Tips #2: Suntan your cherry, #2

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Blog entry by Al Navas posted 07-15-2008 04:18 PM 1284 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Suntan your cherry; make your own buttons Part 2 of Tips series no next part

From my latest blog entry,

First, my thanks to all who read my earlier entry, and sent me e-mail requesting a follow-up. Here is that follow-up, from my blog:

In this episode I answer a question from Michael, on WoodNet:

Is there a difference in suntanning before or after applying the Waterlox? I noticed that you only applied one coat on 1/2 of the board but never showed the end result of the suntan.

And my reply was:

I currently have the test underway, and will post a follow-up, with photographs, as the test board makes progress. I will take the photos under identical conditions, to avoid differences due to environmental lighting conditions. And, by showing the changes with the same board, I will eliminate any differences due to differences in boards, and how they behave.

My thanks to all who asked great questions, and also requested a follow-up!

Now some photos of the progression of the suntan on cherry over 14 days:

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

4 comments so far

View motthunter's profile


2142 posts in 3220 days

#1 posted 07-23-2008 05:37 PM

should be interesting to see the end results.

-- making sawdust....

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3175 days

#2 posted 07-23-2008 06:43 PM

How long are you going to let this cook? I am very interested in seeing the differences.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Dusty56's profile


11804 posts in 3109 days

#3 posted 08-16-2008 11:06 PM

Is there a difference in suntanning before or after applying the Waterlox? ( from Michael at woodnet )

I think Michael wanted to know if the Cherry “tans” the same in the end (say a month later with sun exposure) whether you apply the Waterlox first or not .
I don’t know of any UV inhibitors in the Waterlox that would prevent the “tanning” from happening .

I understand the fact that you are trying to enrichen the Cherry before application of the finish : )
I’m not sure why you have covered one side of your test piece and applied finish to the other side though . Would the test have been better if you had blocked light from one third of the board , and then split the other two thirds with one being natural and the other with finish applied to see how much tanning occured with and without finish ? Thank you : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Al Navas's profile

Al Navas

305 posts in 3296 days

#4 posted 08-17-2008 01:26 AM

motthunter, and sIKE,

I did not intend to keep the test going beyond the results already documented. Sorry! The differences were already quite striking, and suggest that we might want to tan cherry as part of our finishing plans.


There is NO difference if one applies Waterlox before, or after giving the wood a good suntan. You are correct – this is so because there aren’t any UV inhibitors in the formulation, as far as I know.

I am sure I could have come up with several ways to do the test, including the one you made; and doing so would have improved the test to a great extent!

But my main interest was to show the tremendous difference between tanned vs. untanned cherry, and why one might want to tan this beautiful wood as part of a finish schedule. I may redo the test and include your test protocol – but that will have to wait for a future project that includes cherry. Thanks for the suggestion!

-- Al Navas, Country Club, MO,

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