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Trying to make mahogany look like walnut

Jarod bradley Member

A client of mine asked me to refinish about 58 mahogany doors. He is now in love with the look of black walnut. Has anyone ever come across this? He doesn't like the red color, I'm familiar with dyes but I'm having no luck here any advice would be much appreciated thanku

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9/29/16       #2: Trying to make mahogany look like w ...
John Member

You can turn the red to brown by using a green dye if you are down to bare wood, or with a green toner if not. You can further adjust the color, if needed, with a glaze and/or toner.


9/29/16       #3: Trying to make mahogany look like w ...
Paul Snyder  Member


If the doors have exposure to sunlight, use a green pigmented stain rather than a dye - the color will not fade as fast.

9/30/16       #4: Trying to make mahogany look like w ...
Eric Member

I will agree with the pigment heavy oxide stain vs the dye..

Dyes do not hold up well under direct sunlight..they will fade within a month..

no good advice to give..doors and stains, haven't had luck with em..always yellow or much trouble..

10/1/16       #5: Trying to make mahogany look like w ...
DanShaf Member

Before anything, clean your surfaces with a waxwash or a thinned water/TSP solution.

To go from mahogany to walnut can't happen without some faux bois, and that's time consuming. But you can capture the color tones. I suggest doing a sample on mahogany, not explaining anything about grains and such, and only focusing on the issue of "the look". If you get too technical then a customer's eyes glaze over, they don't wanna hear the why or why not of what we do, they only want pleasing and durable results.

You can use a dry powder glaze like ML Campbell's Amazing Glaze. Scuff your surfaces first --follow the grain patterns-- before applying the Amazing Glaze. Use a raw umber glaze. Scratch it off with a red scotchbrite, following the grain and with an eye toward art (because you are sort of inventing new grain lines as well as kicking the base color. Then topcoat.

Scuff everywhere with 320 grit and clean off the dust.

Shoot a thin coat of vinyl sealer, dry and scuff with 320, or 400, or a scotchbrite. Follow the grain pattern when scuffing.

Glaze with a raw umber glaze. Brush and wipe following the grain patterns.

Lock in with a thin coat of vinyl sealer. Topcoat according to the tech sheet for your chosen topcoat, using an isolante if needed.

The common demonitaor in this is the raw umber glaze, either as a powder glaze or as an oil glaze.

10/7/16       #6: Trying to make mahogany look like w ...
DanShaf Member

I would like to modify my posting on how to try to kick mahogany into walnut. First tone the wood so that your ground color is brownish-raw sienna. Raw sienna is a yellowish color. Then, spray on ML Campbell Amazing Glaze matched to an extra dark walnut with black added to it so that it's blackish bown or brownish black. Scotchnbrite off the Amazing glaze so that it remains in the grain pore of the mahogany.

Mahogany is too red to "look like" walnut. That's why it needs to be toned first.

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