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View agallant's profile

Darken Cherry

by agallant
posted 02-06-2012 10:48 PM


17 replies so far

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1111 days


#1 posted 02-06-2012 10:51 PM

Fresh sawn/sanded Cherrywood is fairly light reddish brown.
Over time Cherry will darken by itself to a medium Reddish Brown color.
When exposed to UV light, such as direct sunlight, or UV lamps, the process can be accellerated some.

If you want the dark Red colors that are typically associated with Cherrywood, you will need to stain or dye it.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Max's profile

Max

55975 posts in 2964 days


#2 posted 02-06-2012 10:52 PM

Cherry will darken on its own with age. If in the sun light it will darken quicker. You can darken it with stain, but it becomes a rich dark color with age…

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View oicurn2it2's profile

oicurn2it2

121 posts in 2528 days


#3 posted 02-07-2012 12:00 AM

have you tried an ammonia tent ?

construct a small tent over the piece to be “gassed” and place a bowl of ammonia in (it doesn’t take much) ,close up and leave until desired look,don’t forget to time it , Stickley and Roy croft used this method on their mission style furniture (mainly white oak )
but it works on other woods as well (in differing degrees)

-- "when you think youre going to slow, slow down just a little bit more" .... Pop's

View knothead's profile

knothead

154 posts in 2639 days


#4 posted 02-07-2012 12:09 AM

Unless we’re simply being impatient, let nature take it’s course…...I have a few pieces of cherry furniture I have built and they are turning the most gorgeous reddish brown all on their own and the full figure of the grain is not diminished or otherwise muted as it can be with some stains ect. The color is, well, it is very nice!

-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3500 posts in 2651 days


#5 posted 02-07-2012 12:31 AM

All of the above. Don’t be fooled by the stuff (new) that has a really dark red color. It has been stained/toned, or otherwise darkened to resemble what the typical consumer perceives “cherry” to be.
The natural ageing is MY idea of what the wood should be (but then I’m a purist-of sorts).
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1111 days


#6 posted 02-07-2012 01:17 AM

A Cranberry (dark red) dye will tone Cherrywood very nicely without going opaque and obscuring the grain. It can be amazingly beautiful when properly done.

Patience, and pratice are the order of the day. Make several samples before committing to your final piece.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2435 days


#7 posted 02-07-2012 02:55 AM

Potassium Di-chromate solution. Paint it on, wipe it off. Reapply if you want it darker. Sand lightly between applications and use a respirator. W. D. Lockwood makes a Cherrytone amber dye that matches this color prettty close.

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1111 days


#8 posted 02-07-2012 03:58 PM

That looks real close to the eventual natural color Cherry will attain on its own. (Given enough time)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1741 days


#9 posted 02-08-2012 05:29 AM

If you want a NATURAL cherry look, put a couple coats blo on, then park it in the sun for 2 or 3 hours. Turn it a bit once or twice to even exposure. Your done. It will achieve app. 65% of a 200 year old finish in that time. If you don’t believe me, put a piece of masking tape on a piece of scrap and try this. Blo doesn’t help the suntan, you just want to get all the sanding out of the way before the treatment. Once it’s beautiful, you won’t want to mess with it. I know this works; I do it all the time.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112335 posts in 2268 days


#10 posted 02-08-2012 05:35 AM

I second Tenontim’s Idea.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View thedude50's profile

thedude50

3525 posts in 1168 days


#11 posted 02-08-2012 05:45 AM

@fussy are you saying to apply blo on it full strength then set the piece in the warm california sun for 2-3 hours and it will turn red

my cousin made a nice cherry stereo cabinet in 1970 and the thing had a uv protector put on it it is still blonde yuck a very nice piece ruined by the wrong finish after the wood is red do you shellack it or put a poly or a varnish on it to protect the wood

-- when I am not on Lumberjocks I am on @ http://thisoldworkshop.com where we allow free speech

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1741 days


#12 posted 02-08-2012 08:46 AM

Dude,

That’s exactly right. I usually sand to 220, then flood the piece with blo and sand in a circular motion with 320 wet-or-dry adding a little more blo as it looks dry. Then, after a few minutes of this, I wipe it dry. Next day, same thing with blo and 400 wet-or-dry; just not as much. It’s more to lubricate the sandpaper and create a slurry than to force more oil into the wood. At this point, the wood’s color has deepened and the texture is smoothed and softened. Wipe dry, and keep checking for wet spots that may weep out. Let it dry for a few days, wipe it down, if necessary with a gray synthetic pad and place in the sun. Cherry is photo-tropic (?) (light-sensitive) and it’s just like developing film. The right exposure for the look you want.

It will darken quickly, then slow down. It will continue to darken for years, but you will have given it a big jump start towards its’ final beauty. The big advantage of this approach is the natuarl look. The grain is not occluded by pigment stains, nor is the color forced by chemical treatments (which in themselves are dangerous to you and the environment), and as the color continues to develop, it will continue to be naturally beautiful; like the most beautiful woman you ever saw who needs no make-up instead of a cheap hooker with pounds of paint spoiling the picture.

Cherry is one of the loveliest woods in the world, and deserves the best tratment—the LEAST TREATMENT—to show itself. One can’t fake Mother Nature. You may come close, but it will allways bite you if you fake it.

I have been doing this to cherry for 40 years, and some of the stuff I built back then, when I see it again, leaves me breathless. Try a piece of masking tape on a scrap piece without oil just to see what an hour of full sun can do for you. You can finish the piece in any way you wish according to need. Usually, I just buff it out with a beeswax/oil mixture that’s soft. Rub it in sparingly, but thouroughly, buff with soft cotton or wool, repeat. If extreme protection is needed, poly applied over the oil will do the job. Then wax and buff to get the tactile feel that drives people to touch as well as look at it.

This is a simple approach, but I have allwaays gotten raves over the look. My Mother was my first recipient and she treasurred her gift to the day she died. Try it. It’s not hard, doesn’t cost much, doesn’t stink or hurt you, and doesn’t take forever. Left just waxed over the oil, scratches are easy to repair. Poly is harder to damage, but harder to repair. Both work well. Good luck

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View JohnMeeley's profile

JohnMeeley

253 posts in 1023 days


#13 posted 02-08-2012 09:17 AM

tenontim nailed it. Potassium Di-chromate is a strong oxidizer that ages the tanins present in cherry. I purchased some through http://shellac.net/Dichromate-Tannin.html and made a 10% solution. The beauty of this method is the even tone that is achieved. It will raise the grain, but that is no real problem. I suggest raising the grain with plain water to dampen the surface, then apply the solution for an even chemical reaction. A few coats of #2 Kusmi buttonlac will give depth and beauty to the grain.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View MashMaster's profile

MashMaster

92 posts in 1350 days


#14 posted 02-08-2012 05:28 PM

so is “blo” Potassium Di-chromate?

-- - Dave ; Austin, TX

View JohnMeeley's profile

JohnMeeley

253 posts in 1023 days


#15 posted 02-08-2012 07:54 PM

MashMaster Blo = boiled linseed oil.

-- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say you cannot do."-Walter Bagehot

View greenstormman's profile

greenstormman

3 posts in 994 days


#16 posted 02-08-2012 08:42 PM

I have a different problem. I am searching for some natural green wood. Imean really green wood. Does anyone know the source ?

View Fuzzy's profile

Fuzzy

293 posts in 2679 days


#17 posted 02-10-2012 05:57 AM

I use a weak lye solution … much more readily available, and less $$$$ than Potassium Dichromate.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

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