benjamin moore hale navy painted dresser makeover

The Best Advice for Painting with Dark Colors

Is Benjamin Moore Hale Navy the best navy blue for your paint project? Here are some helpful hints you don’t want to miss!

BM Hale Navy is becoming one of the most popular paint colors out there because it’s a workhorse in terms of versatility.  For true navy paint colors, it doesn’t get any better than this! With this painted antique dresser makeover, I will show you time-saving tips for painting with dark colors that will save you time and money!


  • Why Benjamin Moore Hale Navy is so versatile on walls, furniture and even as a kitchen cabinet paint color
  • Color Comparisons to BM Hale Navy with actual paint colors in real homes
  • Why it’s an interior design staple and the best navy paint for walls, cabinets and furniture 
  • Tricks for painting furniture in dark paint colors
  • Tips to refinish an antique chest of drawers
benjamin moore hale navy review

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What is the Best Navy Blue Paint Colour?

There are seemingly infinite options for navy blue paint colors but how do you know which shade of navy blue works best in your space?  It’s important to pick a dark navy that is neutral so it coordinates with the other colors in your home.  Benjamin Moore Hale Navy is wonderful because it is so versatile for blue walls, cabinets, and furniture. In my opinion, this makes it the best navy on the market today!

BM Hale Navy is part of the Benjamin Moore Historical Collection, a collection of paint colors inspired by America’s historic landmarks.  Hale Navy is one of the most popular navy colors because of its versatility and dependability.  It works well with any lighting situation including artificial light which is uncommon with dark colors, especially dark blues.  It is the Benjamin Moore color counterpart to Sherwin Williams Naval which was their 2020 Color of the Year.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy HC-154

hale navy benjamin moore paint color review

Is Hale Navy Blue Or Gray?

Deep colors are dramatic and rich creating depth in your room, filling it with creativity, energy, and confidence.  The challenge with darker colors can be finding ones that work well with neutral paint colors. Fortunately, Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy has gray undertones make it soothing and sophisticated while its blue undertones still dominate. 

This shade gives a striking but still understated pop of color to any aspect of your home.  It works very well to accent parts of a room, ceilings, furniture, cabinets, or just a kitchen island.  It’s also versatile in its uses for any room in your entire home because it is just as appropriate in a dramatic dining room, family room, or guest room.  It looks especially good in rooms where it can contrast with white like the laundry room in our home.

What Are The Undertones of Hale Navy?

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy is a transitional color, meaning it has the perfect balance of cool and warm undertones.  It is amazing it gives a fresh look to so many color combinations and can be a great accent color on furniture, cabinets, and walls but somehow it also looks great as an exterior paint color.

White Paint Colors That Coordinate with Hale Navy

This bold color has the perfect mix of warm tones and cool tones.  This gives you lots of freedom when picking whites for window frames and trim work as you are not locked into a creamy white or a crisp, cool white.  Also, it plays nicely with wood, lighter stained floors, a gray roof, or whitewashed bricks.  Like all navy paint colors, it has some green undertones but they don’t overpower the gray tones that make it a neutral.

For that reason, it looks great in a white kitchen whether it’s painted in Chantilly Lace (a warm white) or Decorator’s White (a crisp stark white). You can see how Hale Navy compares with SW Pure White, BM Decorator’s White, and SW Alabaster in the rooms below.

hale navy benjamin moore paint color review

The Light Reflectance Value of Hale Navy (Benjamin Moore HC-154)

The LRV is the depth of color of a particular shade.  Light reflectance values are really helpful to tell you which colors are deeper than others.  When you are trying to decide between a dozen navy paint samples, a solid quantitative value is helpful!  Of course, Hale Navy has a dark light reflective value of 6.3 (Black is 0 and white is 100). 

Is Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Too Dark?

