Asked on Jun 09, 2019

How to keep wood from having red tones?

by Sally

I have stripped and sanded an interior door. I'm sure the wood is mahogany. I've tried 5 different wood stains and each one leaves he wood with a reddish tone. What can I do to eliminate the red?

  5 answers
  • Recreated Designs Recreated Designs on Jun 09, 2019

    Hi Sally, unfortunately if the wood itself if mahogany there is not going to be much that you can do. Any stain on top will probably have that hint of red showing through. Have you tried contact General Finishes? They make amazing stains (and all different kinds) and are wonderful! If anyone could help you find a colour that would work it would be them ;) Good luck!

  • Zard Pocleeb Zard Pocleeb on Jun 09, 2019

    Mahogany is a beautiful wood in its natural state and is normally not stained. This is true of most exotic hardwoods including redheart, purpleheart, African padauk, etc.

  • Hi Sally, if you have an older door from the early 1900s up to the 1940's, you might be dealing with a door that was stained with aniline dye which goes deep into the pores of the wood. You can use oxalic acid which is a wood bleach that comes in a powder that you water down and brush on the wood. Ace Hardware sells it but it's cheaper and more pure on Amazon.

    After it dries, it lightens the dye and lifts some of it to the surface. Sand again and see if that helps get some of the red tones out. I found that if I try a stain that has grey tones, it helps to balance some of the red.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jun 09, 2019

    Mahogany is a red toned wood. That said, you can fill the wood using a rubber sqeegee and a black toned wood paste, then use a walnut or ebony stain on it for a dark door. Otherswise it would be cheaper to get a new or used door at Habitat for Humanity Restore. Be sure to take all your measurements before going..... height, width, where the hinges are located, and the door hardware.

  • Mahogany is red. You could try whitewashing it to get a lighter color. But it's still going to have red tones. Consider paint instead.