Finish for African Mahogany

jcall

New User
Joe
I just finished making a small bench(for sitting to put shoes on, etc) out of African Mahogany. I have tried Minwax special walnut on a sample piece that looks pretty good. Any other suggestions for a finish?
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
It's hard to give suggestions without seeing what the Minwax looks like on African Mahogany. I've used pure Tung oil on South American mahogany. I've also used Waterlox as a finish.
 

McRabbet

Rob
Corporate Member

jlwest

Jeff
Corporate Member
I personally would not stain it. My dinning room table is mahogany finished with three coats of urethane and a couple coats of wipe on. Six years old and looks great.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Not a stain, but potassium dichromate mixed with water to look like weak orange Kool-aid will age the surface to a darker brown without ruining the natural figure of the wood. This works on cherry also. It is a process that has been used for many, many decades for both cherry and mahogany.
 

McRabbet

Rob
Corporate Member
No stain at all! I sealed the wood with a coat of 50:50 Rockhard Varnish : Bektol (now Mohawk products, Bektol is their reducer/thinner). Follow the sealer coat with light sanding to remove any imperfections and follow with three light coats of pure finish.
 

marinosr

Richard
Senior User
Not a stain, but potassium dichromate mixed with water to look like weak orange Kool-aid will age the surface to a darker brown without ruining the natural figure of the wood. This works on cherry also. It is a process that has been used for many, many decades for both cherry and mahogany.
... but I also think it should be noted that potassium dichromate is a very dangerous and environmentally-destructive chemical. Highly toxic to humans, carcinogenic, exposure can cause severe lifelong rashes, and very minute quantities are highly toxic to fish. Please be very careful if you choose to do this and be SURE to dispose of any excess at a hazmat handling site. I certainly would not recommend messing with the stuff though.
 
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Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
... but I also think it should be noted that potassium dichromate is a very dangerous and environmentally-destructive chemical. Highly toxic to humans, carcinogenic, exposure can cause severe lifelong rashes, and very minute quantities are highly toxic to fish. Please be very careful if you choose to do this and be SURE to dispose of any excess at a hazmat handling site. I certainly would not recommend messing with the stuff though.
Thank you Richard. I'm an organic chemist and am familiar with potassium dichromate and its hazards. It's nasty stuff.


 

jcall

New User
Joe
Thanks for all your posts. The minwax dark walnut actually looked pretty good but so did plain shellac and or wipe on poly. Sorry, no picture. Haven't quite figured out how to do that.
 

ncfromnc

neil
User
Looks like a lot of people have their own favorite finishes. I need a finish that dries slowly. I use shop made 3-2-1. 3 parts mineral spirits, 2 parts Polyurethane (gloss, semi gloss or matte) and 1 part boiled lindseed oil. Dries slow. hand applied. needs 3-5 coats depending on wood (maple doesn't need as much as mahogany for example). I understand this to be one of Maloof's favorite recipes. Using a finish with some BLO in it will really make the African Mahog's figure POP!
 

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