French Provincial Furniture

Zebra Painted French Provincial Dixie Dresser

100_3100zebra-dresser-finished-300x208The Dixie Brand is a pretty common French Provincial Brand of furniture originally sold in the 40’s and 50’s If you want a pretty and affordable dresser that looks quite French but without the price tag, this is a dresser that you can find easily on ebay and fix it up into something special and uniquely your style.


Below I hand stenciled a zebra pattern on a dixie french provincial dresser, and  it turned out fabulously unique!



I originally posted how I fixed up this pretty common Dixie Dresser.  The white dresser below, I pulled off the internet. 

I have been wanting to do a floral look with some pretty pink and purple flowers for some time (may be my next project)…  The nice thing about this brand, is the curves allow you to get away with stenciling, or adding some flair. 




(Half way through) 


~Before ~

-Start by Priming and Sanding your dresser.

-I used a flat Cream Paint. Paint your entire dresser. I use flat because it covers well.

-I bought a plain “do it yourself ” stencil from Michael’s Crafts.

-I have a stenciling iron, which I bought from the Internet. It heats up, allowing a person to cut what ever pattern they want on to a plastic transparency.

-I cut my pattern, using a set of Zebra bed sheets I bought from (Ross Dress for Less)

-Then, I took black oil paint and stenciled on the pattern.

-As you can see, I did do the top of the dresser in the pattern, but it looked to be “too much zebra” I ended up stripping that off…

-NEXT, After you have your sides stenciled, and front stenciled, you will want to take a small brush and clean up your edges where you have stenciled. Stenciling can be messy, and some times the design does not turn out as crisp as a design as you would like

-After everything is cleaned up and the pattern looks good, you will want to take a rust colored brown paint. – I used flat again. It is important that you use flat as your base color, (the cream as I suggested your first color to be) Take the brown rust color, and wipe it on. (Or you can paint it on, and with a wet-damp rag, you can wipe it off) It looks as if you just wiped on the brown to get a bit of a stain from the paint. You will be able to see the zebra through it.

-After it is dry, you will do about 5 coats of Minwax- Polyshades. I used a walnut, and mahogany Bombay in some areas, but mostly walnut, to get the wood look.

-Be sure to let the stain dry in between coats. You can also hand sand between coats.

-Add your Ormolu Hardware Details, and you have a stunning Unique look!

Christian Blessings!



[phpbay]Dixie French Dresser, 7, “”, “”[/phpbay]

4 comments to Zebra Painted French Provincial Dixie Dresser

  • Alanna

    I just bought one of these particular dressers at a yard sale and days later found a matching bedside table at a thrift store, I’d like to know more about them but am having a hard time finding any information about them online… any tips?

  • admin

    Furniture reproductions of the French Louis styles became popular in the 1890’s and 1900’s in America. These pieces were quite high quality. They were often solid wood, and heavy. They looked very close to the Louis styles of the 1700’s. If you love looking at French furniture, you should visit my French Authority site, as I list more French pieces there. You see another popularity of French “provincial” style furniture around the 40’s and 50’s. It was popular in the living rooms, and often seen in the bedrooms of children and so forth. You will eventually run into these sets at Flea Markets and Garage sales, as the children move away, and people are clearing out their homes. They are the perfect style to paint because they are not so boxy, but curvy which allows you to get away with more artsy decorative designs. After selling many of these dressers, I wouldn’t suggest Dixie to be the higher quality. It is great to purchase until a better one comes along. Union city, or vintage Thomasville is fantastic. They are made of solid wood, and much higher end. John Widdicomb is a higher end designer who produced some beautiful pieces in the 40’s. I have sold Dixie dressers before, and my only problems with their French provincial dressers are they expand in temperature differences. (Most woods do, when they are shifted from one extreme to another) Another, is the material isn’t great. They have cheap laminated melamine tops, and the insides are not wood on most cases. One thing is for certain, French provincial furniture was so popular in the 40s and 50’s, they are easy to run into second hand now! Also, there are higher and lower end designs, so if you keep your eyes open, you will find that expensive look you are after in a reproduction French provincial look at your local sales.

    Blessings! Meranda

  • joyce

    I have the compleat dixie bedroom set for my 10 year old daughter and would like to redo it to last her through the years. Any suggestions? How did you get the paint to stick to the fermica?

  • admin

    Hi Joyce,

    I have had to learn the hard way with fermica. How I have found success with this material is to sand the fermica. This way it gives your paint something to grip to. Gripper can be purchased at home depot, and it is meant for concrete, but it grips on to anything. I use it for all my painted pieces. If you don’t sand the fermica first, the paint peels right off. After you are finished painting, add polyurethene. I have found that using a foam roller evens out your finish perfectly. It was a tip passed on from a good friend, and it is the best painting tip I know.

    Another clear finish you can try is “Tough as Tile”- “Paint and tile finish” to the top of my furniture pieces, as they include a seperate clear gloss and white paint which you are supposed to mix together to apply to your tub. If you end up using this, be sure to use a foam brush to apply the clear gloss, but also leave yourself almost 2 weeks of drying time. I left my piece for a week, which I thought was long enough, only to stack furniture on top of my piece and it left marks. Because this clear gloss is meant for your bathtub it was impossible to sand. I will use it again, but this time, I will be sure to let my piece dry for a longer time.

    Hope this helps…. Meranda

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