If someone would share their experience with reproducing the color of
older mahogany furniture, specifically early 20th century East Coast,
(US), makers I would appreciate it.
I have built what will become a companion piece to a W. A. Hathaway
The color of the chifferobe, as best one can descibe on Usenet, is
warm red with almost black in the figuring.
It doesn't appear to be an aniline, but then if I knew for certain I
would not need to ask.
The companion pice is built of Honduran mahogany.
In my locality, there is a company that specialises in matching finishes.
They are very good at it and have helped me several times in matching my
work to the existing furniture. I would think there is someone in your
locale that can do the same. Check with local painters and suppliers. They
might have the information you need.
I'm not sure what you mean by "almost black in the figuring" but if the
pores are black, they were probably filled that way. I achieved good
results with Bartley's oil-based grain filler tinted dark brown.
Whatever you do, don't use their "Mahogany" colored water-based filler,
which is frigging pink. I think that you can actually tint their
fillers with the appropriate pigment.
The matching red coloring will take some work. You will get some
coloring for light and age. You might want to take a board and let it
age for a couple months before continuing. Then get a selection of
Transtint dyes and start mixing and matching until you hit gold. Of
course if you are planning on using a finish that imparts color (as most
of them do) you'll also have to factor that into your receipe. So,
you've got 3 variables - natural aging of the wood, dye and film colors.
Hmm.. you may also want to try toning the wood (mix the dye with the
finish) so that you can see how they pan out at the same time. Sound
like a challenging project.
It's bad form to reply to my own post, but I wanted to share the
results of my research and experiments.
I used a solution of potassium dichromate and cream of tartare.
The depth of color and the remarkable chatoyant effects are truly
stunning, especially when accentuated by the french polish finish.
IMHO, the piece is more beautiful than the original.
The potassium dichromate can be purchased at Liberon in Fort Bragg,
The chemicals take the same or less time to apply than a wiping stain,
and with vastly superior results. As an added bonus, they cost about a
10th of a Behlen stain.
Thanks to all that replied.
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