Untreated wood is soft and porous, and one of the hallmarks of mahogany wood is its open grain. Unfortunately, this means that when paint colour soaks into the wood, it can be difficult to remove completely. You ought to be able to remove the majority of the paint, although this might require sanding or stiff brushing to get it out of the wood grain. After you've removed the paint colour, chances are you'll have a lighter area on the mahogany. With a little creative stain matching, you can blend the light spot with the surrounding surface.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Dust sheet
- Rubbing alcohol
- Paint remover
- White spirit
Protect the floor beneath where you'll be working with a dust sheet or old sheet.
Pour a generous amount of rubbing alcohol over the paint stain and let it soak into the wood fibres for about five minutes.
Scrub the stain with a soft toothbrush, rubbing only in the direction of the grain. Pour on more rubbing alcohol whenever it appears to be drying out. Periodically wipe the area down with a clean, damp rag. Continue with this if the paint colour appears to be coming out -- it can take some persistence.
Clean the stain with a damp rag and apply some paint remover if the stain is particularly stubborn. The City of Beaverton, Oregon, recommends citrus-based paint remover because it is relatively non-toxic and effective.
Allow the paint remover to work as directed on the label. This is typically from 30 to 60 minutes. Remove it with a wet brush, such as toothbrush or soft scrub brush. It may take two or more applications to get rid of the paint colour.
Match the colour of the mahogany wood with some oil-based stain -- stain is available in a wide range of wood tones, including mahogany. Mix it with a little white spirit and rub over the lightened area you've been working on to blend it in.
Tips and warnings
- If there were several areas where the paint colour soaked in, apply a thinned-down coat of stain or coloured furniture polish over the entire piece of mahogany to even out the colour.
- Don't scrub across the grain of the wood because you will damage the fibres and lighten the area.
- Only use sandpaper as a last resort. With open-grain wood such as mahogany, you may actually force the paint colour deeper into the wood grain, and by the time you sand it all out you'll have created a visible depression in the surface of the wood.
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