Painting French Country Style Furniture

Painting French Country Style Furniture


Choosing French Country style in your home is a great way to achieve refined elegance that exudes a welcoming and warm feel. This shabby chic style simultaneously creates a calm and playful atmosphere and works well with any type of living abode. Whether you live in a tiny walk-up in the city or on a sprawling lot in the suburbs, this design theme creates the perfect place to wind down after a hectic day.


Unlike the excessive opulence displayed in Versailles, French Country pieces are unencumbered with crowded embellishments and instead celebrate the lived-in look with distressed finishes. To embody this rustic aesthetic throughout every room, it is important to find pieces that embody form and functionality with a bit of softness. At Antique Farmhouse, we have carefully curated fine pieces to both furnish and decorate your home. This charming style can be tricky to execute, but we have made the design process simple and streamlined by allowing you to shop by room in our online showroom. You can also begin to transform your home by painting your current furniture with a weathered look. Distressed painting is a labor of love and goes beyond the traditional prime, paint, and seal method. Here are a few simple steps to follow. 

1. Cleanse and Prep The Desired Furniture Piece 

Wooden furniture works well to embody the French Country style; however, wood can get dirty quite easily. In order to achieve a weathered finish, you must clean all surfaces to have a solid base on which to layer several coats of paint. Remove lingering varnish or flaking paint by using gritty sugar soap and hot water. Throughout the cleaning process, continually sop up excess water to prevent raised, uneven areas from occurring in the wood. After drying, sandblast the surface to make it much easier to paint. If you do not have the equipment to sand down your furniture, you can also use a high-quality primer. Choose a primer that dries with a gray finish. 

2. Choose the Correct Paint Finish 

Opt for paint with a chalk or clay finish. French Country furniture should appear lived-in. The minerals of chalk paint allow you to achieve the worn look more easily because it is easier to sand down. 

3. Apply Contrasting Layers of Paint to Add Depth

French country furniture pieces are usually light and muted but with dark undertones. Achieve this look by opting for complementary colors of paint. Your base coat should be a darker, saturated color, such as brown, black, or deep blue. Your second coat should be a lighter-toned color, such as light tan, grey, or pale blue. You can either choose to paint the entire surface over with the lighter second coat or highlight only the edges and legs of the furniture to add depth to your piece. 

4. Apply a Final Tint 

To further weather your furniture, apply a final water-based coat with a grey finish. Allow the piece to fully dry. Some paints may take up to 30 days to fully cure. It is important to be patient with this step. 

5. Wipe Wax Throughout Your Furniture 

Massage wax on all surfaces using a cloth, brush, or sponge. You can choose either a light or dark-tinged wax depending on the degree of weathering you desire. Applying wax allows your furniture to be more water-resilient and also allows the paint colors to shine through more visibly. 

6. Distress Your Furniture 

Create the distressed finish celebrated in French Country style by using steel wool or glass paper to sand down various areas throughout your piece. Choose places that would naturally wear and tear over time, particularly edges, legs, and top surfaces. 

7. Allow Antique Farmhouse to Save You Time

Vintage painting your furniture definitely takes time, but the finished product will make you proud. If you do not have the time to paint the distressed style, have no fear. At Antique Farmhouse, we have every piece needed to artfully execute the French Country style in every room.  Our designers have carefully selected finely designed pieces from around the world. Every piece in our curated collection is marked with high craftsmanship and can easily complement each other. Whether you need ideas for your dining room or outdoor porch, our designers have planned out every detail to make the entire decorating process as relaxed as a vacation in Provence.