Adding Tannins To Cherry Sapwood

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by captfoss posted 07-29-2013 08:11 PM 1220 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View captfoss's profile


20 posts in 1640 days

07-29-2013 08:11 PM

My understanding is that cherry wood darkens as it ages because of the tannin content of the heartwood, and that sapwood does not darken because it contains no tannins. Further, to ebonize woods with low/no tannin content, you can add tannins by doing a tea stain / added tanic acid before you do an iron rub…

My question is, if you add tannins to the sapwood of a cherry board, would that cause the sapwood to naturally darken with age? And would it cause it to darken artificially with a chemical darkening process (lye, ammonia fume, potassium dichromate, etc)...

3 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile (online now)


4825 posts in 2234 days

#1 posted 07-29-2013 08:20 PM

Sounds like a recipe for a finishing disaster to me.
If you don’t want a contrasting look, cut off the sapwood when milling your lumber.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2982 days

#2 posted 07-29-2013 09:32 PM

Naw, I think it is much more complex than a lack of tannin. If tannins were the only difference there would be no color difference between heartwood and sapwood on freshly sawn boards. Willie has is right, saw it off it you don’t like it.

-- Joe

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1313 days

#3 posted 07-29-2013 09:32 PM

Correct, I agree with your 1st paragraph.

Second paragraph – yes, probably, it may darken a bit more but not by much over the years. Multiple vinegar/steel wool stains will get you there a lot faster – the resulting darker colour tone may not be completely attractive though.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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