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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Modern Mahogany Dining Table

One of my current projects is a modern dining table. the top is Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) with a Mahogany veneer. It is bordered with stringing and a two inch border of a lighter Mahogany. The existing finish was a lacquer that was very durable. The only problem is that once it scratches, there isn't much to do to fix the problem. During its use, the table had sustained several scratches and it was time for a new finish. The customer and I decided to remove the finish only from the top and to clean and wax the base.

This type of finish is by far one of the hardest to remove. The makers spray an overcoat of stain on the piece to give everything a uniform look (masking the effect of the contrast of the border) and then spray several coats on the table to get a thick, glass like finish that is hard and difficult to remove. Below is a photo of the table as it came to me: In this photo you can see the scratches as well as the banding to the right. After some persistence, The finish was removed. Below is a photo of the top with the finish removed.
Here is the top after it had been sanded:
Staining a piece like this is a little involved. Rather than staining the whole top one color, I used tape to mask off the different sections and accent the contrast in the two different veneers. The photos below show the process.
First, I taped off the light areas.
Second, I stained the inner section.
Here is a photo of the inner section stained and the tape removed.
Afterwards, the banding is stained to match the color of the base.
Here is a photo of the top stained.
This last photo shows the table during the application of the French Polish. This table will probably get 40-50 coats of finish. The coats are applied very thin and the result is a top with the pores of the veneer filled. I will post photos of the completed table when it is done.

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