How is the sun fade against Brazilian leopard wood?

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Forum topic by Soup505 posted 03-04-2016 05:04 PM 590 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 838 days

03-04-2016 05:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question leopardwood desk tabletop sun fade

I’m building a desk top out of Brazilian leopardwood and wanted to know how resistant it is to sun fading.

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1361 posts in 944 days

#1 posted 03-05-2016 11:33 PM


I have no experience with leopard wood. I checked the “Wood Database” but found nothing related to sun light effects. Here is the link.

I have been told that dark woods lighten with time. I would say leopard wood is a dark wood. I am not sure whether this lightening is caused by ultraviolet light or air or both. Since air tends to gray all woods, I suspect the lightening effect is due to ultraviolet light. In my experience with a black walnut desk setting in front of 3 large south facing windows in a room where sun light floods the room for at least 6 hours a day, the walnut has shown no signs of fading or color change. It was an easy check since the desk has a blotter. Moving the blotter would reveal any color change – none was observed. This is after about 3 or 4 years, not sure of the time.

There are two things I can think of the preserve the color of a wood that will be subject to significant sunlight (direct or indirect). The first is to have low e glass in the windows. On this one you are either lucky to already have it or will just have to live with what you got. I am pretty sure you are not changing the windows.

The second is to apply at least one coat of finish designed for outdoor use (more coats would offer more protection). I have switched to a spar varnish on my projects for this reason. These have chemicals that absorb UV light, thus reducing the amount of UV hitting the wood pigments. I wish I could recall whether I used spar varnish on the walnut desk, but I can’t.

I am sure my answers are less than satisfactory, but since no one as yet responded, I thought I would share my limited knowledge.

View Soup505's profile


2 posts in 838 days

#2 posted 03-06-2016 03:34 AM

Thanks for your response, my desk has east facing windows with sun hitting it every morning. I’m not sure about the windows other than the crew that built the house did the cheapest of cheap with everything. The entire subdivision had to re-shingle after 5 years and they didn’t give many options. Anyway,the leopard wood I have is more of a red wood and I will be hitting it with a sanding sealer and then a couple of clear coats if that makes a difference.

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