All Replies on Cherry wood finish?

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View mmcafee09's profile

Cherry wood finish?

by mmcafee09
posted 03-09-2012 02:11 PM

24 replies so far

View bruc101's profile


1200 posts in 3570 days

#1 posted 03-09-2012 02:14 PM

Why would anyone want to stain Cherry? Must be a good friend to give you a load of Cherry!!! Congrats!

-- Bruce Free Plans

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 2359 days

#2 posted 03-09-2012 02:21 PM

I like cherry natural myself also. It is beautiful all on it’s own. I have a bunch of cherry flooring left over from a job that I’ve been using for projects. After I milled some out, I tried a few different stains on scrap pieces. All different shades look good IMO. Just a matter of experimenting and see what you like. A few scraps and a dab of different stain on each one and you can keep them for future reference too if you label them

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View David's profile


198 posts in 2692 days

#3 posted 03-09-2012 02:40 PM

I’m with Bruce and Ben, I don’t like to stain cherry. But if you do, just remember that the cherry will darken with age so stain a little lighter than what you want the final color to be. Otherwise I really like tung oil on cherry, it warms the color without hiding the natural beauty of the wood.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2722 days

#4 posted 03-09-2012 02:42 PM

Oil it up and let the sun take care of the color.. Cherry will get a nice red color with age.. the oil will bring out the beauty in the wood.. that’s my method of choice and I’m sticking to it :)

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View jdmaher's profile


430 posts in 2608 days

#5 posted 03-09-2012 03:32 PM

I, too, do not stain cherry. To me, it seems just beautiful the way God made it.

And it’s very satisfying to watch it darken over time.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View GuyK's profile


356 posts in 4108 days

#6 posted 03-09-2012 03:52 PM

I am like everyone else, I don’t like to stain cherry but I have found a stain that gives it that aged look instantly. I have used General Finishs Black Cherry on several projects and it looks great.

-- Guy Kroll

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2483 days

#7 posted 03-09-2012 05:33 PM

I have never been a big fan of stains. Especially on cherry. If you want to make one type of wood look like another by using stain, why not just build it out of that kind of wood. I like the variation in colors of natural wood. Stains can enhance some woods but cherry always seems to be stained so dark that you can’t see the grain. Be patient and let that cherry darken on it’s own. No stain can match the beauty of letting it age and take on it’s own natural color!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2805 days

#8 posted 03-09-2012 05:44 PM

I make my own finish but MinWax has a tung oil finish that is a tung oil poly mix. This works very well.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5002 posts in 2522 days

#9 posted 03-09-2012 09:18 PM

Garnet shellac has recently become my favorite finish on cherry.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2428 days

#10 posted 03-09-2012 10:18 PM

Plain ole boiled linseed oil makes a nice finish on cherry. Followup with some thinned polyurethane for a more glossy finish.

I also finish cherry with the mentioned cherry Minwax stain but before I stain it I put on a coat of Seal Coat (shellac base) diluted three parts alcohol to one part Seal Coat. This initial wash coat almost eliminates the blotching often experienced when staining cherry. Follow up with a coat of full strength seal coat the three coats of diluted poly (diluted one part poly to one part mineral spirits.)

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View Marlow's profile


174 posts in 2699 days

#11 posted 03-10-2012 12:36 AM

Try some Tried and True Varnish Oil on some cherry prepped with smoother/sanded to 320 or so: Nothing more beautiful.

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 4017 days

#12 posted 03-13-2012 01:32 AM

I use Cherry a LOT, and I’ve colored it anywhere from “just a hint” to “really dark” ... just depends on what the end use/customer wants/likes. I’ve had great results using Charles Neil’s Blotch Control along with a variety of dyes. The combination really irons out the differences between heart/sap wood, which can be a pain if you’re trying to build out of nothing but heartwood in order to eliminate the color differences. The Blotch Control + dye simply makes sapwood disappear.

Another great recipe to consider is simply a washdown with a mild solution of Lye in warm water … it ages Cherry decades in only a few minutes. I personally don’t like to wait out the aging process, and this simply speeds up the inevitable.

I am such an ANTI-FAN of Linseed Oil that I won’t even allow it in my shop. I have a can from about 1950 that I use on occasion to wipe down shovel handles & such … to me, that’s about all it’s good for. Learn to use dyes and you will soon abandon BLO.

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

View dbray45's profile


3320 posts in 2805 days

#13 posted 03-13-2012 11:17 AM

BLO can make a really nice finish if you have the time, right up until you set set a drink on it (adult beverage). Alchohol removes BLO very quickly.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Jordan Curcio's profile

Jordan Curcio

13 posts in 2294 days

#14 posted 03-14-2012 02:43 AM

I try to never stain cherry, The natural mellowing of the wood is beautiful. But if I ever put stain on cherry, I use Minwax cherry stain. It doesn’t change the color much, but adds a slight depth to the finish.

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2722 days

#15 posted 03-14-2012 02:46 AM

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2722 days

#16 posted 03-14-2012 02:47 AM

Or, imo:

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2334 days

#17 posted 03-14-2012 03:12 AM

Tung oil and BLO, never used anything else, and been very happy with the results. I have a cherry bookshelf I made years ago, after about 3 years with sun bathing it everyday from the window it is a beautiful dark cherry. Unfortunately there is a small area on one side that was pretty shielded from the sun, not as dark as the rest but still very nice.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2605 days

#18 posted 03-14-2012 03:14 AM

I use zinsser sealcoat (dewaxed shellac) followed by crystalac.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View mmcafee09's profile


29 posts in 2301 days

#19 posted 03-28-2012 03:17 AM

thanks guys for the comments i will definetly use them.

-- The College Woodworker

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#20 posted 03-28-2012 03:36 AM

I’m with fuzzy on the Charles Neil approach
What David Marks uses is Potassium dichromate

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View garberfc's profile


57 posts in 2283 days

#21 posted 03-28-2012 12:08 PM

One suggestion I can give you in regards to staining samples; make sure you view the dried samples in the intended eventual lighting. Different lighting temperatures and brightness may change the perception of the color.

View newwoodbutcher's profile (online now)


744 posts in 2879 days

#22 posted 03-30-2012 06:44 AM

I’ve had great success using Potassium dichromate to instantly age cherry with a variety of top coats, it looks gorgeous! I recently used Potassium dichromate and Waterlox original on a new set of stairs. I’m very happy with the results.

-- Ken

View dalepage's profile


350 posts in 869 days

#23 posted 04-05-2017 03:31 AM

I would definitely use tung oil or boiled linseed. Cherry “ages” instantly with oil and you don’t see blotching like you do with stain. I’m a fan of Watco rather than Minwax.

-- Dale

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2637 posts in 676 days

#24 posted 04-05-2017 11:23 AM

I agree with the boiled linseed oil and sunbathing method. I oil individual parts throughout a build and once assembled, oil the entire project and let it sunbathe for at least another three days getting darker each day!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.

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