NEWBIE - Painting question

I've been given some really lovely wood, which I was told to be mahogony, but I'm not sure what it is. The wood is excellent quality, with not a trace of knots and the grain goes perfectly from end to end (58mm x 58mm x 1400mm by the way)
I am going to build some shelves with it, and would like some advice on what paint/stain/wax etc etc to finish it with?
I would like a dark finish, as I've some Walnut coloured furniture already. Many thanks for any help, I hope I've provided enough info, please ask if you need to clarify anything!!
Ben
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Ummm if you have nice looking mahogany and plan on painting your project, get cheap wood and paint "the cheap wood". Save the mahogany.
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Hi Ben,
If it is Mahogany, I certainly would not paint it. I would not even stain it. I always think that the natural color wood makes the best finish. Staining wood is kind of an attempt to make it something it was not intended to be. Of course, we have to do it all the time in our business, because people do like different shades of finish.
Mahogany is an open-grained wood, so if you really want a nice smooth finish you may want to consider a grain filler. Bartley makes one. It fills in the open grain so you can achieve a smoother finish. I would then just use tung oil finish for the final finishes. Five coats should do the trick. Apply the tung oil and then remove it as if you did not intend to put it on in the first place. Sand it lightly between coats with 600 grit paper.
If you are determined to have a really dark finish, I would use Bartley Mahogany Paste Stain. We use it on cherry with great results. I like Bartley stains. Its kind of like staining with chocolate pudding. Then use the tung oil.
James
Makers of Small Table Making Software http://www.knightlite.com/creative

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Whatever you do, don't use Bartley's water based 'Mahogany' colored grain filler. It's friggin pink! Their brown filler looks nice in mahogany, though. Matt
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