Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Custom Mahogany Dresser
I always start these project by cleaning them up and taking off the hardware. The next step is to assess and fix any damage. One of the drawers had a loose runner that needed the screw put back into it in the back. There were lots of bumps, bruises and scratches on the finish. My goal is not to make the piece look brand new, I just want to minimize the damage without removing the character. With this dresser, I used Minwax Wood Putty in Mahogany to smooth out some of the deeper dings in the finish. It is already mahogany colored and matches well. How much damage the finish has over all will affect what fix I use for the rest of it. I have had very good luck with Minwax Gel Stain. If the finish is not too bad, it is possible to do a light sanding followed by the Gel Stain, without completely sanding the piece down. I have found you must do small areas at a time, applying the stain and pretty strictly adhering to the 3 minute rule before wiping the stain off. It will get sticky and very difficult to remove if left on too long. I usually do at least 3 coats, each one at least a day apart to allow for adequate drying time. With this dresser, and many others I have done, the top has gotten the hardest wear. In that case, I usually apply a stripper then sand down completely to start the staining process from scratch. With mahogany I have found many times that once you begin staining some lighter areas appear, which I assume must come from some previous damage. I have had good luck with rubbing a very small amount of Van Dyke brown paint over the area to help blend the color. Keep in mind to only use a very small amount! I follow up with at least 3 coats of Polyurethane, also each at least one day apart. I am looking forward to delivering this dresser on Saturday! Please excuse the shadowing on the drawers, our lighting in the winter is awful!