Mango Wood - Finishes & Options

Nearly all of our furniture is made from Mango fruitwood.  It is a strong, dense hardwood and comes from sustainably grown fruit plantations. Grown principally as a “cash crop” for its tasty fruit, the trees are harvested for their timber at the end of useful lifespan. A perfect byproduct which can be used for numerous things including the manufacture of very strong furniture!  

Mango wood is very varied in colour and grain and this is part of the charm of using fruitwood. Extremely versatile, it can be painted, oiled, varnished, stained, waxed, or even left raw. We have no control over the colours as they are not fully revealed until the furniture has been made and receives its final sanding process. But it does mean that customers can have something handmade from solid hardwood for a price that is nearer the cost of mass-produced furniture, often made from veneered particle board and plastics. The longevity of our pieces mean that they can be passed down from generation to generation,  given a fresh look with perhaps a new coat of paint, or even sanded back to the wood to look like new again many, many years after purchasing!

See below for a random, but typical, selection of the sort of colours and grain that can be found on any of our products. Click to enlarge.

Painting

When we paint pieces for you, we let you choose from our nine House Colours – shown below – or you may specify your own for a small additional charge of £25.00 per item. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions Page for more information on special colours. Our House Colours are all neutral tones designed to harmonise with most situations so normally one of these will work! We lightly drag an antiqueing glaze over the top to soften the look further and bring out the details of the various mouldings and carvings that we use. The paint and glaze is then given further protection using a number of coats of satin lacquer. Please do email us your address and the colours that are of interest if you would like us to post an actual paint swatch.

NB hand painted furniture should be handled with the same level of care that you would give to something French Polished. Always mop up spills immediately and use mats for hot items placed on them. Clean with a damp cloth – never use a spray cleaner or silicone based spray polish as the chemicals they contain can damage the paintwork. Pure beeswax (available as a spray) is ideal for maintaining the tops of tables and desks.

If you would prefer to finish your furniture yourself please view our Woodcare Products page where you can select from our tried and tested range of paints and glazes.

House Paint Colours
hand painted chest of drawers

Staining

Mango is an exceptionally versatile wood and takes a variety of stains very well. The wide range of colours displayed in mango wood will mean that the stained finish will also display variations but this will give the piece a unique and interesting look.

Here is an example of one of our Bow Fronted Chest of Drawers with a Walnut stained top on a painted base. This is a good choice for pieces that are going to get relatively heavy usage as a stained and oiled top will generally be harder wearing than a painted surface. This makes it an ideal choice for Dining Tables, Dressing Tables and Desks.

Hard Wax Oil

(widely available from decorators merchants)

This will give an even tougher protection against spills etc. than varnish but is more expensive and most (but not all) types will darken the wood. Oil accentuates the many colours and grain patterns that are often found with fruitwoods and this can be very pleasing as well as durable. It is brush applied (two light coats with fine sanding in-between) and is spirit based so takes several hours to dry. Oiling should always be done in a well ventilated room and left overnight between coats. Easily to maintain and renovate if required.

Liming Oil

A Hardwax Oil with a white tint will simulate the effect of applying traditional Liming Wax but with all the benefits of oil over wax (ie durability). One coat will give an extremely subtle limed effect whist two will produce a more opaque result.

Water Based Dead Flat Varnish

For those of you who simply love our raw mango just as it is but want some kind of protection against spillages of liquids etc we recommend a clear matt water based varnish such as the one we sell on this website. This will not yellow with age and will provide an almost invisible layer of protection to the wood.

This is the easiest of all finishes to use and two or three brush-applied light coats are normally sufficient. The varnish will dry to an almost invisible finish with minimal darkening of the wood. A light sanding with very fine sandpaper (240 grit or higher) in-between coats as the first coat tends to raise the grain of the wood a little. It dries very quickly but we recommend you allow it to cure properly so leave it for an hour or two in-between coats.

Bottle of Varnish

The Distressed Look

We are often asked if we can “distress” our painted finishes to give them an even more aged look. The obvious advantage of this, apart form the fact that they look very nice in the right setting, is that they tend to show up less marks and general wear and tear. A simple distressed look can be achieved by rubbing some of the paint back to the original wood as we show to the left on our Georgian Wall Shelf.

Alternatively we can go for a more heavily distressed finish as shown below on our Gustavian Console Table. This is even more forgiving from a wear and tear point of view and can often make our furniture appear to be of genuine antique origin! If you would like a distressed paint finish please select the special paint colour option and advise which paint colour and whether you would like light or heavy distressing.

With any finish...

If you are planning to finish the furniture yourself or using the services of a local decorator always test on an inconspicuous area. As our furniture is made from solid wood you can test the underside of table tops, drawers and even the backs of furniture going against a wall. Avoid placing hot items directly onto the surface and always mop up spills as soon as possible. Of course the major advantage of solid wood furniture over veneered is that, if the worst should happen, the piece can be sanded back to look like new and re-treated.

Handles

The “default” handle we supply on nearly all our pieces is the hand forged solid brass ring pull you see to the left. This has been aged so as to blend very well with the paint finish we use.

We now carry a number of different handles all of which will give a very different look and these can be purchased separately should you wish to swap them over (we will do this for you if we are painting the items).

You can also supply us with handles for fitting but please check with us to determine suitability with regard to the holes and fixing.

Please view our handles page for our full selection.