A French Chest

A couple of months ago I found a cute little french chest at my “go to” monthly estate sale, and even though it’s a reproduction, and not very old, I fell in love with the look of it. I knew that it would be perfect for the foyer, so I bought it.

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

It’s an import piece and probably only about 10 years old. I loved the faux painted scenes on the top and front, but I wasn’t crazy about the finish on it.

It was a pale yellow and looked as though it had been “sponged” with green paint, giving it a splotchy look.

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

Since it wasn’t an expensive piece and wasn’t very old, I didn’t have a problem with pulling out the paints and transforming it into something that works with the rest of our decor.

This is what it looks like now after layers and layers of paint, added furniture mouldings, glazing, distressing, and waxing.

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

So much better, don’t you think?!?

Now it works perfectly with our decor. And I love the way it looks in the newly renovated foyer {reveal coming soon}.

The chest had a pretty wood moulding on the front that was original, but I wanted to “frenchy” it up just a bit more, so I added some Efex furniture mouldings.

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

The Efex mouldings are amazing for transforming a piece of furniture. They are flexible, made of latex, and can be cut if you need to resize them. They mirror historic carvings and are so easy to apply.

I used a few from my stash for this piece, but I’m holding the majority of them for a larger piece that I’m working on, and hope to show you soon!

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

I love the faux paintings on this chest, sweet cherubs frolicking on the top……

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

…..and a sweet couple on the front. I left them as is, and just painted around them.

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

This piece has about five layers of paint. I used a combination of Pure & Original Classico and Mia Colore Paints….my favorites.

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

I lightly distressed it using a damp wash cloth, and then “aged” it with my homemade glaze {thinned acrylic paint in color Burnt Umber}.

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

Then it was finished with a coat of clear wax.

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

I gilded the mouldings and the original hardware with gilding paste.

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

It’s the perfect piece for a small wall in the foyer, and now looks more like an antique.

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.com

Believe it or not, we are very close to the finish line on the foyer renovation. The floor is finished and now all we have left to do is a little bit of caulking and touch ups to the paint.

I’m hoping {fingers crossed} that I will be able to do the reveal sometime this week, if we don’t have any glitches before then, so stay tuned!

The foyer {like every other room} turned into a bigger project than anticipated, but I’m thrilled with the way it’s turned out, and can’t wait for you to see it!

A French Chest | Edith & Evelyn |www.edithandevelynvintage.comOn another note, we had a sweet little surprise this week……we were chosen to represent our state of Missouri in the July issue of Country Living Magazine, in the feature, “50 Dream Rooms, Inspiring Decorating Ideas From Every State”! Our dining room was featured, so we’re pretty excited about it!

I hope you can pick up a copy and check it out!

Country Living Feature | Edith & Evelyn | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

It’s been so hot here in SW Missouri, my gorgeous hydrangeas bloomed beautifully, but have now wilted under the unrelenting heat, and no rain. I was able to cut a few to decorate with, but that was it. They are very pitiful looking! I hope yours are faring better!



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  1. Are you willing to sell this chest? It’s really one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever seen. Please let me know if you are willing to sell this one or if you have anything similar for sale.

    • Hi Asil! Unfortunately, we aren’t selling this chest at this time. If that should change, I will be glad to message you!

  2. I’m sorry, I linked from Facebook and thought this was just posted. Well, it’s still beautiful. Your home always is.

  3. You did a great job ! It came out beautifully. Congratulations, on being chosen for Country Living. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  4. Love the final finish! Beautiful blue! You’ve gone an excellent job with the foyer! Just amazing how much nicer everything looks! And those tall call holders, to die for!

  5. Where have I been?? I love this piece, and I saw it on your post about the foyer, so I am backtracking here. But what a transformation, it looks incredible now. You are very talented. I love your style and always want to see what things you are creating or decorating.

    • Amy, this little reproduction piece turned out so good, sometimes I can’t believe it myself! You humble me with your kind words, thank you.

