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How long does cedar color take to fade?

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Forum topic by BinghamtonEd posted 02-26-2012 07:54 PM 3268 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1832 days


02-26-2012 07:54 PM

So my sister-in-law had an old cedar chest, with a top that had been smashed and needed to be replaced. The construction is all done and came out well. The new top is purplish in color, how long can I expect to wait for the purple to fade to reddish-brown? Ultimately I am going to be putting polycrylic on it, to offer some protection while not yellowing the color. If the polycrylic is going to slow the fading process, I would prefer to wait, and give her the chest and tell her to bring it back when the top has faded. Any ideas how long it takes, and if the polycrylic will slow the process?

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.


4 replies so far

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tenontim

2131 posts in 3207 days


#1 posted 02-27-2012 12:48 AM

You might want to wait on applying the finish, and set the top out in the sun for a day or two, to hurry the process up.

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Grandpa

3256 posts in 2138 days


#2 posted 02-27-2012 03:43 AM

When I was building cedar chest we always wiped the outside with BLO. This brought out the red color. Don’t get it inside because that seals out the nice cedar smell. We also used lacquer in those days so it reds with age…or sort of gold. have you thought about sanding the entire chest down to bare wood and starting the process. The top will fade with time but it is hard to make it match.

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1832 days


#3 posted 02-27-2012 12:37 PM

The first thing I did when I got the chest was strip down the existing finish with some DNA. It appeared to have been re-shellac’d at some point (without removing the first finish) so it was pretty nasty. I’ve gotten about 95% of the old stuff off, and am working at the rest when I have time with some 80 grit on my random orbit sander. The spots that are completely done look great. I was able to get a couple pictures up :

The second picture is before I set the trim nails in and filled the holes with some glue and cedar dust (I just sent that to my father-in-law to see what he thought of the trim I made). The top does not look anywhere near as purple now as it did when I took that picture. Also, the bottom portion has been more sanded and looks less brown and more of a muted red. If you look closely on the bottom you can see some slightly darker areas where that little bit of shellac residue remains. I will post up final pictures as a project when it is complete.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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Grandpa

3256 posts in 2138 days


#4 posted 02-27-2012 02:55 PM

I think I would leave the chest indoors out of any sunlight and put the lid outdoors if the weather permits or near a large window to allow the sun time to do its magic. I would turn the lid every morning or evening (once a day) so it gets the suns rays evenly on all sides. the chest will probably darken some with some oil on it. Check the bottom and see if you can oil a spot and see what it looks like.

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