Don’t let this low LRV be deceptive – BM Hale Navy does not look so dark that it seems black! If you are unsure, get a sample of hale navy, paint a small piece of postorboard. Then, hold it up to navy items in your home. It’s the perfect color depth to achieve the color navy without being black or too bright.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Color Palette

What colors compliment Benjamine Moore Hale Navy? In the same way dark jeans go with just about anything, so does Benjamin Moore Hale Navy when it comes to complementary colors!  I love that it is a sophisticated navy that has gray undertones making it inviting but not an in-your-face blue.  BM Hale Navy is a color that accentuates your decor but is not so loud that it doesn’t coordinate well with the other furnishings of your home.  In other words, it is a definite navy blue color but still plays nicely with different colors without being a blue gray.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Coordinating Colors

Hale Navy and Revere Pewter

One of the most popular colors today is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.  Hale Navy and Revere Pewter look stunning together.  So many love the versatility of Revere Pewter on walls so you can be sure that Hale Navy is the perfect navy accent!

One of my best tips for picking interior paint colors is the Posterboard Trick.  Paint the center of a piece of poster board in Benjamin Moore Hale Navy.  The white border will give you some delineation from the hale navy and the previous wall color so you can pick the best paint color without it being influenced by your old color.  Use painter’s tape to attach it to a wall that gets plenty of natural light and then live with it in the same space for a while, seeing how light interacts with the color during the day!  This trick will help you to assess your precise paint needs and whether this popular color is the best one for you.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Paint Tips (Painting Hacks for Dark Colors)

Navy is a classic color and elegant choice, but improper application can bring out any flaws and imperfections and make the finish look messy.

For painting walls, furniture, and cabinets in dark wall colors, be sure to use a dark primer.  If you are painting with a white primer you will need at least one or two extra coats of paint.  The best thing about using a dark gray primer is that it will save you from the extra cost and effort!

Hale Navy is a very dark color so although it interacts well with different lighting situations, consider using it on an accent wall instead of the entire room if you are concerned about using it in a dark room where you don’t have a lot of natural light coming in.  It would also be stunning as an accent wall behind the bed in a master bedroom.

Dark colors can be unforgiving because they are the hardest to get a smooth finish on.  Actually, any defects in the finish just show up more.  For that reason, use the roller I recommend below on cabinets and furniture in my painted antique dresser tutorial and video.  It’s the perfect choice to get a smooth finish every single time!

You can see more tips for painting furniture in dark colors in this post: How to Paint Furniture Black

benjamin moore hale navy
Best Tips for Painting with Dark Colors

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy in Rooms

Below are some real-life examples of Hale Navy in action!  As I said, I love the versatility of this color as so few colors can be used on walls, exteriors, cabinets, AND furniture and match any design style.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Accent Wall

You don’t have to be an interior designer to feature this gorgeous navy blue on a focal wall. Sarah at Life on Virginia Street has done an amazing job pairing this Benjamin Moore Hale Navy accent wall with Simply White in her summer home office off her living room.   

Few dark colors can still accomplish “light and airy” like this one can and I like how Hale Navy’s great depth of color grounds the space.   But because dark colors can make small spaces look cramped, Sarah’s use of BM Hale Navy on one wall still makes this area look open and roomy. It looks so good with the natural tones of her decor. You can see more of this cozy room and desk area in Sarah’s post here: The Best Navy Paint Colours.

benjamin moore hale navy
Hale Navy (Benjamin Moore) Office Space

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Bathroom

I couldn’t write a blog post about Hale Navy without including this adorable buffalo print bathroom by Jamie Costiglio!  Isn’t it gorgeous?!?  She does her own spin on Hale Navy walls with this buffalo print pattern.  I love that the pattern shows how well Benjamin Moore Hale Navy coordinates with Decorator’s White.  You can see exactly how Jaime did the pattern here: Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Bathroom with Buffalo Check

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Buffalo Check


Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Cabinets

Hale Navy cabinets have made several appearances in kitchens but I especially like the accent of this hale navy island done by Staged for Upsell.  The barstools show how well this color coordinates with natural wood tones.  Check out the Benjamin Moore Hale Navy painted hood top, also.  You can see more of this fabulous home’s Hale Navy cabinets here: 2019 QEII Lottery Dream Home’s Hale Navy Cabinetry

Not only are Hale Navy (Benjamin Moore) Cabinets a gorgeous way to add color to a kitchen, but they still have a neutral feel from the gray undertones in BM Hale Navy.  Benjamin Moore’s Old Navy or Gentleman’s Gray are beautiful color options but Hale Navy’s gray undertones make it a better neutral navy and look great with white marble.  Nothing beats Hale Navy kitchen cabinets and rest assured they won’t be too bright or overwhelming.  If you are concerned about it being overpowering, you can just do hale navy on your lower cabinets.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Kitchen Cabinets
Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Kitchen Cabinets

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Front Door

Gold hardware looks stunning against these front doors in BM Hale Navy. When painting your front door or exterior, be sure to get Benjamin Moore Hale Navy EXTERIOR paint because it is a more durable and mildew-resistant option. For more exterior ideas with this gorgeous color, click here: Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Exteriors

hale navy benjamin moore paint color review
Hale Navy (Benjamin Moore) Front Door

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Bedroom

This hale navy bedroom shows how well this color can be minimalistic without being too stark. I love how well BM Hale Navy plays with neutrals and white!

hale navy benjamin moore paint color review
Hale Navy (Benjamin Moore) Bedroom

Color Comparisons For Hale Navy (Benjamin Moore HC-154)

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy vs. Sherwin Williams Naval

Another popular navy is Sherwin Williams Naval. It is a better match if you want more of a royal blue than a true navy. It looks great on a point sample but sometimes on a large wall or furniture piece, it can get a little bright. Seeing Hale Navy next to SW Naval makes it seem almost a charcoal gray. But since navy blues can become overwhelming, the neutral undertones of Hale Navy make it a safer option.

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Vs. Sherwin Williams Naval

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy vs. Benjamin Moore Old Navy

These are two of my favorite Benjamin Moore Navy Blues. If you are concerned about Hale Navy’s gray undertones, you can go with Old Navy (Benjamin Moore 2063-10). Both are beautiful neutral navys that will bring sophistication to any space.

benjamin moroe hale navy vs benjamin moore old havy
Benjamin Moore Hale Navy vs. Benjamin Moore Old Navy

What is the Best Sheen for BM Hale Navy Paint?  

On cabinets, I would use a semi-gloss or satin because higher-gloss paints are more durable than flatter paints.  I wouldn’t go for a high-gloss unless that’s a specific look you are going for on a furniture piece.  For most furniture and walls, I like to use a satin or eggshell sheen which will give you a luxurious matte finish that is still wipeable. If you want a chalk-painted look on furniture, go with the flat finish but don’t use chalk paint: Why I Don’t Use Chalk Paint on Furniture

Navy Side Table Makeover On A Budget

My mother-in-law wanted me to redo these two end tables for her that once belonged to Jeremy’s grandma.  I love how Hale Navy’s cool undertones look against the wood grain.  I was so excited about the idea she had to leave the drawers stained and paint the rest navy.  Of course, I used Benjamin Moore Hale Navy on the dressers and this post showed you how I fixed the faded stain of the drawers:  How to Fix Damaged Wood Furniture

how to paint furniture navy blue

 Painted Antique Dresser Makeover in Benjamin Moore Hale Navy – Supplies Needed: 

Latex PaintAfter I blind-tested and reviewed 24 furniture paints, I recommend Benjamin Moore Advance. You can see the full results for each paint brand here:  The Absolute Best Paint for Furniture   (My Free Must-Have Painting Tips for a super smooth finish are available in my resource library – get the password using the form at the bottom of this post!)
Primer – For this project, use Zinsser Cover Stain.  Sometimes you can find it in gray which is great because it saves a lot of time when painting with dark colors!
Spray Primer (Shortcut for Spindle Legs) – This is completely optional but I like to use this gray spray paint primer on any pieces with milled legs because it saves me a lot of line and I don’t have any drips.
Brush Zibra brushes (see the current price here) are my favorite and I used a 1″ squaure Zibra brush for the details of this project.  You can also get this low-cost set of brushes that I’ve also had good luck with!
6 Inch Roller – Not all rollers are created equal and the ‘Best’ 3/8″ roller  is a must-have!  Here is where you can find a handy red roller cup:  Red Roller Cup  and here are the liners that I use:  Roller Cup Liners
Sander  – This is a great tool to have at your disposal and you can find a great electric sander here for less than $19!  Here are my favorite sanding pads: Assorted Sanding Pads
Spray Paint for Hardware – I used Rustoleum Universal’s Pure Gold (see the current price here) because of it gives the subtle look of brass hardware.
Clear Coat and Foam Brushes (Optional) – I recommend using a clear coat on black or dark furniture pieces so that it protects the paint finishes from smudges that naturally occur from the oil on your hands.  I love Varathane’s Water-Based Primer in Satin (see the current price here).  I like to use foam brushes with clear coats because they give you a smooth finish and are so cheap that I just throw them away after one use – Assorted Foam Paint Brushes (see the current price here).
Fabric for Drawer Liners (Optional) – If you want learn how to make paper-like fabric drawer liners from any kind of fabric, check out this post here:  How to Make Drawer Liners From Fabric
benjamin moore hale navy

