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Forum topic by fatty posted 02-09-2014 07:04 PM 1054 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View fatty's profile


9 posts in 2212 days

02-09-2014 07:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: purpleheart

Is it true that Purpleheart will change color over time. I’ve even heard it will change shades of purple if put in sunlight.

7 replies so far

View Ingjr's profile


144 posts in 3220 days

#1 posted 02-09-2014 07:32 PM

It gets a dark chocolate looking brown. Much more attractive than when it’s fresh cut and purple. IMO. I use to like the purple. Now I’m not so wild about it. I built a jewelry chest from it a couple years ago and it’s now entirely dark brown.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 4099 days

#2 posted 02-09-2014 07:49 PM

Yes, it darkens to a deep brown. It looks great when first cut….but then….. I do use PH but I plan on the darkening. For instance maple and fresh cut PH to me looks nasty (I know some will disagree), but when the PH darkens it’s combination really works for me. So plan on the darkening and there are great uses for PH in lots of projects.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View bygrace's profile


181 posts in 2173 days

#3 posted 02-09-2014 07:56 PM

The guy at the hardwood store told me it would turn brownish when worked (cut, planed, sanded etc.), but that the purple would come back if put in sunlight.

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.

View retfr8flyr's profile


386 posts in 1872 days

#4 posted 02-09-2014 08:26 PM

I was told the the purple hart would return to it’s original color when placed in the sun, if it had not been finished with anything. I am currently making a jewelry box from purple heart and I want it to stay purple for as long as possible. I was told to put it in the sun after all the cuts were made, the sanding finished, ready for glue up and then finish it with lacquer and it would stay purple for a long time. I am not experienced enough to know if this is correct or not but I hope so.

-- Earl

View LiveEdge's profile


594 posts in 1824 days

#5 posted 02-09-2014 11:01 PM

Is is what wood database says:

When freshly cut the heartwood of Purpleheart is a dull grayish/purplish brown. Upon exposure the wood becomes a deeper eggplant purple. With further age and exposure to UV light, the wood becomes a dark brown with a hint of purple. This color-shift can be slowed and minimized by using a UV inhibiting finish on the wood.

View fatty's profile


9 posts in 2212 days

#6 posted 02-10-2014 03:57 AM

Thanks for all the great info.
I am currently doing a segmented vase in purpleheart. Because the vase is somewhat tall, I did it in two separate sections with each section consisting of 4-5 rings. Well the purpleheart in the bottom section is a bright purple. The top section, which was cut and worked several weeks after the bottom piece, but from the same original board, is a lot duller with not as much purple.
Again, same board but clearly a difference in the color from top and bottom sections. WTH?????
Didn’t know if putting it in the sun would bring back the purple in the top section….

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2767 days

#7 posted 02-10-2014 04:02 AM

A lot of woods (particularly the exotics) tend to darken over time. Its a natural process that occurs as a reaction in (i believe) the tannic (sp?) acids in the wood.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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