featured, French Country

the blog:

French Painted Dresser 2This story began while reading one of Betty Lou Phillip’s books, French Impressions. As I was thumbing through the pages scanning photos and text, I soon realized this book, this author was bound to be one of my favorites. Betty Lou Phillips delves into reasons French style so appeals to us and to those who influenced the decor. ‘I must thank thre Bourbon monarchs all named Louis–Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI–whose passion for beauty helped make the French so French’.

source- French Impressions by Betty Lou Phillips

source- French Impressions by Betty Lou Phillips

Within this sumptuous book are over 250 photos showing the French ‘way of melding the past with the present while offering a glimpse of lives that are justly inspiring‘. The above photo became my inspiration fro a much needed transformation to a dresser in our bedroom. I have also bookmarked several ideas from this and other of her books – so very inspiring.



We have had this bedroom set for so very many years…it has held up well with time. They are not an heirloom pieces, but its style still appeals to us. One day I noted to Dearest that these pieces were beginning to show some wear and wondered if he minded whether I painted the furniture. He has become more amenable to painting furniture and he replied, ‘I don’t care’. That was all I needed. With my inspiration on hand I began the work of transforming this dresser to this.

French Painted Dresser 7


I attempted to mimic some of the hand-painted patina found in my inspiration photo. I first painted the dresser with Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Linen. Then I painted some of the dresser with French Enamel; blue is the accent color in our bedroom. I then drew out and painted the center artwork and used a stencil for the top and the bottom drawers. I was glad I did – I liked how that pattern complimented the urns in the center. I concentrated on ivory and gold tones. On the blue of the drawers I added two shades of blue to tone down the brightness of the scrollwork.

French Painted Dresser 6

French Painted Dresser 3The hand-painted urn in the center of the dresser.

French Painted Dresser 8

French Painted Dresser 4

The stenciled pattern on the top drawers with blue added to the scrollwork. I am going to trim out these drawers with gold paint-Dearest’s request. 

French Painted Dresser 11I changed the location of the artwork to the right of the dresser. I felt this painting better complimented the blue color scheme than the previous artwork. It may go toward the other end of the room, or I may replace it all together. (you can see the previous painting in the ‘before’ photo.

French Painted Dresser 5

I love how the blue Hydrangeas pick up the various shades of blue in the room from the now painted dresser to the artwork on the walls. If you happen to be wondering about the walls in our bedroom, I shared why I painted them this way in ‘She Has Patina’ 

French Painted Dresser 1

There’s much more work to be done to transform our bedroom. I have already slipcovered the two chairs at the fireplace, added a romantic quote over the fireplace and have painted my lady’s dressing table. I plan to paint the bed, seen here and the lamp tables – I have one lamp table done and will share the two with you soon. I have to finish the upholstery to the settee, change the valance on the door to Dearest’s office (originally a sleeping porch), slipcover Great-grandpa’s chair (I have a few of his chairs) and a few more touches here and there. When listed like that, it seems daunting, but I’ll tackle this one job at a time.

Further notes on painting this dresser: I did not want this piece to have the chippy look that Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint can achieve, so I used the Bonding Agent. There is some chipping, I can work with that. Also, to achieve the patina, I used the Antiquing Wax.

I am sharing this post with these Delightsome blog parties:


this post is not a sponsored review of Betty Lou Phillips’ books – they’re simply favorites of mine

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