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Painted Antique Dresser Makeover

Here I’ll show you the best application method for Hale Navy (Benjamine Moore hc-154) on furniture along with some tips for painting with dark colors.

This is not just any piece of furniture but it actually belonged to my grandmother, Cornelia Moseley.  She used this dresser every single morning as she put her makeup on.  Her mirror was on the top and she put all of her makeup in the top drawer.  My grandma was a seamstress which is why I painted a lace detail on the edge of each drawer with stencils to help remember her.  (You can see how I painted the stencils in next week’s post. Subscribe here to have it sent to your email inbox.)

Here is a full step-by-step video showing you to how to paint furniture in this gorgeous navy from start to finish.  You can also use the same process for painting cabinets in Benjamin Moore Hale Navy:


Step 1: Prep Your Antique Dresser by Sanding First

Stop! Before you do anything…take a before pic.  When you are done, post the before and after pics here, so I can see the amazing work you’ve done! ❤️

After you remove your hardware, be sure to put it in a baggie for safekeeping.  Those screws have a tendency to roll away at the worst possible time!

If your furniture has any damage, be sure to check out this post to fix any scratches, holes, or chipped drawers easily: The Ultimate Guide on How to Fix Damaged Wood Furniture

furniture hardware in baggie

Run an electric sander over your piece just enough to rough up the surface.  Remember, you are not sanding off the old stain or paint, you are just making the surface more porous so the new primer and paint stick.

As I mentioned in my post How to Sand Furniture, you shouldn’t spend more than about 5 minutes sanding a furniture piece.  I say that because I don’t want you to waste a lot of time and elbow grease because the primer will do most of the work for us.

WHAT SANDER SHOULD YOU BUY?  If you are unsure of the best sander for furniture projects, you can find an easy-to-use sander for less than $20, here: Best Sanders for Furniture, 2020

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Antique Dresser

Step 2: Wipe Down Your Furniture Piece Before Priming

After you have sanded your piece, wipe it down with a damp rag or baby wipes to remove any sanding dust.   This will ensure that the dust does not end up in the final finish of our beautifully painted antique dresser!  I forgot to mention this in the video above, but wipe from the top down to minimize dust in the finish.

Step 3:  The Easy Way to Prime a French Antique Chest of Drawers

As I write in my post A Better Alternative to Chalk Paint, I have had great success with using a primer and latex paint on furniture as opposed to chalk paint.  You can check out that post to see why it saves you time, money and you will get a smoother and more durable finish!

I’m a little lazy when it comes to furniture painting and if there is a shortcut that still gives me the same beautiful finish, I’m going to take that shortcut every single day of the week and twice on Sundays!

Antique dressers from the early 1900s often have legs with spindles. For any pieces that have spindle-y legs, I like to spray just the legs with a spray paint primer (see the current price here).   (You can see how I do this in the video above.)

“But Karin, why are you adding a whole other step to this furniture piece?” If you have ever painted curvy furniture legs, you know what a complete pain it can be!

For one thing, you can’t save time by using a roller, which means they take several coats with a brush.  Also, they are very prone to drips, and drips on those gorgeous milled legs will stand out like a sore thumb.

So, for milled legs, I spray paint those babies because it saves me a lot of time than brushing on primer and the legs turn out better in the long run!  You can read more tips for painting furniture legs here: The Easy Way to Paint Furniture Legs.

I like to use Rustoleum’s spray paints and any of their primers will work.  As you can see in the video, I just spray on a light coat, wait about 15 minutes and spray on another light coat.

Why Use a Gray Primer on Furniture with Dark Paint?

