Please recommend a fool-proof natural finish for cherry

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Forum topic by HarveyDunn posted 03-26-2014 09:11 PM 1581 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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328 posts in 1694 days

03-26-2014 09:11 PM

I’m going to make a keepsake boxes out of some very nice QS cherry. I’d like a finish that makes the most of the the natural beauty of these boards. Could any recommend a fool-proof finishing schedule?

For what it is worth, these are the things I have on hand, but I’ll be happy to buy others if that is what it takes:

Watco Danish Oil (Natural)
Watco Clear Lacquer (Satin)
General Finishes Georgian Cherry Gel Stain
General Finishes Gel Topcoat Wipe on Urethane Satin
Deft Nitrocellous Lacquer
Soft wax

19 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3541 days

#1 posted 03-26-2014 09:14 PM

Sunlight and keep turning the boxes for a even tan. You can’t get more natural than that.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View HarveyDunn's profile


328 posts in 1694 days

#2 posted 03-26-2014 09:45 PM

LOL – should have said “that I can do in one or two days”.

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3541 days

#3 posted 03-26-2014 10:05 PM

In bright sunlight you can do it in a day or two .Heres a way to do it in not such a natural way. Use Potaddium dichromate.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View HarveyDunn's profile


328 posts in 1694 days

#4 posted 03-26-2014 10:12 PM

Sorry, no.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3528 days

#5 posted 03-26-2014 10:21 PM

Tried & True wood finishes

Recently started using it and like it.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Michael J's profile

Michael J

103 posts in 3171 days

#6 posted 03-26-2014 10:56 PM

I’ve been using Watco Danish oil and Watco satin wax or Rennaissance paste wax on a lot of cherry furniture lately and I’ve been very happy with the results.

-- Mike Minneapolis, MN

View TerryDowning's profile


1076 posts in 2081 days

#7 posted 03-26-2014 11:04 PM

This one is BLO and Mineral spirits 50/50 mix let dry overnight
finish with 4 coats of shellac and buffed with finishing wax
Click for details

This one is straight BLO with clear gloss lacquer rattle can
Click for details

This one is straight BLO
Click for details

-- - Terry

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2653 days

#8 posted 03-27-2014 12:42 AM

Shellac rubbed on is the most foolproof finish I have found. And it works great on cherry.
Black Cherry has a blog on his technique and that is what I follow.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Pezking7p's profile


3217 posts in 1615 days

#9 posted 03-27-2014 01:19 AM

Danish oil is about as foolproof as it gets.

-- -Dan

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28907 posts in 2301 days

#10 posted 03-27-2014 01:26 AM

Surefire perfect? That’s nearly impossible question. Too many variables. All of us have our own opinion of what the perfect look is. You have to find the formula that works for you.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View WibblyPig's profile


172 posts in 3238 days

#11 posted 03-27-2014 01:32 AM

1/3 BLO 1/3 Turpentine 1/3 Spar Varnish (NOT Spar Urethane). Wipe on, let sit for a little bit and wipe off. Build to desired sheen. Top off with carnuba wax.

A little hint, mix some mineral spirits in with your wax. It softens it up and makes it easier to apply (more like bee’s wax).

-- Steve, Webster Groves, MO "A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2056 days

#12 posted 03-27-2014 01:33 AM

It depends on what you mean by foolproof. Cherry has a habit of blotching when you put finish on it. The least blotchy finish I ever got on cherry was using gel polyurethane. As to whether that looks natural enough is something of a matter of opinion.

I think boiled linseed oil would look ok. It won’t provide much protection though.

View CL810's profile (online now)


3773 posts in 2952 days

#13 posted 03-27-2014 02:08 AM

Harvey, I’m going to try to answer the question you asked. Forget the oils because they need more time then you have. Use the gel wipe-on poly you have.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View levan's profile


472 posts in 2943 days

#14 posted 03-27-2014 02:35 AM

I would suggest you do samples with the material you have, I’m sure one of them will meet your needs. My preference is Lacquer, no stains. Cherry will darken in time with the finish on it.
Best wishes

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1269 posts in 1597 days

#15 posted 03-27-2014 03:05 AM

There is no FOOLPROOF method with Cherry. Cherry can and does unfortunately blotch.
That being said, there are lots of good recommendations above..
But nothing is absolutely foolproof. Like all blotchy woods it depends on the wood. Cherry blotches very easily.

Good luck.

-- Jeff NJ

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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