Monday, July 16, 2012

African Padouk Coffee Table

Check out the exotic wood on this coffee table!  Have you ever seen such a vibrant red/pink?  It is a rare african wood called Padouk and that is it's natural color!  No dyes or stains were used to achieve this appearance.  When freshly cut, it is a very bright red, but when exposed to sunlight it fades over time to a warm brown.  It is native to central and tropical africa.  It can grow hundreds of feet tall.  Localy, it is used to make canoes and sculptures and furniture.  Due to it's resonant quality it has become popular for western instruments, such as guitars.   It has a bright red sap which is used as a dye for red cloth. The leaves are used in herbal medicines to heal various skin problems such as parasites and fungal infections.  Seems like a pretty diversely used wood to me!

Padouk has quite an interesting history of use, ranging from Biblical Kings to Rail cars.  For more of it's story, check out this link...

This coffee table came to us with an ugly faded finish on it.  The underside was still beautiful, but the surface had clearly faded from the sun.  We are looking forward to choosing stain colors and finish types with our clients.  A natural stain would really allow than exotic color to shine through, but they may choose to tone it down a bit with a brownish stain.  We shall see!   And I will let you all know how the project ends up looking.

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