French Provincial Furniture

Painting Swedish Style

12The traditional “french provincial bed” that was made in the 1950’s is a great french style bed that is affordable to paint or upholster.  The picture to the left is the perfect illustration of a swedish paint finish, as well as illustrating how stunning this French bed looks when upholstered.  French beds are extremely popular, and with the right touches you can take a broken down piece and make it into something beautiful.

How do I paint Swedish style? 

Start with a primer.  You want to prime your entire bed with a white based primer.

Next , pick a base color you are excited about.

– Take your base color, either a light beige, or grey, or an off white and paint your bed. 

– You will want to dry in between coats.

– Here is the trick to producing the stunning swedish paint finishes.  The trick is oil paint.  You have to work fast in this technique.  Try having on hand paint thinner, so that if it dries too quickly you can brush over your area you painted, and the thinner will allow it to dry slower. 

Paint entirely over a small area.  Next, (and quickly) take off the paint with a disposable paper towel.  What you want to do is take it off leaving a bit of the oil paint exposing the color below.  Try it, and you will learn quickly.  It is easy and stunning! 

~Christian Blessings~






You can see that this Dixie Brand French Provincial Twin Bed is almost the same as the featured picture.  It just needs some paint.  

Listed under Shop At Home Antiques Ebay

3 comments to Painting Swedish Style

  • Rachel


    I am just wondering what type of paint to do the base in? You mention oil paint for the finishing touches, do I simply use a water based paint for the base?

    Also, do you have any suggestions as to the brands of paint to use

  • admin

    Hi Rachel,

    If you look through the older french furniture, a lot of the colors that are seen are greenish grays. Depending on the look you want to achieve, I would suggest you try out a number of colors in this color range, and find a shade that works the best.

    What you can try is Pebble Stone by behr. It is a really light beige white, which works really well with a creamy white over top. Most of the Louis style colors are the gray, beige, or green colors. They are pretty basic colors in that time period. So if you want to go with a darker look underneath, try something gray, or beige, or green beige, or green gray.

    The picture of the bed works really well with the technique I described. Your first coat is latex falt, or eggshell. Let it dry. Then once it is dry, the key is the oil. When you apply the oil use paper towel, as it works the very best, and wipe off the white paint. I have found when you dab your oiled towel on your furniture piece and then wipe it off, it gives a bit of a texture to it. Once you try it, you will figure out what looks great within the first few minutes. Quickness with the oil paint is the key to this finish.

    Let me know how it worked out.


  • admin

    Remember, your oil paint shouldn’t be stark white. It can be an off white, a bit of beige…

    I often buy the satin oil paint at Home Depot, and mix it myself to get the color I want.

    Or, professional paint stores such as Benjamin Moore, or Duron has their colors available in Oil

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