Refinishing Mahogany Table: The Proper Solutions




Mahogany is solid wood and because of its durability, every piece of furniture made of mahogany is very precious. Mahogany is a raw wood. And people often are worried if mahogany wood furniture is damaged. Do you have any mahogany wood furniture? Have a table? Need to repair mahogany table top? No need to be worried. Because there are techniques for refinishing mahogany table. Want to know about them? Read ahead and explore the process.

Refinishing Mahogany Table

Mahogany Table Refinish

In short, refinishing a mahogany table involves sanding the surface to remove old finish, applying a new stain or finish, and sealing for protection. Start by cleaning the table, sanding gently, applying the chosen finish, and allowing it to dry. Finish by sealing the table for a restored and polished appearance.

Excited about restoring mahogany table? Don’t rush to refinish it reading one side of the coin, because you have another side of it and for a better outcome, you need to know about the entire process completely. Want to know? Read ahead and explore both sides of the coin.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sand the mahogany table surface to remove the old finish.
  • Apply a new stain or finish, enhancing the wood’s natural beauty.
  • Seal the table for protection, ensuring a restored and polished appearance.

Is It Possible To Process Refinishing Mahogany Table At Home?

Can you refinish mahogany table top or table? The answer is yes. You can definitely complete the process of refinishing mahogany table at home by yourself.

Is It Possible To Process Refinishing Mahogany Table At Home

You just need to complete the process through DIY projects by applying the right method and following the proper guidelines so that you can explore reading ahead. Thus you can complete a refinishing mahogany dining table or dining room table with the best outcome. 

You can also repair the dining chairs as well. Moreover, a mahogany furniture piece is very precious so it is better to restore or refinish it before it is too late.

Different Types Of Finishes Can Be Used On Mahogany Tables

Before you choose any finish to refinish your mahogany tables randomly, let me tell you there are many finishes that can be used on mahogany wood furniture and each of them has its own advantages. Might be excited to know about them? Here you go and explore the topic:

Different Types Of Finishes Can Be Used On Mahogany Tables

Oil-Based Finishes

Oil-based finishes are definitely the best choice for any mahogany wood furniture. Because these finishes can enhance the natural beauty of the wood by giving it a natural colour with a glossy and shiny look.

Water-Based Finishes

Water-based finishes are a very popular choice for a mahogany dining table or furniture. They are easy to apply and dry very quickly. Also, they have low VOCs because of being an environmentally friendly option.

Lacquer Finish

Lacquer finishes are another good option for any mahogany furniture piece because of the ease of application, durability, protective nature, and long-lasting advantages.

Varnish Finishes

Varnish finishes provide a hard protective coating and protect the furniture piece from any kind of damage. They are easy to maintain and perfect to be used for DIY projects.

Knowing about the finishes is actually helpful as it can help you to know about them and help you to decide which one would be the best choice for your furniture.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Each Type Of Finish

In my opinion, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of the finishes before you choose any of them. Isn’t it the right thing to do? Indeed, it is. What are you waiting for? Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of the finishes together:

These finishes increase the natural beauty of the wood, give a shiny and glossy look, and are easy to apply.Oil-Based FinishesThey take a long time to dry and need to apply multiple coats for protection.
These finishes dry quickly, are easy to apply, have low VOCs and you can clean the furniture piece with water easily.Water Based FinishesThey may not bring the natural beauty of wood and may raise the wood grains if you don’t apply them properly.
These finishes are really durable and long-lasting, they provide a hard protective layer.Lacquer FinishesThese are really difficult to repair if they get damaged anyhow. 
These are really easy to apply and easy to repair if they get damaged and provide a hard protective layer.Varnish FinishesThey take a long time to get dry, and you may need to apply multiple coats to get the expected result.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Each Type Of Finish

Think about the advantages and disadvantages before you learn how to restore mahogany veneer or mahogany wood furniture and pick any of the finishes for your mahogany wood table. 

How To Choose The Right Type Of Finish For Your Mahogany Table?

I know you must be wondering, how would you choose the right finish for your mahogany dining room table or table. The answer is there are some methods that might help you choose the right finish for your wood furniture. Such as:

Desire Look

It is definitely important to prioritise your needs and preferences. For natural beauty, you may choose oil-based finishes. For colours, you can choose water-based finishes. You can do the same to refinish a dining room table.


Thinking about protection is equally necessary. So if you are thinking about durability you can choose lacquer or varnish.

Application And Maintenance

If you are looking for a finish that is easier to apply you can go for oil-based, or water-based finishes. They also provide long-lasting protection with minimal maintenance facilities.

Odour Or Drying Time

For a low VOC finish you can choose water-based finishes. And if you want a finish that can dry quickly, you can choose water-based finishes.

You can choose the right finish for your table according to these tips as they might be helpful for you in this process. Keep these tips in mind when choosing the finish for your table.

How To Refinish A Mahogany Table? The Step-By-Step Guidelines

You might be eagerly waiting to know how to refinish a mahogany table. I know, you are! Didn’t find any helpful method to perform this process? No worries, I am here to guide you to complete the process with Step-by-step guidelines. Here you go:

How To Refinish A Mahogany Table

Prepare The Work Area

Start with preparing the work area. Make sure you are working in a well-ventilated area. Place some paper towels on the floor to avoid getting messes on the floor. Clean the table with a soft cloth to remove dust and debris.

