Mahogany Wood Color (A Detailed Overview)

Color of Mahogany.jpg

Last Updated on July 30, 2023 By Emma W. Thomas

Mahogany wood color ranges from reddish-brown to deep brown with beautiful variations. It exhibits a lustrous and rich appearance, deepening with age and exposure to light. Its natural beauty and attractive grain patterns make it a popular choice for furniture, flooring, and high-end woodworking projects.

Colors of Mahogany

Mahogany Wood Color (A Detailed Overview)

Type of Mahogany WoodColor Description
Cuban MahoganyRich reddish-brown with dark veins
Honduran MahoganyDeep reddish-brown
African MahoganyDark reddish-brown
Philippine MahoganyMedium to dark reddish-brown
Sapele MahoganyReddish-brown with gold highlights
Santos MahoganyDeep red to purplish-brown
African Sipo MahoganyWarm reddish-brown

What are the different hues of mahogany?

Different mahogany stains are available to provide a warm color on wood. They can also be used to camouflage faded wood patches before applying a finishing. They include;

Dark mahogany

This shade of mahogany is purple-based red which usually occurs in dark brown hues. This lovely shade is richly reddish-brown that is perfect for creating a luxurious appearance as it is elegant, bold, and striking. When applied on wood, the color gives stains great opacity levels, which allows little or no light to pass through the surface. 

Light mahogany hue

Light mahogany color consists of red and violet pigmentations that make it lean towards plum shades. This light reddish-brown tone is ideal for multiple functions and uses. 

Mahogany furniture color

Mahogany wood stains are oil-based and thus easy to apply. They also feature controlled infiltration, which makes them create a rich, smooth tone. Several mahogany colors are available to choose from, perfect for inner surfaces like flooring, doors, antiques, furniture, cabinetry, and wood trim. 

The mahogany furniture color is applied using a soft cloth and does not leave streak marks. You can apply it to all types of unfinished wood and on different kinds of vanished or painted surfaces to attain a wood grain effect. 

Reddish mahogany

While mahogany is a reddish-brown or pink wood mostly used in furniture, there is also a reddish mahogany color. This hue combines cool violet or red tones, making it ideal for application in several life aspects. 

Mahogany hair color

Mahogany’s hair color is reddish-brown with cool and warm undertones making it suitable for several skin shades and tones. It is a rich color that sometimes comes with highlights of violet or warm red.

What is Mahogany Wood?

Mahogany wood is a type of hardwood obtained from several tree species in the Swietenia and Khaya genera. It is known for its rich reddish-brown to deep brown color, attractive grain patterns, and durability. Mahogany is widely used in furniture making, cabinetry, musical instruments, boat building, and decorative applications due to its exceptional quality and appearance. 

What are the main features of mahogany wood?

Mahogany wood

Mahogany is one of the most popular types of wood among woodworkers due to its resilience, hardness, and elegance. It produces high-quality furniture, carvings, cabinetry, sculpture, and interior trim. Some of the wood’s main features include;


Mahogany wood is primarily pink, red, or salmon-colored when freshly cut. Its tones become deeper as the wood matures, giving it a rich brown-red or red cast. 


Mahogany is a robust, strong wood that is long-lasting, making it a prevalent option for furniture. 


The grain in mahogany ranges from straight, wavy, or curvy, and it has a fine or medium texture. The irregularities in the grain make the wood desirable as they make it produce attractive, visually appealing pieces. 

Shape retention

Mahogany wood is resistant to shrinking, swelling, and warping over time. This property makes the wood perfect for use in areas that are prone to excess humidity and moisture. 

Excellent workability

Mahogany wood is excellent for sanding and machining due to its balanced density. The wood is not too hard and has a consistently straight grain that makes it great for woodwork. 

Clear, large lumber

Mahogany trees grow tall and strong to produce long and wide boards free from defects and knots. 


The cost of mahogany wood varies depending on its species, source, and quality. Several limitations have been put on exporting this wood, leading to diminishing supplies of true mahogany. These limited supplies are making the prices of wood increase further. However, the wood grown in plantations has become the most affordable and economical to use. 

What are the colors that complement mahogany?

Dark mahogany furniture needs to be paired with the right colors to prevent it from disappearing into the background. You need to consider the floor and walls in a room to give it the elegance you desire. Your decorative items, window treatments, and other pieces need to match the natural shades of mahogany furniture. 

Color of Mahogany

The following colors will go well with mahogany;


The green color complements the mahogany’s deep-red tones, which are natural. You can pair mahogany furniture with different shades of green, such as olive, to create a darker room overall, or use sage green if you need a lighter alternative. The green hue is excellent for balancing out the rich red shade in the furniture. 


Red accents are also an excellent choice when it comes to the enhancement of the red tones in mahogany furniture. While red is a refreshing tone, you cannot use it to paint all four walls in a room that has mahogany furniture. Doing this could make the room feel too overwhelming. A room with mahogany furniture can combine red shades as accents to prevent the suffocation of the red color in the room. 


Lighter wooden floorings or furnishings will help create a sense of balance in a living space with mahogany pieces of furniture. You can match mahogany pieces with light golden woods like oak or pine. Since the colors are contrasting, they will generate a balance between them. You can also use beech or pale ash with mahogany for a great accent. 

Blue shades

Bolder shades of blue match perfectly with mahogany furniture in a room. But, it would help if you went for darker shades as these will give a cozier feel in a room with mahogany. Combining these colors in a well-lit room will prevent it from appearing too small or too dark.

Which is the best finish for mahogany?

Lacquer is a great option for finishing any mahogany since it dries quickly and is long-lasting. The substance does not have the plastic texture that is normally left when using varnish or shellac. You only need to apply two coats of lacquer on mahogany to seal it completely, with the first coat sealing off the pores. 

How can you tell if the wood is mahogany?

You can follow these simple steps to know if the wood is mahogany or not;

  • Press the wood using your fingernail to see if it is hard or softwood. If the piece is mahogany, it should not leave a mark
  • Look at the corners of the wood to check if it is veneer or solid
  • Look at the grain and pattern of the wood
  • Observe the color to see if it is reddish-brown, which is not consistent all over the trunk. It displays some darker and light patches if it is mahogany.  

Major species of mahogany and their distinctive features


 Where found                  

Wood color

Texture and grain 


African mahogany 
Western tropical regions of AfricaColor ranges from deep reddish-brown to pale pink.
Medium to coarse texture. It needs proper treatment to feel smooth.

Used as plywood and veneer

Mountain mahogany

Western U.S. and northern Mexico

Western U.S. and Northern Mexico

Very fine and even texture

Used for firewood in a mountainous place

Cuban mahogany

South Florida and the Caribbean

Pale pinkish-brown to dark reddish-brown

Furniture manufacturing

Honduran mahogany 

Southern Mexico and Central America. It is grown in plantations.

Color ranges from dark reddish-brown to pale pinkish-brown

Irregular, wavy, straight, or interlocked 

Used in woodworks

Santos mahogany

South and Central America

It has different colors ranging from light golden brown to burgundy or dark purple-red. 

Medium fine texture 

Smooth flooring 


Different colors combine to make mahogany, such as reddish-brown, violet, and pink. This color is perfect for use in different aspects of life where beauty and elegance are required. It can be complemented with other shades such as blue, red, green, and blond to give a room a stylish look that is admirable. 

Mahogany wood is durable and easy to work with, making it popular with woodworkers. It is also great for furniture manufacture.