How to Finish a Mahogany Floor
If you have expensive, fine mahogany floors, your upmost priority should be to care for and protect its beauty. Mahogany flooring has a naturally high durability and resistance to decomposition, with its gorgeous red undertones and tight-knit grain, it is definitely something to treasure. Although despite its durability, like all wood, its vulnerable to excessive moisture, bug attacks, as well as most cleaners available today. Treating your flooring with a stain finish will protect it from harm and greatly increase its longevity. Before we get into finishing your mahogany floors, it is very important to note its condition. We must care for any damage before applying finish.
Step 1 – Sanding the Surface
The first (and most tiresome) step, if it is not already complete, is the removal of your current finish. You can remove the finish using chemical strippers or you can sand it off. Sometimes after using chemical strippers, which is the easiest route, you may still need some sanding done for a flawless job. Only go the route of sanding if you have the proper equipment at hand (like a disk or belt sander), because no matter how careful you are, you will accomplish a seamless job with your hands.
Step 2 – Utilizing Your Chemical Stripper
Apply your chemical stripper in the area desired and leave it for the specified time by the manufacturer. Once finished (don’t let the chemicals dry) remove with a putty knife or scrapper. If you have any rounded edges, use a steel wool to prevent damaging. Afterwards, use the chemical cleaner the manufacturer recommends and let it dry for roughly 24 hours.
Step 3 – Applying Grain Filler
Mahogany flooring has a very open grain structure, so you’ll need to fill very well to get a smooth finish. Apply your grain filler of choice, color and all. This step can be done before or after applying the stain in some cases, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s label.
Step 4 – Staining
There is a wide variety of stain products on the market, from oil all the way to latex resin-based paints; one-step finishes eliminate a great deal of steps making the process a lot quicker, but the stain is superficial and not the best solution in comparison to an oil-based finish. The downfall of an oil-based finish is the strong odor. You can eliminate that with a simple spirit cleaner. Always follow manufacturer’s instruction, but you can normally apply your finish with a rag or brush to penetrate the wood properly.
Step 5 – Applying a Sanding Sealer
Sealing is an important step in finishing your mahogany floors if you haven’t chosen an oil-based finish. It stops your flooring from absorbing excessive amounts of stain, preventing dark spotting. Sealer is applied after you’ve applied both the stain and grain filling. If you’ve chosen an oil-based stain, this step is unnecessary.
Step 6 – Top Coat and Enjoy!
The last step is to apply your top coat. Oil-based top coats are said to be the most favoured, for its easy application and natural look, but provides less protection compared to varnishes or lacquers, so this is left to your preference. Regardless of your choice, the top coat is applied with a soft brush, and left to dry for the time specified by the manufacturer.