Reply by Scott Bryan

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Posted on how do i darken new cherry ?

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4502 days

#1 posted 01-31-2011 01:53 PM

Kenny, one of the first things I suggest when I see posts like this is to suggest using scrap pieces to practice on before tackling the project itself. Make yourself a reference board(s) out of cherry sanded to the final grit that you intend for your project and use it to detail the individual finishing steps. This lets you practice on scrap and decide the finish that you are going to apply to the real project.

As far as darkening cherry goes, an oil application such as boiled linseed oil, will tone it somewhat and add an aged look to the wood. But cherry will continue to darken with exposure to light. One thing that you can do, if you want to avoid chemical darkening, is to expose the wood to direct sunlight before applying your finish. Suntanning works pretty well for aging cherry. A 2 to 3 week exposure will darken the cherry.

If you want to consider a chemical application Alin Dobra posted this blog which details how he uses potassium dichromate to achieve an aged color in cherry. I have not used this as I prefer to simply let cherry age on its own but I have seen other references to it as a means of “aging” cherry.

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