Walnut got really light in color...

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Forum topic by Dinger posted 03-08-2014 04:40 PM 1280 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dinger's profile


145 posts in 2231 days

03-08-2014 04:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question walnut

When I bought a large load of QSWO the mill gave me some walnut and cherry slabs. The cherry is fantastic. I’m making a humidor with the box being made of cherry and I wanted to make the miter keys from black walnut. I stored the slabs with other lumber buried deep in the pile. When I went to go retrieve it, it seemed to have lost all it’s beautiful dark color. It’s so pale now it almost looks like all sap wood but when I first got it to the shop it was dark as could be. Does walnut lost it’s color when not exposed to light for long periods of time? It was almost a year ago. Will the dark color come back? Was it always sapwood and it just fooled me when they gave it to me? This is my first experience with walnut.

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

7 replies so far

View david_larch's profile


102 posts in 2272 days

#1 posted 03-08-2014 04:45 PM

Once you cut, sand, scrape and plane it the color usually comes back. It does generally lighten over time but I think once you expose some fresh grain you will be pleased.


View MisterBill's profile


411 posts in 2221 days

#2 posted 03-08-2014 08:30 PM

How big are your walnut slabs?

View richardwootton's profile


1699 posts in 1925 days

#3 posted 03-08-2014 10:15 PM

Was it kiln dried? Some of the walnut I have that was kiln dried and I’m thinking steamed because the sap wood is kind of a milky brown. You could have gotten a slab that was primarily sap wood that had been steamed to attempt to match the heart wood. All of the black walnut I have air drying is nice, dark rich chocolate brown.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Kryptic's profile


294 posts in 1630 days

#4 posted 03-08-2014 11:07 PM

i think you might have bought a load of sapwood

you can always die it dark

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2456 days

#5 posted 03-08-2014 11:10 PM

I have 3 cans of Dollar store brown paint you can have.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Dinger's profile


145 posts in 2231 days

#6 posted 03-20-2014 04:45 PM

Thanks for the offer Dallas :). Turns out when I exposed it to light again and did some planing it darkened right up. I do like using the sap wood on some projects. Thanks for the input.

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2576 days

#7 posted 03-20-2014 05:03 PM

Yes Walnut will lighten when exposed to light. I have some old toys that my grandfather built and where they sat you can see on one side light and the other looks like walnut

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