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Breathing New Life into Vintage French Furniture

When I start a DIY project, I often jump in with both feet…only later questioning my decision!

Without any regrets, I began my most challenging and beloved project: refinishing my Mémère’s (French Canadian for Grandmother) French Provincial dresser. Coated in 4 – 6 layers of thick old paint, I started to sand…and sand…and sand!

French Provincial Dresser Restoration Do-It-Yourself Project Before and After Photos

As I strip the layers of history off, taking this piece back to its original roots, my memories of Mémère wonder. I adored her! She was a spunky, French Canadian woman who loved fashion. She smelled of French perfume, her hair was always in place, and her home was a picture out of Better Homes and Gardens. She was stunning and an inspiration.

Her attention to detail taught me to appreciate beauty in everything, and I suppose this is why I love this dresser so much. It reflects her charm, and more importantly, it keeps me close to her.

In her memory, I am refinishing this amazing piece for our family to enjoy for generations to come. This dresser will live on for decades, and everyone who touches it will be part of its past, present and future. I think Mémère would be honored her family thought enough to carry on her story.

On behalf of my children, grandchildren, and all the children to follow, I’d like to say, “Merci beaucoup Mémère. Je t’aime!”

Collection of Photos from the Do It Yourself Resoration Project of the French Provincial Dresser

Keep an eye out for more DIY projects from Toni, and check out our store for more home décor inspiration!


What beautiful workmanship, and what a beautiful tribute. Thanks for sharing, Toni!

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