  6. Pingback: A Grand Foyer | The Transformation | Edith & Evelyn Vintage

  7. Gorgeous, Cindy. You are an artist at this. I enjoy painting furniture too and hope to keep improving . About your dining room table -( that room is just beautiful )- did you paint your tabletop yourself? I’m toying w/the idea of painting mine but am not sure how to approach it. Your home is a real work of art and of love. I am coming here to your blog by way of Southern Hospitality who featured your home today, And I’m so glad Rhoda did!

    • Hi Kay! Yes, I painted the dining room table top. It’s chalk painted and then waxed with a clear wax. I think I painted two coats of paint before waxing. Thank you so much for visiting!

  8. First of all CONGRATS on the feature, it certainly is well deserved! You have transformed that sweet chest into a beautiful piece!!! I love the colors you chose and am SO anxious for the foyer reveal! Everything you touch turns to gold!

  9. Hi Cindy,

    I love all your projects! Your new “old” chest inspired me to paint an old chair I have hanging around & I will try my hand at reupholstering it as well. Question, I painted it and finished it with clear wax then with dark wax. I was hoping for more antiquing than the dark wax left…so I’m not that happy with it. Then I remembered your home made antiquing recipe…think I could go over the dark was with your watered down burn umber??? Or will it resist because of the wax??? Should I just apply more dark wax and let it cure??? Oh what to do…

    I’d love to see a tutorial on how you make everything look amazing…Unless of course, you want to come to Maine and just paint everything for me???!!!

    • Hi Shelley! I would definitely use the homemade glaze to add a bit more antiquing. I usually use a small artists brush so that I can work it into the nooks and crannies. If you get too much, just use a damp cloth to wipe it back. It shouldn’t resist because of the wax after the wax is cured. I love using this glaze recipe so much more than using dark wax….I may never use the dark wax again! Hope that helps!

  10. HI Cindy,
    It looks a million times better with your paint treatment, don’t you just love whe this happens. For me though I think I would have sanded off the art, and did the whole piece in your paint treatment. Nothing wrong with the art, just my taste would have been that old blue, weathered looking and worn authentically as you achieved here.

    A piece to love!


  11. Congratulations on the magazine feature! You totally deserve it, and I’ll have to look for a copy. The chest turned out beautifully, proving once again what wonderful vision you have.

    • Thank you so much Leslie Anne! I hope you are getting all settled in your new home! It made me so sad to read about all the damage to your beautiful furniture!

  12. Cindy, you have turned this into a masterpiece…wish I knew how to do this. The chest goes so well with your foyer tile, too. This is an amazing before and after!!!!!! Can’t wait to see the foyer reveal. Big congrats on the magazine feature…you certainly deserve to be recognized for all your talents.

  13. Hi Cindy! First time here…your little chest caught my eye, and then since I don’t “know” you, I read your About page, and enjoyed your story tremendously about your 2 mothers and the name of your blog. It reminded me of my first booth, which I called “Aunt Florence’s” after my grandmother, who I was named for.
    I love the little chest too, and what you did to improve it. Great job!

    • Andrea, I used the following:
      Mia Colore “Grand Canal”
      Mia Colore “Stunning Gray”
      Pure & Original “Lagoon Water”
      Pure & Original “Evening Shadow”
      Homemade Glaze: Acrylic Artist’s Paint in color Burnt Umber, thinned down to glaze consistency.

  14. ~Cindy~

    The chest makeover is stunning !! Where do you find your trim pieces?? I am still wanting to do a dresser , but I can not decide on a color , plus alittle scary !! hehe.
    How exciting for you & hubby on the magazine pictures for your state.
    Looking forward to seeing the foyer !!

    • Thank you Paula! All of the furniture mouldings come from Efex….here’s the link: http://www.efexusa.com. They don’t sell directly but they have a list of retailers on their site that sell them so you can locate the closest one to you.

  15. Just received the new issue of Country Living. I noticed Missouri immediately. I love your china cabinet and the grain sack upholstered chairs!

