How to Create a Faux Mahogany Finish

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Once you learn how to create a faux mahogany finish, you'll be able to make an inexpensive piece of unfinished furniture look like it's made of rich mahogany wood. A mahogany faux finish adds a sense of depth and richness to any wood project.

Things You'll Need

  • Furniture piece
  • Sandpaper
  • Varnish remover
  • Red oxide paint (flat latex)
  • Indian brown glaze
  • Dark brown glaze
  • Brown bark glaze
  • Paint brush
  • Glaze application brush
  • Paper towels
  • Soft blending brush
  • Fan brush
  • Sponge

Prepare the Furniture

  • Sand furniture to a smooth finish to prepare it for a mahogany faux finish. If the piece of furniture you are faux finishing is an unfinished or a piece in good condition, then sanding isn't necessary.

  • Strip any furniture that has a bubbly varnished finish.

  • Remove any drawers. Each draw is treated as a separate piece when you apply the faux finish.

Apply Faux Mahogany Finish

  • Apply red oxide paint in an even coat to all the furniture surfaces and allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

  • Dab the Indian Brown glaze in random patches. Use the glaze application brush to add generous amounts of the glaze.

  • Wipe the glaze application brush between adding each color.

  • Add the second and third earth tone glazes, dark brown and brown bark, in random patches.

  • Put the black glaze on the furniture piece in a random dotted pattern. This will add depth to the piece.

  • Blend the glazes by lightly dusting the piece using the soft blending brush. Clean the brush of any excess glaze as often as needed during this step. Repeat the dusting motion until all the glazes have acquired a softened look and allow the furniture piece to dry thoroughly overnight.

Create Faux Mahogany Grain Finish

  • Dip the fan brush tip into the black glaze. Remove excess glaze by wiping the brush on paper towels.

  • Spread the bristles of the fan brush by blotting it onto a dampened sponge , then drag it very lightly across the faux finish to create grain lines.

  • Mimic the grain lines of mahogany by dragging the fan brush in straight lines but at slight angle to the sides of the furniture piece.

  • Drag a very soft blending brush over the graining immediately after brushing on each length of grain. This will soften the effect of the graining. Repeat this process until the entire piece has the grain added.

  • Allow the piece to dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • An acrylic sealant that is water based can be applied to add extra protection.

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