Cherry with a walnut stain?

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Forum topic by rhybeka posted 12-23-2014 11:52 AM 1119 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rhybeka's profile


2603 posts in 2538 days

12-23-2014 11:52 AM

just curious if anyone has ever stained cherry dark? I’ve been browsing for pictures to see what it might look like. I wanted to see how much of the red comes out even with a dark stain. Or would staining cherry with walnut stain be a sacrilegious practice? :D Thanks all!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

10 replies so far

View dhazelton's profile


2283 posts in 1713 days

#1 posted 12-23-2014 03:36 PM

Cherry darkens when exposed to sunlight. I would never stain it, but it’s your wood and that’s what makes the world go around.

View RogerM's profile


747 posts in 1816 days

#2 posted 12-23-2014 03:41 PM

I’m with dhazelton. On occasion, I have used just boiled linseed oil or red mahogany (to enhance the redness) followed by a seal coat of shellac and polyurethane. I have also placed the piece out in the sun for a couple of days. You would be amazed at the difference some sunlight makes.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View Rob Vicelli's profile

Rob Vicelli

104 posts in 2108 days

#3 posted 12-23-2014 05:09 PM

Funny you ask this I have been working on some darker samples of Cherry this past week. Not that it would be something I would ever like, but I will do what is asked for. I mean I can make birch look the same but they want cherry. I have been working with the following schedule:
Sand 180
Charles Neil Sealer
Sand 320
Wipe Dye TRANSTINT concentrate mixed with H2o. (Tried numerous ones – Currently Brown Mahogany)
General Java GEl Stain
Sealcoat (Currently tinting here with Honey Amber) Warms the finish slightly 3 light coats with 320 sand in between
General Endurova Top coats

I have been trying different dyes and some stains but this is looking the best far. I am starting samples tonight but looking to spray on the dye with DA instead of H20, I hate wiping. This will change the color somewhat so I will see if it still works.

Here are a few – They may a look a little a little cloudy but I am changing the schedule to improve

-- Rob V

View rickf16's profile


386 posts in 2998 days

#4 posted 12-23-2014 05:33 PM

I stain some of my cherry projects. My wife wanted the end tables to go with the new dark flooring. You can check them out on my page.

Just my two.

-- Rick

View RRBOU's profile


136 posts in 1709 days

#5 posted 12-23-2014 05:34 PM

I have ebonized it with iron acetate and used light and dark walnut trans tint on it. But the best I have found to darken the wood and dull the red is to use general finished light brown dye. As it ages it does get darker and some of the red returns but it is pleasing to my eye anyway.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View NoThanks's profile


798 posts in 946 days

#6 posted 12-23-2014 05:41 PM

Here is a wall unit I did a long time ago. Stained dark, but I don’t remember the color used.

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View a1Jim's profile


115166 posts in 2994 days

#7 posted 12-23-2014 05:42 PM

I have experimented with dyeing wood dark but not cherry,I do use Charles Neil’s approach when dying cherry. If your staining or dying cherry too dark you might as well start with a less expensive wood like poplar.
If you want to learn more about Finishing I strongly recommend enrolling in Charles Neils online finishing class and or buying his book on finishing as a matter of fact his online woodworking class Mastering woodworking is great too.

-- Custom furniture

View rhybeka's profile


2603 posts in 2538 days

#8 posted 12-23-2014 10:56 PM

/nod/ thanks for the input all. Very nice work guys!!

I think that’s a bit more high stress than I’m looking to go at the moment. I really was just curious as to what it would look like. i think it’s pretty and I like the grain but I’ll stick with using walnut and just a poly/lacquer/etc :)

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 2964 days

#9 posted 12-24-2014 01:09 AM

Cherry is one of my favorite wood species. It is simply beautiful with a clear finish and it also has very nice stain characteristics. You can make cherry take on any color and it will be simply amazing in appearance. I also would prefer cherry for stain projects over poplar because cherry is significantly harder than poplar and thus a better choice for your project. Like most species, they need to be sanded properly and conditioned. You could purchase Charles product as you would yield great results that way, or if you want I can pm you our conditioner. Any way you decide, an adequate conditioner will be the key to your success.

-- .

View Madwood's profile


67 posts in 2468 days

#10 posted 12-24-2014 01:13 AM

I occasionally stain cherry with Med Walnut Watco to darken it down. I’ve also mixed a 50/50 Cherry/Med Walnut Watco if the raw cherry is less red. Let it cure overnight and topcoat. I would rather let cherry darken on its’ own, but sometimes it needs a little help.

Good luck,

-- In the shop making chaos out of order

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