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Refinishing Mahogany Doors

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Forum topic by Don Broussard posted 09-19-2019 05:27 PM 273 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Broussard

3799 posts in 2763 days


09-19-2019 05:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing mahogany

My wife and I are getting a house ready to sell, and we have two sets of 8’ tall mahogany French doors and an 8’ tall single door to the outside of the house. The doors are weathered on their exteriors, and I need to refinish or otherwise make them look nice. The interiors look very good. The other complication is that I don’t know what was used in their original finish. The home was built in 2009.

I would like some guidance on how to refinish the exteriors. BTW, I’ve already tried using Murphy’s Oil Soap, and while they did come out clean, the weathered areas still look unfinished.

Thanks in advance.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!


13 replies so far

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Rich

5001 posts in 1101 days


#1 posted 09-19-2019 05:44 PM

I’d give Howard Feed N Wax a try. You can buy it at Home Depot among other retailers. Try it on a small area to see if it does the job for you. If it does, you’ll probably need several bottles for a job that large, but it’s only about $8 a bottle.

I used it on a weathered door at our old house and the result was very satisfactory. Same situation as you, we were getting ready to sell and really only needed to make it look good in the short term.

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Don Broussard

3799 posts in 2763 days


#2 posted 09-19-2019 06:04 PM

Thanks, Rich. Sounds like your experience with Howard Feed N Wax makes it worth a try.

EDIT: Rich—Did you have to do surface prep, or just apply to a cleaned door?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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Rich

5001 posts in 1101 days


#3 posted 09-19-2019 06:11 PM

It’s a good first try. Another possibility is Howard Restor-A-Finish (note all the catchy names). If it’s badly bleached out that will do more than the Feed N Wax. It comes in colors, so you can find one that’s close to your doors. It’s very easy to apply. I’ve used both and am a big fan of their products.

Howard has some videos on youtube showcasing the products. You can get a better idea of which one to use, how to apply it and what to expect as a result.

No surface prep, but if you have blistering some 220 sandpaper might be needed. Like if it’s sna

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therealSteveN

3902 posts in 1086 days


#4 posted 09-19-2019 06:24 PM

I would find it odd, that Mahogany used on an exterior door, did not have some form of a top coat. If what you are seeing is that failing against the sun, and elements then I wonder how a slap it on wood feed would make that failing top coat get patched up?

It may be best for you to post a picture or 3 of the doors, well lit, and from 2 to 3 feet away. I can’t imagine not need a stripper, sanding, or some way of removing whatever is causing “doors are weathered on their exteriors”

-- Think safe, be safe

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Don Broussard

3799 posts in 2763 days


#5 posted 09-19-2019 06:42 PM

With apologies for the rotated picture, the picture was taken after the door on the right/top was cleaned with Murphy’s Oil Soap. After the oil soap dried, it looked just like the uncleaned door on the left/bottom.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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Rich

5001 posts in 1101 days


#6 posted 09-19-2019 06:50 PM

You definitely want to start with the Restor-A-Finish. That’s pretty far gone and needs the color replaced. Of course test it on a small spot before you apply it over the entire area. Their restore product is very effective at replacing color and rejuvenating the finish.

Since you’re selling, who cares what it looks like six months from now? No need to do a full refinish for that.

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therealSteveN

3902 posts in 1086 days


#7 posted 09-19-2019 07:14 PM

The only one step product I can see here that would help is PAINT, and for a door with that degree of a mottled finish, you would need some prep work before the paint. If you want a natural wood finish, there is some work to be done there, IF you want a good outcome.

You’ll have to decide if the suggested products are how you want to go?

I’d start looking at this page. Restor-A-Finish was primarily designed for interior use only

-- Think safe, be safe

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Rich

5001 posts in 1101 days


#8 posted 09-19-2019 07:28 PM

Again, and it’s a shame this is so hard to understand for some people, if the goal is to get the doors looking nice enough to put the house on the market, the Howard product is a good first thing to try. It doesn’t matter what the doors look like months from now. Let the new owners deal with it. Maybe they’ll even be dumb enough to paint over that beautiful wood.

If the goal was to provide lasting beauty, I’d be suggesting a completely different approach.

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therealSteveN

3902 posts in 1086 days


#9 posted 09-19-2019 07:31 PM



The only one step product I can see here that would help is PAINT, and for a door with that degree of a mottled finish, you would need some prep work before the paint. If you want a natural wood finish, there is some work to be done there, IF you want a good outcome.

You ll have to decide if the suggested products are how you want to go?

I d start looking at this page. Restor-A-Finish was primarily designed for interior use only

- therealSteveN

We sold a home we built, literally built, 9 years ago. Work for both of us was pretty much non stop, and there were many things I had to go back over to have the place look it’s best. I’ve had been doing woodworking, construction, and remodeling as a side business for 45 years at that point, and knew our front door needed a LOT of attention. It was Maple, and had at one time been a thing of beauty.

Our Realtor was the person who convinced me of 2 things about that door.

1st it was the spot where every single prospective buyer was going to walk through. Once inside we had a huge home, and people tended to ramble once inside, but entry was right past this now hideous looking door.

2nd, he had a finishing guy who could do the work, quicker, and maybe cheaper than I could. I laughed at the cheaper part. It ended up costing me $300.00 for him to refinish that front door. I was looking at 400 in cost to buy the supplies I thought I needed.

We sold the place in 9 days, had 27 offers on it, and the buyer paid over 39K more than asking, and with no inspections. Sam, he’s the Realtor said it was that 300 bux. I tend to believe him. It was when house sales were just starting to pick back up after the crunch. It was in a depressed county. Our sale was the single highest dollar home sale in that county in 83 months at $395,000.00 this is in Ohio, North of Dayton. That is a great property value in our region. Both before, and after the housing crash.

Front doors sell houses, make no mistake. If you have to ask what is best, you should be looking for the best pro in your area. I mean come on, Mahogany doors x 4, you do not live in a double wide.

I’ll move away now, if you want to do the work yourself, sure go ahead. I’m just saying that is NOT a one step fix-em-up.

-- Think safe, be safe

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therealSteveN

3902 posts in 1086 days


#10 posted 09-19-2019 07:35 PM

Rich, why am I not surprised you are advocating for a cheap fix, that in a few months someone will be looking to take legal action against you.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Rich

5001 posts in 1101 days


#11 posted 09-19-2019 08:53 PM

What a shame someone decided to make it personal. Regarding legal action, disclosure rules vary state-to-state, but as long as you are honest, you’re safe. If you are asked specifically what you did to the door and you tell them, you’re fine. If you lie and say you had it professionally refinished with products guaranteed to last ten years, you’re in trouble.

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Don Broussard

3799 posts in 2763 days


#12 posted 09-22-2019 01:45 AM

I picked up some Howard’s Feed and Wax this morning and applied it to the exterior of all five doors including the door casings. The following two pictures are the before and after:

Looks good for the first application. I am intending to wipe another application next weekend. Man, that wood was thirsty!

Thanks for the recommendations!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

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Rich

5001 posts in 1101 days


#13 posted 09-22-2019 04:20 AM


Looks good for the first application. I am intending to wipe another application next weekend. Man, that wood was thirsty!

Thanks for the recommendations!

- Don Broussard

Thanks for sharing, Don. Looks like a quick sell to me.

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