Faux Mahogany 101

I feel like I have been pretty absent here the past few weeks. I have been working on a job site in Boston transforming plain white doors and moldings into mahogany . I figured I'd share it with you and give you a how to. Its a great trick that is pretty easy to do, and will change the feel of any space. I have painted Formica counter tops to look like mahogany (very nautical ) as well as bead board, wainscoting, tabletops... if it can be painted it can be done.

What you will need:
-The surface must be painted in an orangey base coat after it has been properly primed. We had to match existing mahogany in the room so C2-Bonanza is what we used, but you can also use a orangey-terracotta like C2- Turkish Market. The base coat should have an eggshell finish- very important!

-You will need blue painter's tape, ZAR wood stain in Moorish Teak (you can play around will the tone by adding Jacobean and Red Mahogany), paint thinner for clean up. You will also need chip brushes to apply the stain, a mottler brush and a flogging brush (these can be found at most specialty paint and art stores) for the graining and some rags.

This is a very BASIC straight grain, best for beginners and use on moldings and doors.
Apply the stain to the area, make sure its a manageable size... if you are doing a door tape out each section or panel and do them individually. Let them dry a day before taping out to do abutting areas. Once stain is on use a rag and drag it down the surface using pressure from your fingertips to the initial direction of the grain. Next drag the mottler brush over the surface a few times to soften. Lastly, using the flogger gently beat the panel starting at the bottom and working upward. This creates the pores in the wood. If it looks to heavy soften with the mottler and repeat until you are happy with the look. Once you get the hang of this you can experiment with more movement in the grain. Good Luck!

Before and After (sorry for the lousy pics)

Finished Door


Anonymous said...

Simply a wonderful post. You have inspired me to try this in my apartment here in New York. The door is beautiful. One question...were any varnishes used or is the gloss the result of the ZAR stain only? The door has a perfect sheen to it.
Thanks so much.

Danika Herrick said...

Thanks! The finish is the sheen from the Zar. These were eventually sealed with a satin oil based polyurethane. If you do seal it (which I recommend because it protects your hard work from chips ) you just need to wait several days to make sure your graining is dry and cured. Do a test patch to make sure the varnish doesn't lift the stain. Good luck!


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