You’ll notice that the spray primer for the legs is gray and so is the Zinsser 123 primer for the rest of the piece. (Zinsser comes in a gray primer here or you can have it tinted at your local home improvement store or paint store).    The good news about a darker primer is that going from a gray primer to a deep blue paint color, in this case, is not a big jump in color.  But going from a white primer to a dark paint color would take more coats of paint which means more effort and time on your part.

Because of this, I keep Zinsser Bullseye’s 123 primer in white AND in gray on hand at all times as painting with a darker primer is a great way to save on paint coats!

I like to apply most of my primer and paint with a roller.  I highly recommend this roller(see the current price here) because it gives you an incredibly smooth finish every time!

Roll on a thick coat of primer and paint any detailed areas with your brush.  Your primer should only take a couple of hours to dry before it is time to paint. (If you are in a humid area, wait until the next day to paint).

easy diy hacks  printable

Step 4: Paint with the First Coat of Benjamin Moore Hale Navy

hale navy benjamin moore paint color review

Now that your primer is dry, it’s time for your first coat of this classic navy.  I like to use my roller on most of the surface and then my 1” Zibra brush (see the current price here) for any corners or details.  (For the rest of my time-saving furniture painting tips, fill out the form at the end of this post for your free checklist!)

Notice from the video that your first coat will be very transparent.  That’s ok – it will even out with the second coat!  Just get the paint on and smooth it out with the roller.

Benjamin Moore hale navy

Give the first coat at least 4 hours to dry. (See the back of the can for a rough estimate on dry times in high humidity.)

TIP: Hale Navy Sherwin Williams Equivalent – My favorite Sherwin Williams paint is Sherwin Williams ProClassic Waterbased Latex for furniture (read why here), I decided to use the hale navy equivalent.  You simply go to the Sherwin Williams counter and ask for the color of Benjamin Moore Hale Navy.  They already have the exact code in their computer system.  If you want a cheaper option for paint, you can get the Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Behr Equivalent at Home Depot!  I like Behr’s Marquee brand!  

Step 5: Spray Paint Your Dresser Hardware

While the first coat is drying, I like to take this time to spray paint my hardware outside in the garage.  It was a rainy day when I did this so I left the garage door open to get good ventilation.  As you can see in the video, I sprayed a light coat and then I came back about 15 minutes later for another light coat of Rustoleum Universal’s Pure Gold (see the current price here).  This is a great choice to get the look of satin gold hardware.   It is almost a champagne gold and goes really well with Benjamin Moore Hale Navy. 

My Best Tips for Spray Painting 

For my favorite tips and tricks on getting  a flawless finish every time with spray paint, click here for your free checklist:  Best Tips & Tricks for Spray Painting Anything

How to Spray Paint Hardware

Step 6: Coat 2 of Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Paint

How that the first coat is dry, paint on the second coat of Benjamin Moore Hale Navy.  You might need a third coat depending on how well it is covering.  Extra coats are just ‘par for the course’ when painting with deep paint colors but we saved at least two paint coats by using a dark primer!  Keep rolling the roller over the paint to get a nice smooth finish.  It will do most of the work for you.  Any remaining roller marks you see in the paint finish will settle out while the paint is drying.

(For more furniture-painting tips, fill out the form at the end of this post for your free time-saving checklist).

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy on Furniture

Step 7: Clear Coat and Add Hardware to Your Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Dresser

As an optional last step, you can apply a clear coat to help protect your furniture piece.  This is especially helpful with dark furniture pieces because it will protect the furniture from smudges from the paint reacting to the oils on your hands.  Also, black and deep navy furniture pieces show dust easily so a clear coat will protect it from whatever you use to dust your furniture.

I’ve got your back when it comes to the best clear coat for furniture.  After much deliberation and experimenting, Varathane’s Waterbased Clear Coat in Satin (see the current price here) came out on top!

If you decide to add a clear coat, use a foam brush (like these).  They are super cheap and can be thrown away when you are done.  Brush on the clear coat in long strokes as you can see in the video here.  Let the piece dry overnight before adding the hardware and using it.

benjamin Moore hale navy furniture
benjamin moore hale navy
benjamin moore hale navy

My grandmother was a seamstress and had lots of intricate lace that she loved to add to dresses.  I stenciled lace on the outside of the drawers to help me remember her!  Check out next week’s post to see the FULL tutorial on how to stencil on wood without bleed-through.

