Basic Furniture Refinishing Class

Waterbased Non-Toxic Finishes only

•Specialized Finishes provides a classroom setting for an intimate group of people who want to experience the satisfaction of repainting or refinishing their own piece of furniture, cabinet or heirloom. 

With 30 years of painting and finishing everything allowed, I developed a love and enthusiasm for the entire process. This love has given me vision of painting and finishing that has provided me much joy. The “WOW” factor is why I chose this profession. I also enjoy the opportunities I have had to teach others along the way.

We will show you eye opening techniques that will empower you to tackle your own personal painting and or restoration project with poise and ease. You will learn how to use tools, tape, sandpaper, and use brushes, along with the application of the final coating. Perhaps you will learn enough to paint your own home entirely if you so choose.


Bring your own project piece to our classroom and we will show you step by step how to feel like a professional as you learn. Chairs, small tables, cabinet doors (for those wishing to resurface their own cabinets), or even a statue. Anything you want to carry and are willing to do without during the class. You can bring just a drawer to your dresser and you can do the rest at home.

Attending our four-week class will allow most projects enough time for completion. We will provide you with all necessary tools, personal protective equipment, and sundries, i.e. Tape, sand paper, primers, fillers, and clear finishes. During your first class we will pick a color if you wish to paint or stain, and you will purchase the desired product before the next class. If there is more work to be done outside of the class scheduled, to be current with the curriculum of the next class, you may work during our Shop Hours or you may take it home to complete the current task. One hour of sanding will take you a long way if persisted and preformed properly. It is not as daunting as you might think. 

You will finish our class with pride and confidence, you will learn how to be meticulous yet efficient, you will be able to produce quality finishes for yourself and loved ones for years to come.

Thank you,

Shawn Turner

Specialized Finishes


Course Outline

Specialized Finishes

Do-It-Yourself Basic Furniture Refinishing Course

Class 1 of 4

Personal Safety, Tool use, and Cleaning of substrate

∙Personal Safety:

                Personal protective equipment

                                Hand Protection

                                Respiratory protection

                                Eye Protection

                                Entire body protection if needed

                Partner protection


                Workspace organization (Trip hazards, Head bashers, Eye pokers, Shin whackers)

∙Tool use and more safety:


                Putty knives

                Screw drivers

                Razor knives


                Nail set

                Hand Masker

∙Maintaining Cleanliness:

                Soap and water


                Dust brush


Determine required method for proper cleaning

                Dirt, oxidization, organic matter?

                Soap and water


                                Lacquer thinner


                                Denatured alcohol

                Determine tools used for cleaning

                                Cotton Rag

                                Cellulose Sponge

                                Scotch-Brite pad of various abrasive levels

                                Scrub brush


Clean project

Allow to dry to promote proper sanding

Discuss thoughts on desired finishes

∙End of Class 1 of 4

Specialized Finishes

Do-It-Yourself Basic Furniture Refinishing Course

Class 2 of 4

New finish selection, tape 101, sandpaper 101, priming/sealing,

touch-ups, fillers, and joint sealants

∙New finish selection

                Determine the best durable finish with minimal amount of work for each individual participant.

                Color selection

                Determine process to achieve desired finish

∙Tape selection and uses




∙Tape Application

                Demonstrate how to pull tape from the roll without bending it

                Demonstrate how to ensure edges are properly pressed to ensure no bleed through

∙Sand-paper selection and uses






                Emery cloth


                Steel wool

∙How to cut and fold sandpaper


                                Display reason for trifold

                                Paper manipulation for rounds and scrolling


Specialized Finishes

Do-It-Yourself Basic Furniture Refinishing Course

Class 2 of 4 (Cont.)

New finish selection, tape 101, sandpaper 101, priming/sealing, touch-ups, fillers, and joint sealants

∙Discuss desired finish possibilities

∙Direction to sand

                Sand with wood grain, or in the direction to be painted

                Sand from bottom to top eliminating the need to continuously remove dust

                                Do not sand in the pile of dust left behind

                                Sanding dirt left behind will result in bad scratches

∙How to position the body and hands while sanding

                Tai Chi type movements with flow

Understanding the different methods of sanding


                                Wood Blocks

                                Foam Blocks


                Using fingers for bracing guides while sanding

∙Priming/sealing necessary areas

                Selection of primer or sealer to promote proper adhesion of finish product

                Lightly sand and remove dust where primed/sealed

                Spot priming ensuring sanding of lap after drying

∙Staining touch-up

                Instruct on ways to develop stain touch-ups, purchase or self-manufacture

∙Fillers and Joint sealants

                Caulking technique, cutting tube, tape caulk, free hand, fingering/tooling

                Discuss proper fillers vinyl, silicate, putty

                Discus proper joint sealants urethane, siliconized latex, (Alex Plus vs. Big Stretch)

                NEVER SILICONE


                Understanding more of the preparation process.

∙End of class 2 of 4

Specialized Finishes

Do-It-Yourself Basic Furniture Refinishing Course

Class 3 of 4 (Cont.)

Paint Brush Choice, Paint Brush Priming, Transferring Finish Material,

Finish Material Preparation, Environmental Condition, Paint Brush Handling Technique,

Finish Coating Application, Paint Brush Cleaning

∙Paint brush choice


                                Latex product

                                Acrylic product

                                Clear finish

                                Solid body finish


                                Clear and solid body use same brush


∙Paint brush priming


                                Mineral spirits

∙Transferring finish coating

                Thoroughly mix material in retail container

                Properly transfer finish material into a working bucket


Cone strainer

                                Bag Strainer

∙Environmental conditions



∙Finish coating preparation STIR ONLY DO NOT SHAKE




∙Paint brush handling techniques

                Approaching the subject

                                Visualize the path

                                Work in to out

                Demonstrate the job of the bristle ends

Demonstrate mechanical yet fluid movements

∙Applying finish coating to the brush

                Determine how much is needed on the brush for the immediate stroke

                Demonstrate how to work the material to the edges to cut in

                Demonstrate how to paint the field maintaining a wet edge

                Demonstrate how to minimalize brush marks

∙Allow to dry


                First coat of finish coating completed

∙End of Class 3 of 4

Specialized Finishes

Do-It-Yourself Basic Furniture Refinishing Course

Class 4 of 4

Prepare surface to apply second coat of finish, prepare finish coating,

apply second coat of finish, summarize everything learned

∙Prepare surface to apply second coat of finish

                Remove all dust

                Ensure there are no greasy hand marks etc.

                                Light soapy water if needed

                                Allow to dry, Hair dryer

                Scuff sand with a worn fine or very-fine 3M sanding sponge or pad

                Remove dust

                                Dust brush


∙Prepare finish coating as in class 3

∙Apply second coat of finish as in class 3

∙Allow to dry

∙Discuss everything learned in class outline

∙it is recommended that the piece stay overnight to allow dry before transport. In some cases, pieces may be moved within an hour or so. We will schedule a convenient pick up time if necessary.


                Completion of project

∙End of class 4 of 4

Class Schedule