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Does Eastern/Aromatic Red Cedar change color?

6177 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  BinghamtonEd
Does the heartwood of Eastern/Aromatic Red Cedar undergo color change? I'd like to incorporate a splash of reddish color into an inlay I'm designing. Purpleheart is, of course, notorious for turning brown, and some people report that bloodwood does the same. So I'm looking for a safe simple alternative.
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Yep. After planing it will look lighter red orange, sometimes almost purple-ish. Give it a couple weeks, and it will look orange. After years it will probably be that dark brownish red that you associate with cedar trunks.

Here are pictures from a project I did :
Before : Probably at least 50 years old, finished with shellac and beaten up

After : This is probably 2 months after the lumber was planed down. Finished with polycrylic (doesn't yellow). I saw this about a month ago, and it still looks the same color after 2+ years, although it doesn't seen much sunlight to speak of. The top was all new lumber, the sides were the original wood, planed/sanded down. The new and old match well once planed.

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The finish you pick will also have an effect on the final color of the wood. If you want to keep the colors true to what they are prior to finishing, you may want to consider a water-based finish, but over time, if they're going to change, they will.
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