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I'm building a new hawaiian-style tiki room on my house based on Duke's restaurants in Malibu and Hawaii (Dukesmalibu.com). I recently purchased some koa wood veneer for an inside wall. Does anybody know how to stain and varnish this great hawaiian wood?

My God my good man! Why would you stain koa? If indeed koa is what you have, the natural wood grain is the most beautiful wood there is (in my lame-ass opinion).

We have a vintage ('50's) solid koa living room set consisting of a couch, 2 chairs, a coffee table and 2 end tables. The front and side panels on all pieces have carved antheriums on them. The curl is, well... magnificant!

Here! Here! Bong, I say no stain. I believe that the walls at the Dukes, have an oil finish.




You should contact Raymond Lau at


He does use a very, very liquid and light mix for his Ukes, which are mostly made from Koa veneer that his brothers harvest for him.
He's "in the know."
I had a chance to meet him and talk with him and put together a little crappy movie for his website that may or may not be beneficial to him, even though he was appreciative. Check it out and there is one shot where he pours this thinned down laquer of some sort onto a piece of veneer.

Man, I miss Kauai.

...here's the link for the movie:


[ Edited by: pablus on 2003-09-15 09:34 ]


I know I'm late responding but I havent had the time lately. Anyways like Bong said "OIL"

please dont stain it. I can't think of the brand name I use but its "Natural" oil.

or you can wipe on tung oil for a long lasting shine. just add more coats for the shine.

Gecko, speaking of Koa, how do you think that it would work for a Bar Top? I think that I would prefer Monkey Pod, but being in So Cal, I have no idea where to get it. Would you know a source for Monkey Pod?



Thanks all, OIL it will be!


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