  16. Cindy, you have amazing talent! The chest is gorgeous, and so is the tile flooring. What kind of tile did you use, and how big are they? I can’t wait to see your foyer!!

  17. Hi Cindy,

    The chest came out beautifully! Your work is so impressive! I need a lesson on your technique. Can’t wait for a tutorial. Can’t wait for foyer reveal either!!


  18. Hi Cindy, oh my how beautifully you have worked your magic on your sweet little chest…it turned out simply gorgeous, it must look amazing in your foyer……I’m so excited to see the reveal……:-)…..and a big congrats on your feature in country mag.
    Hopefully it will rain soon and your pretty blooms will perk up again.

    Wishing you a wonderful day~

  19. hi clindy….i just love what you’ve done to that little chest! it looks so authentic….in fact, i love what you’ve done to your whole house! you are such a perfectionist….great job!

  20. You have transformed that chest into a masterpiece!!!…It is so beautiful Cindy!….anxious to see the foyer reveal …. AND…CONGRATS on the Country Living feature….they sure knew what they were doing when they chose you to represent your State!….Yay!!!!

  21. Oh Cindy, how very pretty the chest is…..I am just happy when I see a new post from your site in my email. You are a talented and gracious person and you know the meaning of Roll Tide.

    • Thank you so much Gray! “Roll Tide” is a wonderful phrase….it can be used as an adjective, a verb, or a noun…..perfect in almost any situation! Haha! Thanks for commenting, Gray, I appreciate it so much! ROLL TIDE! {75 days and counting…..}

  22. Cindy – Another amazing work of art! Looks great! Looking forward to your entry reveal – have enjoyed seeing your progress reports and it’s coming along wonderfully considering what you started with and all the hardwork (your husband getting all that glue off each stair!), applying all that moulding and your caulking and painting it all!! Geesh, I’m tired just thinking about it!! Congrats on the magazine article featuring your beautiful dining room too!!

    • Thank you Celia! The foyer was a much bigger project than we thought it was going to be. So far, no room has been easy! Ha! I’m definitely glad to see the finish line with the foyer…..and hubby is thrilled to be through with it! Thanks so much for commenting!

  23. Hi Cindy! The little chest is so beautiful! I wish you could give us all a class in furniture painting. You are so good at it. Can’t wait to see the foyer reveal. Have a blessed week!

  24. Cindy, do you ever have a class to teach what you know about this kind of painting technique? I’d be there in a heartbeat. Also, where do you find the paints you use? This piece is just stunning!

    • Hi Kathy! No, I haven’t taught any classes on the painting techniques. I really need to do a tutorial, I usually forget to take photos of the steps once I start painting! I need to work on that. I have used all kinds of paint over the years, and always went back to my favorite, Annie Sloan chalk paint. However, a few months ago I discovered a new paint that I’m crazy about, Pure & Original Classico and Mia Colore Gesso paint {produced by the makers of P&O}. I have to say both of these paints are the best I’ve used in creating these old European finishes. And their color selection is amazing. There are USA dealers for both paint throughout the U.S., and can be found on their websites, or you can order their paints online. Here is the link to the Pure & Original paint: https://www.pureoriginalpaint.com/usa/product-category/classico-paint/
      Here’s the link to order the Mia Colore paint:
      I’ll work on that tutorial!

  25. Your French Chest is absolutely gorgeous! I love it! I can’t wait to see your foyer renovation. Congratulations on your magazine feature!

  26. Your little chest is stunning and every one will believe that you picked it up at the Paris Flea!
    It’s been a great year for hydrangeas in the south. Keep a drip hose on your bushes during dry times or water daily and they will reward you. Aren’t they fabulous flowers!

  27. Cindy, Cindy, Cindy, this piece is so gorgeous and you are certainly a master at furniture painting. I need to try the Efex some time. I can’t wait to see the reveal and congrats again!

  28. Absolutely love it! The colour is just gorgeous and you have done a wonderful job with the antiquing.