RENOVATE YOUR FAITH: How to Cultivate Space

This dresser is my first project of 2020 and what a beautiful piece to start the New Year with.  As I mentioned, this now navy chest of drawers was my grandmother’s – a woman who loved the Lord with all her heart and knew how to rest in Him.  God has taught me a lot lately about how I need to create rhythms in my life to breath and seek Him.
I’m often guilty of pushing myself too hard, taking on too much and generally being my own worst crtitic. But this year, I’m finally listening to that still small voice – the same whisper that breaths more truth into my soul in a second than I could on my own in a whole lifetime.
These days, that voice is telling me to breath and to create margins in my life to focus on Him.  One of my favorite hobbies is raising African violets.  Once I remember reading that the roots need air as much as they need water.
When the soil gets too compacted, there’s not enough room for oxygen to get to the roots. This is why farmers till the soil from year to year to break up fallow ground in exchange for soil that allows the roots air to breath and room to grow.
For the same reason, my focus for this year is on “cultivation”.  I am giving myself space to breath, grow and become more fully myself in Christ.  I’ve learned the hard way, that when I don’t give myself space to rest, my life gets overcrowded with anxious thoughts, worries and distractions that are dangerous to my own well-being and is detrimental to how God wants to bless others through me.
Instead, I am making room to cultivate space in my life for my soul to breath.  I’m allowing myself more time to focus on the essentials, taking more time to rest and creating things I love.  Every morning I have a time of stretching where I listen to Christian music, deep breath and pray about the day ahead.  Then every afternoon, I tear myself away from blogging for my daily Bible study and then have a long walk with my dog Jake afterwards.
In a world of hustle, I’m learning to walk slower, smile more at my daughter and breath deeper in the face of stress.
This new room to breath has given me mental space to hear His whispers.  I love that He chooses to speak to us in a whisper because He is far too close to us to yell.
In the times when we feel all alone, He is sitting right by us, holding our heart and beckoning us to give our burdens to Him.
When you feel that life is going too fast, and your mind feels overcrowded, don’t forget to breath and to know that the very Person who filled your lungs with air is closer to you than a whisper.
What are ways you are learning to cultivate space in your day to reset and breath? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!  To read more about resting in Him, click here.

For more spiritual encouragement, click here for the rest of my Renovate Your Faith Posts.

benjamin moore hale navy

 ☑️ My All-Time Best Furniture Painting Tips & Tricks (FREE PRINTABLE)

Don’t forget to download your FREE step-by-step printable checklist that shows you the exact process I’ve used on dozens of furniture pieces while saving you time and money!

benjamin moore hale navy

To learn how to add fabric drawer liners that are paper-like, scented and stain-resistant, click here: The Easy Way to Make Drawer Liners from Fabric

benjamin moore hale navy

Also, I figured out how to paint with detailed stencils without paint bleed.  To see more of the drawers and how to stencil perfectly every time, click here: The Best Way to Stencil (Without Bleeding!)

More Posts Related to this Navy Antique Dresser Makeover

Must-Have Painting Tips for Furniture

How to Paint Furniture White (The Right Way)

A Beginner’s Guide to Furniture Painting (Best Tips & Color Ideas!)

Tips for Painting Curved Furniture Legs

Why I Don’t Use Chalk Paint on Furniture and Home Decor

The Ultimate Guide to Spray Paint Mason Jars Any Color

The Best Greige Paint Color – Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray

What is the Best Furniture Paint? Milk Paint vs. Chalk Paint vs. Latex

The Best Tips for Selling Your House Fast

Painted Antique Dresser in Benjamin Moore Hale Navy

Hale Navy is so versatile for walls, kitchen cabinets and furniture and at the end of the day it is a safe bet if you are looking for a versatile that coordinates well with different colors.  Painting with dark colors can be tricky!  Now you know some furniture painting hacks to make painting dark furniture much easier.  Whether for a bedroom accent wall or a painted antique dresser from the 1900’s, you can’t go wrong with Benjamin Moore Hale Navy!

benjamin moore hale navy furniture

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  1. This dresser is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I now want to run out and get Hale Navy; I love the color. God Bless You!

