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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all
I am going to be undertaking the remodeling of a room, turning it into a mahogany paneled study. I plan on doing stile and rails over Mahogany veneer plywood, then panel moldings and crowns. I could use some advice on finishing the walls and trim: should I prefinish the plywood before installing for an even finish, and likewise, the 1x4 rails and panel molds? I imagine if we stain it it won't be with too much color- we''ll probably leave it more natural.
What kind of finish would be nice espeically for mahogany (Honduran)? Up till now I have worked with Minwax stains and Polyurethane but I know there are nicer things to use. I am excited, this is a great project.
Thanks!
Fenton in CT
 

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Welcome Fenton. I personaly like working with laquer but you really need a spray rig to get a nice finish and working on vertical surfaces can be tricky. I think to get a better finish on your project you should finish in place instead of prefinishing any of it. That's about all I've got so lets see what others come up with.
 

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zmusashi,
Welcome to the forum! Interesting name. Anything to do with the sister ship of the Yamato? Or the Samurai Musashi? Lived in Japan 3 years sort of have a soft place in my heart for their culture.

As far as your finishing project. I am NOT a professional finisher although I have finished many proijects in the past I have been extremely lucky not to have had any major disasters.
But I think I'm pretty safe here on this one.

I agree with Dave (who I DO consider a pro finisher having seen his work) that you would be much better off finishing it in place.
In my opinion you would be causing yourslef alot of extra work and as Dave points out, horizintal finishing may help avoid runs, but unless you are doing it in a well controlled dust environment you'll get the goobers on it.
In addition, installing pre-finished panels and trim almost always necessitates touch-ups from unavoidable nicks, scratches and dings, and cracks will be highlighted between paneling and trim more too than if you finished in place.

For whatever that's worth to ya!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey guys, thanks a lot
I would like to finish it myself if i can, I enjoy learning things as I go, it often seems like entering new territory for me- and I kind of like that (and i am still single so i can afford that...!) I think I'll seek out and consult a local finisher or two but I would like to tackle it myself- I understand that Mahogany is one of the easier woods to finish nicely... hope that's true. I think I'll be using Honduran Mahogany available at local lumber yard (CT) - but I am also still trying to decipher what the deal is with Genuine mahogany, whether certified means it's not from an endangered area, and other considerations such as color and beauty. Another local supplier touts Genuine mahog in their warehouse.
Thanks a lot for any info!

PS I just was fascinated with Zen and Japanese culture and of course Miyamoto Musashi, the 17th Cent. swordsman. When the internet came out I thought it was a good name- but someone already had Musashi, so I just added the Z. How's that for a long and boring story? :sleep1:
 

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Welcome to the forum.
Here is a link that may help with your question concerning "genuine".
http://www.alliedlutherie.com/mahoganies.htm
My vote would also be for lacquer but this is something probably not feasible for you at the momemt.
This sounds like a pretty big project that will require some thought and experimentation. I don't think you have to hire a professional finsisher though.
I would spend an awful lot of time picking the wood that will create your room. Chances are the grain and color of what you choose for stiles and rails will differ from the sheet stock you will be using.
Before you actually begin cutting and fabricating, I would take half a dozen or so samples to experiment with to see what it is going to look like in the room, with the light you have. Try some different stains and finishes. You may want to consider shellac as it is as easy to brush on than poly and will dry in 1/4 the time. Easy to make a repair later also.
Wipe on poly would also be another choice of mine. It's as easy and fast as it gets and with 4-5 coats, will give you a professional looking finish.
Mahogany, like any other wood can do some strange things in the light. Though I'm no photographer, this is a pic of a piece I made years ago. It will show you just how the colors can change.
Keep us posted on your progress...
Divided light door 2.jpg
 

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we've done it both ways- finishing before installation , and in place. What I'd consider is prepping, staining and sealing prior to installation, and then touch-up and final coat in place. Think about using Seal Coat to seal and build and wiping varnish as final topcoats. looks great on mahogany
done right the wiping varnish could look like a spray job.
 

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Have a similar project coming up, it's a library/reading room with oak ceiling, cabinetry and walls. I mostly refinish furniture, and always use NC Lacquer over minwax with great results. For this job, however, I am considering PreCat lacquer through a three stage turbine sprayer. The wood is already installed, so I don't have the option of pre-finishing. I would think that for the most part, on a job of that scale, I would prefer to do everything on site. That should save some aggravation at the hands of clumsy carpenters :furious: . Good luck, and send pictures!
 

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My suggestion is to prefinish all of the work before installing. You have better access to the parts. All this work was made and finished prior to installing. It's done in Red Oak, but the specie doesn't matter. I've done similar projects in Mahogany with the same procedure and it works out better for me than installing and then finishing.

I used an oil based stain (my own mix) and a water based polyurethane topcoat (sprayed), but can be brushed or wiped on.
.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey, thanks everyone
Nice work Cabinetman, beautiful room
I am still looking forward to this project for this coming winter. Does shellac yellow or crack and peel with age?
 
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