There are many facets of building a custom furniture piece that will stand the test of time for you and your home.

From joinery methods to the wood movement and even wood finishes can either make or break your piece. These are some simple things to consider and part of the build we will spend most of our time around. It is our goal to see how you intend to use your piece and where it will live in your home.

Below you will find a couple key areas of furniture making that we take into account. Why? Your piece is only as good as the factors taken into account to make it.

Many of these factors will add a small amount of cost to the end result but are worth not cutting corners on.

These are the top factors to consider with your custom furniture build:
• Finish
• Wood movement
• Wood selection

custom finishes


One of the most important factors of any custom furniture piece is the type of finish to apply. Finishes achieve a variety of things like protection and feel but there are few key things to not overlook when we consider building any custom furniture piece.

Here are a few things to consider-

  1. Sunlight. Will your piece primarily live in sunlight or near a south facing window? UV light has a major impact on how wood ages. Cherry will really darken with direct sunlight. Other woods like walnut can lighten and become more even toned with sunlight.
  2. Water. Will this custom furniture piece be in any sort of contact with water or moisture? Heavy or consistent contact with water or moisture will require a different set of finishes to prolong the life and protect your piece.
  3. Paint. Do you want your custom furniture piece to be painted? Yes, as sad as it is, we do paint pieces so that they may better fit into a surrounding design. Do you want a high sheen or a low gloss? High sheen paints are great for cleaning and heavy use, especially with kids. Low sheen paints are better suited around low traffic areas and high sunlight areas. There is nothing worse than seeing a terrible glare from the sun reflecting off your custom furniture piece!

Weight. Some furniture needs to move around! So taking into consideration the weight is an important factor to not overlook.

Types of Finish

There are 2 main types of wood finishes to take into the design consideration stage.

Penetrating finishes and layer OR building finishes.

Penetrating finishes are unique and useful in that they provide a deeper layer of protection because they will penetrate the pores of the wood. More than just the surface is protected. The downside to these types of finishes is that they are more maintenance intensive.

Penetrating finishes provide a warm glow and a type of finish that will invite you to touch the piece.

This type of finish is great for dining tables, cutting boards and butcher blocks, and coffee tables. Penetrating finishes vary in performance based on your needs. From water protection to sunlight blocking capabilities- get the right finish on so your custom furniture piece will last for years to come.

Layer or Building Finishes require multiple coats to build the protection your custom furniture piece will need. Layer-type finishes are great for achieving superior protection from the elements. Epoxy is a prime example of this. But they also give you more control over the level of sheen or glare. High gloss to low gloss, a layering style finish can really help bring your custom furniture piece to life.

All of these things help your custom furniture build be set for the long run. And to own a piece that your grandkids will be proud to own.

wood design boise

Wood Movement

Wood is very organic material and with this medium comes seasonal and environmental changes that we take into account. Winter months can be harsh on a piece as it will dry out the wood and cause it to shrink. Summer months usually mean higher humidity or higher moisture.

We utilize techniques that take into account where your piece will be living once you get it. But we also take into account the part of the country this furniture piece will be shipped to. There is nothing worse than seeing a custom piece built just for you but it starts warping and cracking because of the way the piece was built.

We will utilize a variety of data points- from local weather forecasts and historical weather data but also weather patterns from the farmers almanac in your local region. We also research if there are any micro climates and the effect that has on your home. We will also pull realtor data on your home to research details like whether your home has a crawlspace. If it’s built with bricks or wood siding. If there are is a tile roof or traditional shingles.

At Mahogany House Woodworks, we also utilize old world building practices that have proven to stand the test of time. The way we glue your boards together provides maximum benefit. The way that pieces are attached together allows for the wood itself to breathe and move without sacrificing quality or integrity. Wood is designed to move and many furniture pieces today compromise this simple rule.


Wood Selection

The material itself! Simple right? Well, mostly…

Selecting wood requires an intimate understanding of both design practices and particular wants and needs. Some woods aren’t best when used in smaller pieces. Some woods havent certain colors that will come out under the right conditions and really age well with time. While other woods are soft and light.

A dining table will require a hardwood to avoid knicks and dings. A custom dresser will require a mix of materials that are both stable with seasonal moisture changes but that don’t break the bank.

A furniture piece that is getting painted needs wood that accepts paint really well. And no sense in painting over a really exotic wood!

As you can tell, we have perfected the art of making you a custom furniture piece. Over the course of your build we can look forward to really working together in a way that maximizes the yield of your money in a smart way but also in an eco-conscious manner.