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Advice for African Mahagony finish-- tung oil?

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Forum topic by ppg677 posted 11-14-2017 07:14 PM 1994 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ppg677

192 posts in 972 days


11-14-2017 07:14 PM

Hi, I’ve used natural Danish Oil for pretty much every wood project I’ve ever done. I made an end table out of African Mahagony that is pretty light colored as shown. While I don’t want to go full dark, I think I would like to darken it up a bit to get closer to the color of the baseboard trim in the picture (which is also a mahagony of some kind).

Any advice? Perhaps try Tung Oil? I’ve read elsewhere that I should also use a pore filler which I’ve never done before.


13 replies so far

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4354 posts in 2425 days


#1 posted 11-14-2017 08:35 PM

You’d have to do a test piece but Waterlox would give good protection and would darken it up. Waterlox tend to be a bit glossy even in there satin products.

Pore filler is a personal choice if you ask me.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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ppg677

192 posts in 972 days


#2 posted 11-15-2017 04:57 AM



You d have to do a test piece but Waterlox would give good protection and would darken it up. Waterlox tend to be a bit glossy even in there satin products.

Pore filler is a personal choice if you ask me.

- AlaskaGuy

Thanks for the tip! Waterlox looks to be based on Tung Oil. The stuff sure is expensive!

View Rich's profile

Rich

3525 posts in 706 days


#3 posted 11-15-2017 05:59 AM

Waterlox is a great tip. If you want something that darkens less, give Arm-R-Seal a try. It’s a tad cheaper too.

I bought a few hundred board feet of African mahogany for a steal years ago and have turned lots of it into projects. It’s a love-hate relationship because the wood is so beautiful, but the porous nature of it makes getting a good finish difficult.

I’ve had success with simply doing enough layers of topcoat to ultimately fill the pores. That will work with either Waterlox or Arm-R-Seal. Allow to cure at least 24 hours and lightly sand with 320 before the next coat. You can stop whenever the surface is what you’re looking for.

The best thing to do is take some test boards from the same wood and try different combinations to see what you like best. It’s a beautiful table and you sure don’t want to risk messing it up.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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OSU55

1831 posts in 2106 days


#4 posted 11-15-2017 12:56 PM

This info might help using the correctly colored/dye containing finish and Sanding between the 1st few coats , leaving the sanding residue and wiping on and off each coat (the danish oil method) will help fill the finish

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117203 posts in 3693 days


#5 posted 11-15-2017 02:00 PM

Think about grain filling first.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2386 posts in 1504 days


#6 posted 11-15-2017 02:18 PM

I haven’t tried them yet but Tried and True just came out with some Stain & Finish products that might be worth a look. They have one called mahogany. It looks like the stain is fairly subtle so hopefully will just enhance the grain, not cover it. Their Danish and Varnish oil finishes are excellent and my go-to “natural” finish.

Of course Watco sells a danish oil with stain that I have used in the past to darken and enhance the grain of various woods that would probably work for you too. They too have a mahogany color. Probably cheaper than the T&T and may be available locally (HD & Lowes carry it in my area).

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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ppg677

192 posts in 972 days


#7 posted 11-21-2017 06:01 PM

Just following up— I took the advice and tried Waterlox. I’m applying coats using a foam brush. After first coat I lightly sanded with 220 and have the second coat on. Then I will hit it with 500 grit sandpaper and do another coat.

I did experiment with black Timbermate grain filler and decided not to do that.

Regarding Waterlox— the stuff is nasty in terms of the fumes. I won’t use it again during the winter (where I can’t do it outside). I have it drying in a sealed off 4-seasons sunroom (that is heated to about 62 degrees).

Both times I’ve applied it, I think it has affected me after only 20 minutes exposure.

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Gilley23

489 posts in 498 days


#8 posted 11-21-2017 06:15 PM

Lol I’ve been applying Waterlox in my dining room, I didn’t think it was that bad. Plenty of ventilation helps, though. I can’t smell it upstairs.

This is my first time using the product. It is very easy to work with and it does dry extremely hard with only a little darkening of the wood.

View Rich's profile

Rich

3525 posts in 706 days


#9 posted 11-21-2017 06:50 PM

Use a respirator.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4354 posts in 2425 days


#10 posted 11-21-2017 06:50 PM

Don’t tell me your not wearing your

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View ppg677's profile

ppg677

192 posts in 972 days


#11 posted 11-21-2017 07:27 PM

I have a 3M respirator, but assumed it did nothing for VOCs so I was not wearing it.

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ppg677

192 posts in 972 days


#12 posted 11-21-2017 07:29 PM

Also all my prior projects I’ve used Danish Oil and never saw the need to wear a respirator for Danish Oil. I kind of like the smell of Watco Danish Oil.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4354 posts in 2425 days


#13 posted 11-21-2017 07:45 PM


I have a 3M respirator, but assumed it did nothing for VOCs so I was not wearing it.

- ppg677


The one on the photo is a particulate filter (wrong one) for VOC’s. You have to pick the right filter for the job. Yes nothing is ever easy. Go to a good paint store and ask them what you need.

Here’s a #M guide to help you.

https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/565214O/3m-cartridge-filter-guide-and-brochure.pdf

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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