  2. Hi Karin, Beautiful piece! Thanks for all of the great tips! I do have a question. Have you ever had to paint over polyocrylic clear coat because it came out streaky? I am in process of finishing a table for my pastor and got all don’t and put on the clear coat and it came out terrible. So I have been sanding off the poly to re- paint and seal, again. I’m going to forsure use the clear coat you recommend instead and not use a brush. But I am curious if you have ever had to paint over poly and if you have any tips on it. Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you so much Jessica! Great question – since polycrylic is water-based, all you need to do is sand just enough to rough up the surface. Then, wipe and apply your primer or paint. So sorry you are having to refinish it! I have heard of polycrylic causing that problem. Thanks again!

  3. Very lovely!!!
    We painted our front door in Hale Navy for its brightness, but chose Old Navy for the dining room with the wainscoting in white. Just beautiful blues!
    Benjamin Moore is my favorite paint on the market! Then comes PPG. You can pick colors from the chips and they are true.

  4. This dresser is absolutely GORGEOUS Karin! Well done! I appreciate your tips and tricks, and especially your journey with Jesus. Reminds me of, Behold! I make all things new!

  5. Hi Karin! This piece turned out stunning. I love the color and what you did to the sides of the drawers. I have started paining furniture and if this was not Laytex paint i would run out and get some. I have blue colors like this in chalk and clay based paint. It is more expensive but you cant distress laytex and i heard that the chemicals are not very healthy. However, your piece is beautiful. thank you for sharing. Keep it up and you may change my mind about Laytex. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment Cheryl! So glad you noticed the stencil. Glad to hear you like painting with blues as well! Thank you again for your kind words!

  6. Do you happen to have the comparable color names? I am hoping to spruce up a piece but am only able to find Behr paint nearby.

  7. Hi Karin,
    I love your blog, both for the detailed step by step instructions, and for the encouragement! Your sweet spirit comes through.
    I have a question regarding the SW paint.. do you have a preference for the ProClassic or the Emerald Urethane Trim enamel for furniture? I read that the ProClassic paint formulation was recently changed and is not as good anymore.
    Thanks so much!

    1. The Emerald Urethane trim enamel is great. I have heard mixed things, mostly about the waterborne Proclassic. It seems like the acrylic akalyd (the hybrid) I mention in the post is still a good formulation. Thanks Linda!

  8. Thank you so much for your write up about Hale Navy. I refinish/paint furniture for resale, and have had a reproduction Georgian highboy that’s been waiting for a year for me to decide on a color. I’ve decided to go with a deep blue, and came home with paint chips from Benjamin Moore today. Hale Navy was one of them. I really like it, and thought it might be more sophisticated than some of the other deep and dark blues.

    1. Sophisticated is absolutely the right word to describe it. It has a gray undertone so it’s not loud at all but it’s definitely a navy. Thanks for your comment Rebecca! I’d love to see a picture of your tallboy when you are done!

  9. HI love your site and all the advice. I paint a lot with SW Naval, have been for years, even before it became “color of the year” 😉 My question for you about this color is have you painted with a half tint volume to get a lighter shade or have you come across a lighter equivelant shade ? I love the depth of dark colors but have an area I am trying to keep visually open and airy but without going to creams and light greys. Just curious. Cheers.

    1. Angela, I sure haven’t painted with this shade at half tint but I can only imagine it would be beautiful as this color has a nice balance of blue and gray without being too gray. Thanks for the tip about Naval!

  10. This is the perfect color Navy, and I LOVED your dresser. That is exactly what I was wanting to try for a dresser we have. Thank you for the inspiration and the tips. God Bless!

  11. I am repainting my kitchen cabinets and will be using Sherwin Williams paint but love the hale navy color. What sherwin Williams color did you use ? Thanks!!

  12. Hi, thank you so much for putting this post together. I love the Hale Navy color so much and especially love the way Staged to Upsell used it in that kitchen and throughout the rest of the QEII Lottery Home. I was trying to figure out the rest of the colors they used in that scheme, especially the main color throughout the house. Do you have any idea what it was? I can’t find it after searching their blog.

