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How to Finish Pine With a Mahogany Finish

Updated February 21, 2017

Pine adapts to mahogany stain nicely. Both woods have similar grain patterns, and pine has a slightly amber colour that lends itself to the reddish hues of mahogany. If you select your pine to reflect the straight grain pattern of mahogany, you can finish out your pine to match mahogany even closer. Once you have set your colour, you can apply a medium gloss lacquer that matches without creating too shiny or flat of a finish.

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  1. Sand the pine thoroughly with a hand block and 100-grit sandpaper. The wood should look blended but not polished. Hold the wood up to a light. If it reflects the light, you have rendered it too shiny. Sand it deeper until it won't reflect light and has a dull white-amber surface.

  2. Dip a cloth into an open can of mahogany stain. Apply the wet cloth to the pine, and spread the stain around using circular motions When the cloth runs out of stain, dip it again. Apply an even coat of stain to the wood, wiping off any excess stain as you go. Let it dry according to the directions on the can.

  3. Spray one light coat of lacquer onto the wood. Wet the surface, but don't pool the lacquer. Let the lacquer dry for 30 minutes.

  4. Sand the surface of the lacquer with 180-grit sandpaper in the palm of your hand until you have created a white powdery substance on top of the wood; don't wipe it off.

  5. Spray another light coat of lacquer over the wood. Let it dry for 30 minutes.

  6. Tip

    For darker mahogany colour, apply another coat of stain before lacquering. For a deeper lacquer finish, put on up to four coats of lacquer. You can use oil-based mahogany stain if you like, but it can take up to 72 hours to dry.


    Always wear breathing protection when working with finishing products.

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Things You'll Need

  • Sanding block
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Aerosol lacquer, 369gr.
  • 180-grit sandpaper

About the Author

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Shaddy has also worked as a newspaper reporter and writer, and as a contributing writer for Bicycling Magazine. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, “Dark Canyon,” in 2008.

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