How To Paint Mahogany Furniture

August 27, 2020

ironstone pitcher purple flower bouquet cathedral arch

Some people cringe at the thought of painting mahogany furniture. I'm not one of them. While I love my parents' antique mahogany bedroom furniture and would never dream of painting it, it's not beneath me to go ahead and paint a vintage thrift store mahogany end table.

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The Rules

  • Upcycle an item(s) from a thrift store, resale store, or garage sale into a new piece of decor.
  • There's no monthly theme.
  • There's no budget to stick to.

  • Meet the Hosts

    - Angela | Simply Beautiful By Angela 
    - Beverly | Across the Blvd 
    - Gail | Purple Hues and Me 
    - Allyson | Southern Sunflowers 
    - Marci | Stone Cottage Adventures 
    - Kathleen | Our Hopeful Home

    I'm sharing this as part of my monthly Thrift Store Challenge. So be sure to read all the way to the end to see my blogger friends' repurposed projects as well.

    I've already shared three college furniture transformations -- a painted farmhouse coffee table, a painted thrift store pine dresser, and a vintage seed chest turned farmhouse tv cabinet -- all for our oldest daughter's college house. Today I'm sharing yet another thrift store furniture transformation. This time we're painting it for daughter number two's college apartment. 
    Georgian style vintage mahogany tea table

    It was just the right height and width to match her sectional sofa.

    mahogany side table pull-out shelf

    It also has two side trays, or shelves, that can be pulled out or pushed in as needed. 

    I mean, how cute is this? Just perfect for holding that cup of tea, coffee or hot cocoa (all of which my daughter drinks regularly).

    scratched mahogany table top

    The top of the table left much to be desired -- it was super scratched up. It also had a crack on one of the corners. But I wasn't worried, because it's damaged furniture just like this that I have no problem painting over. 

    Dixie Belle Slick Stick jar Folk Art Home Decor clear wax jar chip brush

    I started off with Dixie Belle Slick Stick followed by Folk Art Home Decor chalk paint in Sheepskin and an angled paint brush from the Dollar Tree. 

    one coat Dixie Belle Slick Stick

    Slick Stick creates a textured surface for the paint to cling to. Finished mahogany wood is quite slick, and most paints will need a primer such as Slick Stick before it will accept a coat of paint. 

    Georgian table legs

    More good news: it also acts a s a primer for dark paint or wood. Here are the legs with one coat of Slick Stick. I fell in love with the curvy, dainty legs and did a little research. Turns out this table is a classic Georgian style vintage mahogany tea table.

    Folk Art Home Decor clear wax jar

    My last step was to apply a coat of Folk Art Home Decor Clear Wax on both the table top and the pull-out shelves. As much as I have a love-hate relationship with furniture wax, I knew that due to the light paint color, as well as the heavy use this table was going to get, it was important that I give it a coat of protective wax. This wax is nice in that it's not sticky or thick -- it's liquidy and thin. So all you need is a regular paint brush to apply it. I had fun styling the table, especially knowing that it would soon be making its way to my daughter's apartment.

    vintage ironstone pitcher cathesdral arch frosted wreath

    I set up the farmhouse vignette with my Be Still And Know DIY book bundle, ironstone pitcher with lavender bouquet and cathedral window pane laced with a leafy garland, frosted wreath and fairy lights.

    vintage painted mahogany Georgian tea table book bundle wall art

    I found a few of these tables for sale on various websites. In perfect condition they brought in about $40. Ours cost $35. While not perfect, its imperfections are small enough to pretty much go unnoticed, once it was painted.

    farmhouse cathedral arch wall art leaf garland pitcher

    How To Paint Mahogany Furniture


    1. paint
    2. primer
    5. drop cloth or Dollar Tree shower curtain liner
    6. Magic Erasers or TSP
    7. liquid Barkeeper's Friend  (optional for hardware) 
    8. cotton lint-free cloth (for wax) -- I use old white T-shirts
    9. medium grit sandpaper (optional for sanding wood filler or distressing))
    10. hand vacuum
    11. wood filler (optional) *NOTE: Be sure to buy the appropriate color of wood filler, depending on what color the wood is and what color you plan on painting it.
    12. painter's tape (optional)
    13. zip-lock baggies (optional for hardware)

    Step-by-Step Painting Guide

    1. Clean the piece thoroughly with Magic Erasers or TSP, lint-free cloth and a hand vacuum.

    2. Inspect the piece for any gouges and/or nicks in the wood.

    3. Fill gouges and nicks with wood filler. Once dry (or following the brand's instructions), sand the filled areas smooth and vacuum away any dust before painting.

    4. Remove all hardware and clean it well with TSP or liquid Barkeeper's Friend then place in well-marked zip-locked bags. If you are going to refinish or paint them, now would be a good time. 

    5. Tape off any areas you want protected from paint with painter's tape.

    9. Prime with either one or two coats as needed.

    10. Paint the piece, most likely with two coats, even if using chalk paint.

    11. Once it's completely dry, apply wax and buff (per wax instructions) as desired.

    vintage painted mahogany Georgian tea table book bundle wall art

    I'm super happy with how this turned out! Kinda wish I was keeping it for myself:) Have you ever tried to paint mahogany, or any kind of dark furniture? How'd it go for you? 

    Well, that's it until next time, friends! 
    I hope you enjoyed reading 
    How To Paint Mahogany Furniture 
    and that I've inspired you in some way.
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    ironstone pitcher purple flower bouquet cathedral arch

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    Leave a Comment!

    Beverly @Across the Blvd said...

    The table looks fresh and new after its makeover. I agree with you about painting thrift store furniture. It's a great way to make them usable.

    Gail @Purple Hues and Me said...

    What a transformation and labor of love, Kathleen! It's always fun to make a handcrafted, treasured piece for loved ones and I'm sure your daughter loves this! I can see why you might have wanted to keep it for yourself. It looks absolutely lovely!

    Stone Cottage Adventures said...

    I love how the sides can pull out for additional space! Your daughter will be using those all the time! Thank you for the step by step directions on how to cover a dark piece. Your finished project looks great! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    Kathy said...

    Love it! Your daughter will, too. I don't doubt it will get used a lot longer than just college years!

    My thrift store addiction said...

    It's lovely, Kathleen! Great job!

    Allyson said...

    Your table is the perfect makeover ~ a brand new table! The pull out trays are an added bonus. I have two pine end tables that I have to paint, so it's nice to get some more inspiration.

    Cindy@CountyRoad407 said...

    Wow that table turned out beautifully. I'm a sucker for white. Thanks for linking up at Farmhouse Friday! It's greatly appreciated!

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