Gather The Tools And Materials

Now, after preparing the work area, it is time to gather the necessary tools and materials. Refinishing mahogany table before and after need the right tools and materials for better results. Such as:

  • Chemical strippers or heat guns to remove the existing finish.
  • Sandpapers (Fine-grit sandpaper, 120-grit sandpaper, coarse sandpaper, orbital sandpaper) to sand the surface
  • Sanding blocks to sand the wood smoothly. You may need to refinish a restoration hardware table.
  • Wood filler to repair the damaged area.
  • Putty knife to apply wood filler.
  • Tack cloth to clean the table.
  • Stain or paint of your choice to stain the table.
  • Finish to refinish the table.

Remove The Existing Finish

Now start the process by stripping the mahogany table. How to strip mahogany table? Remove the old existing finish with the help of a chemical stripper or heat gun. Use any of them according to the disclosure policy to avoid danger. To refinish the oak table without stripping you may need to use sandpaper.

Sand The Surface

Can you sand a mahogany table? You can definitely sand the mahogany table. In fact, it is one of the most important steps of the entire process. Sand the surface of the table using fine-grit sandpaper. Sand the surface lightly. Use sanding blocks to sand the surface smoothly. Make sure you are not being aggressive while sanding. It is important to get a smooth surface and use sandpaper to refinish a redwood picnic table as well.

Repair Any Damage

Repair the table if there are any signs of damage. Inspect the table to find out if there are any gaps, dents, or scratches on the table surface. Apply wood filler like wood putty using a putty knife. Remove the excess using the same putty knife. Let the wood filler dry properly and sand the repaired area light to level it before you move forward

Clean The Surface

Now clean the surface with a tack cloth. Remove all the dust, dirt, or debris from the wood to get a smooth look after applying the finish.

Apply Stain Or Paint

Can you paint a mahogany table? Or can you stain the mahogany table? Yes, you definitely can. If you want to change the colour of the table, let me tell you, there are a variety of stains and paints. Such as a dark stain, grey stain, white paint, etc. Choose the stain colour or paint. Apply coats of paint or stain using a paint brush or roller. Let it dry before you apply another coat of stain or paint. Do the same to refinish a table that is not real wood.

Apply Finish

Now finally it is time to apply the finish and choose the finish of your choice. Apply the finish using a roller, or paint brush. Let it dry properly. Apply another coat of the finish if needed. Some finishes may need to be applied several times. But after you apply a coat finish, let it dry properly before applying another one to avoid a sticky surface.

If you somehow want to polish the table and are thinking about how to clean and polish mahogany table, then let me tell you the solution, you just need to clean the table using a soft cloth and soapy water, let the table dry properly and then apply a high-quality furniture polish of your choice.

Following the guidelines you can complete the refinishing process by yourself at home. Otherwise, you can hire professionals to get it done by them.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Refinishing A Mahogany Table

During this refinishing process, people often make some common mistakes that may ruin the entire process. It is better to avoid these mistakes to get a better outcome. Such as:

  • Not removing the old finish can bring you an uneven surface.
  • Sanding the surface roughly or aggressively. It can ruin the entire surface of the table.
  • Over-sanding the table can cause damage to the table and an uneven surface.
  • Not letting the satins, paints, or finishes dry properly can bring you a sticky result.
  • Not applying enough coats of finish can bring you a dull look. It happens during the process of refinishing a veneer table.

Try to avoid these common mistakes to complete the task without any issues like ‘she ate and left no crumbs’. Complete the task and don’t leave any issues with it.

Tips For Making Your Mahogany Table Finishing Last Longer

The process was undoubtedly time-consuming and you had to put in a lot of effort, right? Don’t want to perform this process frequently? No need to be worried. I have some tips for making your mahogany table finish last longer. Such as:

Tips For Making Your Mahogany Table Finishing Last Longer
  • Clean the surface of the mahogany table regularly with a soft or microfiber cloth.
  • Do not use any abrasive cleaner to clean the table.
  • Clean the table immediately after any liquids fall on it.
  • Always use coasters and placemats before using the table.
  • Maintain the humidity as it can damage the table.
  • Do not place the table in direct sunlight as the UV rays can damage the table.

You may follow these tips in order to make the finish of your mahogany table last longer and avoid refinishing it frequently.


How Often Should I Refinish My Mahogany Table?

Generally, you can refinish your mahogany table in two to three years.

Can I Refinish My Mahogany Table Myself, Or Should I Hire A Professional?

Yes, you can refinish the table by yourself. But if you are unable to do that, it is better to hire professionals.

How Do You Make Mahogany Furniture Look Modern?

You can redesign it or change the colour of the furniture to make it look modern.

Can I Paint Over Mahogany?

Yes, you can definitely paint over a mahogany.

Can I Lighten Mahogany Furniture?

Of course, you can lighten your mahogany furniture using wood bleach.


Now you may already know the process of refinishing mahogany table. You can definitely refinish your mahogany table by applying the right method and following the proper guidelines step-by-step. If you are somehow unable to do that or you are not skilled enough, you can hire professionals to get it done by them as they provide the best result.

Continue your restore journey with- Table Restore.

Richard Journey

Written by

Richard Journey

Meet Richard Journey, the Antique Furniture Maestro. With a Fine Arts degree in Furniture Restoration and Conservation, he’s a guardian of historical craftsmanship. His accolades include the Golden Chisel Award, and he’s your guide to discovering and restoring antique treasures.

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