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Before Doing a Custom Furniture Refinish……

I have not done custom furniture for a very long time but I am glad I took this project on!  Custom orders always make me step a little outside of my comfort zone and try some new things.  I believe this is the first piece I have painted Navy, and I searched for the perfect navy color.

Before Doing a Custom Furniture Refinish

Custom refinishing can be a little tricky sometimes.  Before doing a custom furniture refinish here are a few things to consider:

  1. This isn’t my furniture, so if I mess it up we have new problems, ha ha.
  2. I don’t really know what kind of condition the piece is in as they usually just send me pictures
  3. I am refinishing it to someone else’s liking, paint color, distressing etc.
  4. I have a deadline to hit

On the flip side there are benefits of doing a custom piece

  1. Once it is finished I don’t have to try to sell it
  2. I charge a little more for custom finished pieces
  3. It makes me try new things
  4. I require half down in the beginning

Custom refinished navy chest with Start at Home Decor's teal reclaimed wood dream sign

When I got this piece is I quickly realized it was not wood, it is made from MDF with a lacquer finish.  As I mentioned earlier this can be one of the downsides ….. you never really know what is coming until it shows up.  This is what the piece looked like after I had sanded it down.  You can see the areas were the MDF was showing through.


I did a little research to figure out the best way to seal MDF and get my paint to stick to the lacquer.  I found a shellac based primer will do both of those things and it worked amazingly!

Once I had everything all sealed up and primed I sprayed this piece with 2 coats of Naval By Benjamin Moore.  After it was sprayed I let is dry for 24 hours and then I distressed the edges to accent the details!
Custom painted navy sofa table

I am loving the navy and teal together!  This dream sign is available in our Etsy Shop here

I hope this gave you a few things to consider before doing a custom furniture refinish!



Start at Home Decor




  • Sabrina

    Wow Brooke, this piece looks so wonderful! You did such an amazing job refinishing it! I love the color!

    • startadmin

      Thank you!!

  • Patricia Saylor

    Are you going to make any Chritmas trees,like you made the pumpkins?

    • startadmin

      Funny you should ask that, we have thought about it!

  • DiB

    Love love love the chest! Navy makes me swoon every time!

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