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Easy Silver Metallic Paint Technique

Today I’m going to show you the products I used to paint a worn out French nightstand that I found at a local auction!  This easy, silver metallic paint technique gave me the shimmery silver finish I was hoping for!

silver metallic paint technique

The photo below shows what this dresser looked like the night I purchased it.  I’m sorry for the poor before picture – it was taken with my iPhone at the auction. This piece was sticky and icky, but I knew it could be made beautiful once it was thoroughly cleaned and got a fresh coat of paint.  I envisioned this piece with a lustrous, silver metallic finish and was determined to make it happen.


Old French Nightstand at Auction

prep work before painting

As you can see – this piece of furniture was in desperate need of a makeover! Whenever you buy a used piece of furniture, the first thing that must be done is clean, clean, and then clean some more!  This little nightstand was pretty disgusting.  There were papers and receipts in the drawers!  I put on some gloves and cleaned the entire thing – inside and out.  First with the vacuum and then with a good cleaner.  Once it was clean, I removed the hardware from the drawers.
Because I didn’t use a chalk paint on this piece, I had to first apply a primer.  I used BIN primer that I had tinted gray at the paint store.  If you didn’t know that you can have primer tinted, it’s a good tip to know.  One coat of primer is all you need.  And, the primer will dry in approximately one hour.


metallic paint

Modern Masters Paint and Rub n' Buff - Hymns and Verses Blog

I used Modern Masters Metallic Paint for this piece.   This was my first time using this paint.  I purchased two six oz. jars and used less than half for this project!   I used about 1/2 the jar of the Snowflake and just a little of the Silver!  A little really goes a long way.  The Modern Masters paints are labeled “opaque” or “semi-opaque”. The Silver shade is an opaque and the Snowflake (a shimmery white) is a semi-opaque.  I mixed these two together to get the silver finish I hoped for!  It’s an 80% Snowflake to 20% Silver mix.

Carved Legs Vintage French Nightstand - Hymns and Verses Blog
Originally, I thought I would need to use a foam roller to get a smooth finish.  But,  when I applied a quick pass with the paint brush, I was amazed at how smooth this paint was.  I’ve never used a paint product with such a creamy texture that lays down so smoothly.  I ended up using the paint brush for the entire piece.  It did take two coats, but the paint dries pretty quickly – so it didn’t take too long.

Update Vintage Drawer Hardware with Rub n' Buff - Hymns and Verses Blog


Rub n’ Buff to Refresh Old Hardware

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I worked on the drawer knobs.  They were a dark bronze color.  I used a teeny, tiny bit of Silver Leaf Rub ‘n Buff on my finger and lightly rubbed it over the high points in the knob design.  If you’ve never used Rub ‘n Buff, be sure to practice on a piece.  You only need such a small amount to get coverage with this product.
Carved Details French Dresser - Hymns and Verses Blog

Bring out details with a Dark Wax

To highlight the pretty details on this piece, I used Annie Sloan dark wax, which I had on hand.  Any dark or antiquing wax would work.  I used a stiff brush and very lightly went over the areas applying wax until I had the look I wanted.  I had a scrap of fabric that I used to rub it back in areas where I applied too much.
Silver Metallic French Nightstand - Hymns and Verses Blog
Again, it’s best to use just a little of the dark wax and then build to where you have the look you want.  Dark wax goes a long way and if you get too much, it’s hard to correct.  If you’ve never used dark wax, I would definitely practice on something else before using it on a piece of furniture.  To finish this piece, I used a water based poly in a satin finish.  
Silver Metallic Paint Technique - Hymns and Verses Blog
If you like this metallic paint post, you might also like these furniture makeovers!



Saturday 19th of June 2021

I love this furniture piece and how it came out. I have one that is almost the same size. I ordered the paint but worry that 6 oz is not enough to cover the dresser. Please help. Thz

Doreen Cagno

Monday 21st of June 2021

This paint goes a long way.


Tuesday 23rd of April 2019

I have a question regarding the water based poly top coat. The wax is a petroleum based product so how did the water based poly work over it or did you just use the wax on the detailed areas and top coat the flatter areas? Thank you

Doreen Cagno

Thursday 25th of April 2019

I just used the top coat on the flatter areas as you said!


Thursday 7th of February 2019

Looks as if you used magic on the French nightstand! Done beautifully. I intend to attempt the technique. Thx!

20 Thrifty and Tasteful Nightstand Makeovers | Yesterday On Tuesday

Saturday 25th of August 2018

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