Darkening a mahogany table top

nanny2aAugust 28, 2009

I'm refinishing the top of an old mahogany dining table and trying to keep the finished color similar to other furniture pieces in my dining room. So far I've sanded off all the old, darkened finish, removing all the scratches, dings and stain in the process. Then I sanded with an extra fine grit and applied two coats of Minwax mahogany gel stain, wiping well and waiting 24 hours between each coat. The stained top looks lovely, but needs to be slightly deeper to match with the table legs and other furniture pieces. Could I try a glaze at this point, or should I try another coat of the gel? I thought a glaze might add just the right amount of "age" and color to the finish to help it match the other pieces.

And if a glaze is suggested, any particular ones that you'd recommend?

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Seal coat of shellac, then a very dark stain like "java" will tone the finish darker; not redder, but darker. If the java is not to your liking, you can immediately remove it with paint thinner without interfering with your earlier work, because of the shellac sealer coat.
I use this technique to get depth, and leave some heavier java stain in the moldings and crevices for more simulated age.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 8:28PM
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Thanks for the tips, Sombreuil, this sounds like a good solution.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 10:47AM
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Sorry to be late on this, but yes. I use a glaze regularly to get a good color match. I say the stain gets you to the right church and the glaze puts you in the right pew. Glazes can tweak the color in the right direction by adding (reinforcing) color or neutralizing unwanted tones.

If you use a gel stain as a glaze and it's drying too fast for you to manipulate, add about a tablespoon of mineral spirits to slow it down. (Assuming you are using an oil-based stain).

The thing to avoid with glazes is leaving it on too thick. It does not have a lot of binder in it and can cause adhesion problems if you have a big glob of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: glazing techniques

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 3:43PM
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