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I'm fairly new to working with cherry. I took on a project for a buddy of mine to make a TV stand. I just cant seem to get that old, red cherry look to come out just right. I cant set it outside right now for sun exposure as its cloudy and rainy here for the next few days. Ive heard you can treat the wood with liquid plumber( to get a chemically darkened finish….just a little more than apprehensive about doing that though. I'd like to find a stain of some sort that will do it. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey okwoodshop, Ive actually tried the minwax red mahogany. Just doesnt get dark enough for me. Very nice rocker though!

Hobomonk, HA! No, Im not practicing on the finished product. That's what all those scraps are for ;-)

union label, thanks for the link! I may give old masters a shot.

Has anyone ever heard of using liquidplumber to chemically darken wood? Had a guy at woodcraft tell me to try it.
 

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I've never used Liquid Plumber, but I HAVE used a weak lye solution on several projects. I mix about a tablespoon of lye to a quart or more of water, and apply with any old brush. It will age your cherry about 30 years in approx. 1-2 minutes. Try it on some scrap .. it is AMAZING !! No muddying of the grain, no blotching, .. just instant aging.

If Liquid Plumber works, it is the lye in it doing the magic. I hesitate to use it, as I don't know what other chemicals are in there that might interfere with your finishing schedule. Lye is getting harder to come by since RED DEVIL quit making it a few years ago. LOWES has some, but you have to be careful about reading the labels in order to get one that is 100% Sodium Hydroxide. It's getting a bit scarce because it has been used in production of Meth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I tried some liquid plumber tonight. It actually seemed to work! Afterit dried out, I put a coat of stain on it and it doesnt seem to interfere with stain. You're right, the labelclaims it is mostly sodium hydroxide. Never wouldve thought that.
 
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