  13. Hi Karin! My mom and I undertook painting a set of bunk beds for my 4 year old, using this blog post as our guide. We used Behr Marquee equivalent, but chose an egg shell finish because I wasn’t sure what to use and knew that the poly was a satin finish. The paint turned out BEAUTIFULLY!! We started to apply the Varathane poly, however, and it turned out horribly streaky with brush strokes (we used the exact foam brushes recommended here). We didn’t finish applying the poly to all pieces because of how it looks. I’m not sure if we should sand and re-paint then not poly? I want it to be as durable as possible considering this is furniture for a VERY active 4 year old 🙂 Do you have any tips? Thanks so much for your time!

    1. I’m so sorry. Was it the water-based poly? Send me a picture if you can. I would just leave it without a topcoat. It should hold up fine and worst-case scenario, you can touch up later with your paint. So sorry about the topcoat! I haven’t used it with Behr Marquee but it shouldn’t have made a difference.

  14. Simply Beautiful dresser. Can you tell me what color the wall is behind your dresser? It seems to compliment the dresser extremely well.

    1. It’s so funny you’re asking this because right now I’m preparing a post about that very same color – Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams. I have it in my entry, living room and kitchen. I absolutely love it as it’s very versatile and plays nicely with others. Let me know if you have any other questions Lisa! Thanks! – Karin

  15. Hi! If I painted navy in a small bathroom would you think it needed a lighter gray or white vanity? I wanted to use a charcoal gray, but is this too dark with the paint?

    1. Hey Suza,
      I think that light gray would work but I’m partial to white because I love how white and Hale Navy look together. I hope this helps! Have a great day. – Karin

  16. Hi Karen,

    After reading this article, I’ve decided to paint my master bath cabinets in Hale Navy. Thank you for giving me the confidence (and so many beautiful examples!). My questions – if I don’t want a shiny cabinet finish, but still need protection. what sheen would you suggest so that I don’t lose the beauty of the color? You mentioned satin for furniture. Is that what you’d suggest for cabinets too? Thank you!!!

  17. Hi Karin,
    I really love this dresser and I took inspiration from you when I decided to repaint my built in wardrobe. I’ve just hung the doors, but unfortunately they chip really easily e.g. from a fingernail or just rubbing against something hard. I used Benjamin Moore Advance Satin. I painted on top of previous paint job, (a fairly glossy white), which I sanded down. I did 3 coats of BM but I didn’t do a primer coat as I thought the fact it had already a sanded coat would be OK. Do you know what the reason could be for the chipping? And do I need to start over? 🙁 Will a top coat help me?
    Many thanks!

    1. That’s so frustrating Hannah. How long has it had to dry? Sometimes furniture can be dry but it hasn’t cured completely. The only other thing I can think of is that even with sanding the paint on the dresser and BM Advance didn’t bind well for some reason. It doesn’t happen often but the primer can give you some extra insurance so it doesn’t.
      I haven’t used that paint before so I don’t have any experience with it. For now, let it dry a few more days and see if the paint hardens more. If the paint is just not very hard/durable, try a clear coat on top. I would use an oil-based polyurethane if that paint is oil-based. If the paint is literally peeling off, I hate to tell you this but you’re going to have to sand and start over with a primer. I know, not what you want to hear. Hopefully a clear coat will fix the problem. Keep me posted Hannah!

      1. Thank you for the reply Karin! Its been drying for about 2 weeks now so I would assume it will just keep chipping, but it’ll leave it a little longer and see. Oh well, all part of the learning curve I guess! I’ll give your tips a go. P.s. the paint is water based.

  18. Hannah Rhys, I painted all the custom cabinetry in my new master bedroom closet with BM Advance. This was all new wood so I used a BM primer and then two coats of the Advance. It’s been four years now and it has held up beautifully! However. . . this paint takes up to 30 days to become fully cured and reach its maximum hardness. Depending on how heavy your coats were, (I know mine were pretty “wet”) you might want to give it even longer since you have three coats. Once it’s fully cured it’s almost impossible to chip the finish. Best of luck!

    1. Thank you so much Melodie. I am painting my cabinets later this year for the blog and have been reading paint reviews. I’ve definitely been leaning toward the BM Advance. If you can think of any more tips, be sure to send them my way! Thank you Melodie!

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