In this post: How to create an easy French paint finish!

Oh my goodness! Have I ever told you how much I love the look of french antique furniture?

Curvy, aged and neutral. Mmm. Perfect.

easy french paint finish

So can you imagine my thrill when I found this mirror at Value Village for super cheap whilst looking for something to makeover for this month’s Trash to Treasure

mirror before

I’m also super excited because – quite by accident – I found the perfect French paint finish using items you can easily get at your LOCAL hardware store!

Easy French Paint Finish

easy french paint finish


  • primer
  • Sherwin Williams SW 7051 Analytical Gray or other paint color matched (I used SW SuperPaint in satin finish because we had it leftover from painting the dining room)
  • dark wax (like Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax or Minwax Paste Finishing Wax or Van Gogh Beeswax in Caffeine)
  • sandpaper
  • brushes
  • painter’s tape (I always try to use Frog Tape because it seems to block the paint better)


mirror sanded

1. Gently sand surface and wipe away dust.

2. Prime with your favorite primer.

mirror painted

3. Paint with Analytical Gray. Perhaps two coats. (It looks white in the photo above – but it is a gorgeous beige gray.)

mirror waxing detail

mirror finish detail

4. Apply dark wax with a stiff short bristled brush or clean rag. Work into crevices and then wait a few minutes. Buff to finish and remove excess.

I’m LOVING the AFTER (in our almost finished entryway)!!!!

french finish mirror

finished detail

Want to create your own gorgeous makeovers?

Check out our DIY Paint Finishes and Techniques guide.

It includes 12 of our most popular paint finishes and techniques all in one place! Includes photos, supply lists and how to get the looks we feature on our blog Home Made Lovely all the time! 

DIY Paint Finishes and Techniques pages for blog

Do you like the French painted look? Do you have any pieces in your house finished in this way?

shannon sign off

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

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  1. So pretty Shannon – and thanks for the tutorial. I am thinking of changing up the paint on my TV console and you have some great tips here!! Have a great weekend:)

  2. I LOVE the french look! I’m sure that’s no surprise 😉 Okay, so when can I buy this off of you? I’m in love!
    Jamie @

  3. Very nice, I do painted funky furniture, but I am loving the beautiful lines and peaceful simplicity your mirror emanates. I will come back often to see what you are up to! Carolyn

  4. i love the finished look of the mirror and was wondering if you could use shoe polish instead of the waxes used

    1. Good question! I’ve never used shoe polish on furniture. Let me know how it goes if you try it.

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    1. My husband bought me a mediterranean bedroom suite for a wedding gift. That was a loooooong time ago. I have been contemplating painting it for a long time but he is not for it. The mirrors inside lines look pretty similiar, the outside is very ornate. This method of painting is pretty much what I would like. I have pictures, could I send you a few for you to see and appreciate? Thanks colleen

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  14. Just found your website. Your furniture is lovely and the technique seems easy. Can I use the dark wax over an oil-based paint (already painted and now want to antique it)?

    1. I haven’t done it but you probably could. Perhaps test it on a small scrap of wood first?