Cherry Color Change Rate

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Forum topic by rbterhune posted 11-14-2009 05:12 AM 1307 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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176 posts in 3427 days

11-14-2009 05:12 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood question tip cherry

I’m new to woodworking (wonder how long I’ll be typing that?)...and I’d like to use cherry for my first project, perhaps many others because I love its rich medium tone.

My question in the form of a scenario…I go buy some rough lumber to mill myself. I bring it home…right off the bat I can’t touch it for 2 months…family crisis. After a couple of months I get to mill it down and I actually start on a couple of the parts, but then the holidays come around and i’m busy for another couple of months. All this time the wood is laying stacked imperfectly on my lumber rack in the upper area of my garage…it’s been a total of 5-6 months probably…do I have some boards with ghost lines where another board was laying crooked on top of it?

If this is a real probably that I have to deal with, how do I combat it? Also, that pretty much makes my nightstand useless for holding a lamp for a period of time, or I’ll see the ghost imprint of the lamp, right?


3 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4027 days

#1 posted 11-14-2009 05:28 AM

The color change that you are describing is not quite as dramatic as you are making it to be but yes cherry will darken with exposure to light and oxidation from the air. Does it make your nightstand useless for holding a lamp? Not in my opinion and cherry is the wood I use for most of my furniture. I have some cherry slabs that I milled from a log about two months ago that are stored in the crawl space. They are already showing some color change despite being in the dark most of the time.

As far as doing anything to combat it you just can’t fight mother nature. The color change is what makes cherry such a gorgeous wood. If you want to prevent subtle color differences due to light exposure then move the lamp around to expose the area under the base. Eventually the nightstand will develop an aged cherry tone.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rbterhune's profile


176 posts in 3427 days

#2 posted 11-14-2009 06:23 AM

Yes, the aged cherry is what I’m looking for. I just didn’t want to have all these color variations pop up because of my lack of being able to work on it. I don’t mind limiting its use (like the lamp thing) too terribly given my love for the wood, but it would be a hassle.


View LesB's profile


1869 posts in 3649 days

#3 posted 11-14-2009 07:39 AM

Even out the color by adding a cherry stain to the finished piece. Staining is a common method of working with cherry to blend natural variations in it’s color.
You might also expose the boards to sunlight for various periods of time and the color should even out.

-- Les B, Oregon

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