• Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by Grantman posted 03-28-2008 01:10 PM 1134 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Grantman's profile


113 posts in 4050 days

03-28-2008 01:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood purpleheart finishing question

Made my first project in purpleheart last month, a yoga bench for my wife. It was purple – light grape jelly purple – at the lumber yard when I bought it. Working it, the pieces immediately turned brown (expected) and within a day or so, turned a red-violet color, kind of like a glass of diluted Merlot.

How long will it take to turn back to that purple color? Is there anything I can do to accelerate the process? Do I need to expose it to sunlight?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


5 replies so far

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 3889 days

#1 posted 03-28-2008 02:53 PM

My experience has been that if you are using a dull blade or otherwise “burning” the wood, it turns black. After I initially cut it, it would be light purple if it didn’t burn. After a few days, the color would deepen and it would return to a nice deep “merlot” color. That should be it’s natural look.

If you have used a stain or sealer then your results are going to be dependent on the color of the product and whether the wood can breath.

I’m probably wrong on that but that’s what I think…

-- He said wood...

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4012 days

#2 posted 03-28-2008 03:52 PM

I have some purpleheart, and haven’t given much thought to it color changing. I will have to keep that in mind.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3899 days

#3 posted 03-28-2008 04:14 PM

I made my wife a pen of purpleheart and it has darkened. I attributed it to hand oil, but it sounds like it darkens naturally, like cherry does.

View Narayan's profile


8 posts in 3748 days

#4 posted 03-29-2008 12:22 AM

If you take a few shavings off it and put it in the sun, it’ll turn bright purple. Or is it take it out of the sun? I don’t remember. :)

I’m not sure what chemical process takes place here, something like oxidization. Anyway, the surface will turn a kind antique brown with time. I don’t remember (it’s been a while since I’ve built anything with purpleheart) if there’s a way to lock in the bright purple through sealing.

View Grantman's profile


113 posts in 4050 days

#5 posted 03-29-2008 11:48 AM

Dannyboy, it’s good to know that the merlot color is what it’s supposed to be for the “final” color. It’s still unfinished (sanded to 220) waiting for it to go back to the light grape jelly color. Maybe I’ll just leave it at that, or put a natural oil on it leave it be. I did use a somewhat dull blade and there was some burning but sanding took it back to the red violet.

Narayan, I put a few pieces in the sun but evidently not long enough…nothing happened. I probably didn’t leave it long enough. You’re thinking ‘antique brown’ will be the final color? Very interesting.

Oh well, I’ll leave the post up over the weekend and see if anyone else chimes in with their experiences.

Thanks, all.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics