How to Refinish Mahogany Veneer

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood veneers are typically pasted over the top of cheap particle board structures, such as furniture and cabinets. If the existing finish on a veneer surface within your home is fading, improve its appearance by adding new stain. If the veneer is made of mahogany, you'll need to use a particular type of stain, or the finish may dry unevenly. The term mahogany refers to any of several types of darker hardwoods. These woods accept thin, liquid stains poorly, because they have tighter wood grains. For best results, use a thicker stain that works well with hardwoods.

Strip away the existing sealer by sanding toward the mahogany wood grain until the finish looks dull; use a rough, 50-grit sandpaper. Smooth the mahogany veneer by sanding again, using 100-grit sandpaper.

Place a canvas dust sheet under the veneer.

Put on rubber gloves and a respirator. Lighten the old stain by scrubbing the mahogany veneer with a nylon pad dampened with stripping solvent. Let the mahogany dry for an hour.

Sand the mahogany with 150-grit sandpaper. Wipe away sawdust, using tack cloths.

Brush gel stain onto the mahogany veneer, using a 2-inch natural paintbrush. Wipe the finish from the mahogany, using clean rags. Let the mahogany dry for three hours.

Rinse the gel finish from the brush, using white spirit.

Brush polyurethane onto the mahogany veneer, using the 2-inch natural paintbrush. Move the brush in the direction of the mahogany wood grain. Let the mahogany dry for three hours.


Since mahogany is already rather dark, you may want to apply a lighter colour of stain.


Don't try to add a water-based polyurethane to the mahogany, or you'll ruin the finish. Liquid stains sometimes dry unevenly on hardwoods, such as mahogany.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper -- 50-grit, 100-grit, and 150-grit
  • Canvas dust sheet
  • Rubber gloves
  • Respirator
  • Nylon pad
  • Paint stripping solvent
  • Tack cloths
  • Gel oil stain
  • 2-inch natural-bristled paintbrush
  • White spirit
  • Solvent-based polyurethane
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.