Mahogany fireplace mantle

Questions From Our VisitorsCategory: FinishingMahogany fireplace mantle
Dusty Armstrong asked 4 months ago

I recently removed 75 years of paint and varnish on my fireplace mantle and sanded it to 220. It’s mahogany. It’s currently light with some scratches. I’m hesitant to do too much sanding. I am looking for the best way to finish it keeping it as natural as possible, but also durable for being an existing mantle above fire and handprints and daily use. I’m just a novice I did purchase some timber, meat, filler and dish oil. Not sure about using a poly because I don’t want a glossy look. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you..

1 Answers
William Stewart Staff answered 3 months ago

Hi Dusty.

You could use a matte water-based polyurethane as it’s clear and doesn’t have a sheen, but if you haven’t done much with polyurethane, it’s probably not a good project to cut your teeth on, given its prominent position in the room.
I suggest a drying oil like Tung Oil. It will slightly deepen the wood color but dries to a matte finish and looks great. It’s robust and easy to clean, but you’ll need to freshen it up by reapplying some more Tung Oil every year or two.
I’d use at least four coats, leaving an hour between recoats – do two coats on one day and two coats the next – wipe with a clean cloth before recoating. If you really want to be sure, leave it a week or so and apply a fifth coat. It can take a few weeks to cure properly, but it makes mahogany look beautiful, nourishing and protecting the wood.