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Question about keeping the look of recently milled, unfinished Cherry Wood?

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Forum topic by evanleehome posted 06-19-2019 02:19 PM 499 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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evanleehome

3 posts in 28 days


06-19-2019 02:19 PM

Hi there,

I love the look of recently milled, unfinished Cherry Wood.

A lot of finished products I see in Cherry are very dramatically colourful but I prefer it when it looks more neutral.

Is there a way to retain the unfinished look and keep the wood protected?

I have read that it will change with age, but can anyone comment as to what extent? I’ve had a piece, kept indoors for about a year and it still has the look I like. (see pic)

Thanks in advance for your comments!


8 replies so far

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evanleehome

3 posts in 28 days


#1 posted 06-19-2019 02:29 PM

Just wanted to add, I realize the sun will darken it in tone, but am trying to avoid having the wood turn red/orange-y like when oil is applied to it.

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SMP

1166 posts in 322 days


#2 posted 06-19-2019 02:37 PM

Maybe your picture quality is causing it, but that already looks darker than freshly milled to me.

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evanleehome

3 posts in 28 days


#3 posted 06-19-2019 02:43 PM

thanks for your comment – my sample has been indoors for close to a year…so if this is gives me a good idea of how it will darken, I’m happy. I guess my question is, it just oil and other things applied that gives it the warm (reddish) look, or is it age?


Maybe your picture quality is causing it, but that already looks darker than freshly milled to me.

- SMP


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ChefHDAN

1416 posts in 3266 days


#4 posted 06-19-2019 02:54 PM

Evan, take a look at my hall table projec, I added a pic of it 5 years after finishing and it deepened into a beautiful hue. Final finish was several coats of BLO topped with WB poly after allowing 7+ days to be sure the BLO fully cured

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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Lazyman

3517 posts in 1804 days


#5 posted 06-19-2019 02:56 PM

Anything liquid will soak in and darken and redden cherry. About the only thing I can think of that might not is straight beeswax or carnauba wax but not the kind that has been softened with mineral oil or something. It would need be hard stick of pure wax. You would basically rub it onto the wood and then buff it off. Might be tough to get a consistent finish over a large area. You could try heating it slightly but I suspect that will allow it to soak in more and not give you the effect you are looking for.

Note that cherry darkens and reddens naturally with age, usually from light or perhaps UV exposure. In fact, you have to be careful when putting a cherry table near a window because anything that stays in one place for a while will cause a light spot to form where it is shielded from light.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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SMP

1166 posts in 322 days


#6 posted 06-19-2019 02:59 PM


thanks for your comment – my sample has been indoors for close to a year…so if this is gives me a good idea of how it will darken, I m happy. I guess my question is, it just oil and other things applied that gives it the warm (reddish) look, or is it age?

- evanleehome

Mainly UV/sun over time, BUT also affected by finish in conjunction with light. Coating it with a water based finish like Polycrylic will protect without darkening much then keep away from windows, or a blond/bleached shellac. This article is about how to darken it purposefully, but conversely is of interest to you check out the picture of samples with various finishes and 2 weeks of direct sun:
http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Darkening_Cherry_to_Match_Existing.html

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Rich

4552 posts in 1006 days


#7 posted 06-19-2019 03:05 PM

Cherry is a fascinating wood. It is called a nurse tree because it is the first to re-populate an area after a fire. Its entire existence is one of struggle, from trying to survive a barren landscape, to ultimately being overtaken by taller trees whose canopy rob it of light.

Here is an excerpt from an excellent book with a chapter on cherry.

“The chemical compounds produced by cherry, which wood technologists refer to as extractives, are the building blocks of the wood’s unique pigmentation. As with all species, once the living tree produces these extractives, they are transported inward through the rays, where they are stored in the inner wood tissue that eventually becomes heartwood. It is the greater concentration of these extractives in the heartwood tissue, and their tendency to form more complex compounds called polymers, that produces the wood’s natural heartwood color. With most species, these polymers develop more or less completely while the tree is still alive. They may oxidize and undergo subtle changes once the log has been milled, but the dominant pigmentation of most woods is relatively stable once the heartwood develops.

While cherry’s extractives do polymerize to some degree in the living tree and give the wood its initial flesh-pink color, they remain exceptionally reactive, even after the log has been milled. Unlike most other species, the extractives in cherry are photosensitive. They tend to darken, rather than fade, when exposed to light. There are a few other woods with photosensitive extractives—purple-heart, for example—but in most cases, the exposure to light causes a rather quick and complete conversion of their extractives into relatively stable pigments. Cherry is different: While the initial darkening effects of light can be seen almost immediately, continued exposure to light seems to result in an ever-deepening patina over the span of years or even decades. To be sure, strong light eventually will bleach the pigments in cherry, as it will in all woods, but it is a long time coming before it happens to cherry.”

Excerpt From: Taunton Press. “Woodworking Wisdom & Know-How.”

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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pottz

5539 posts in 1401 days


#8 posted 06-19-2019 04:57 PM

im surprised you say that because the reason most people like cherry is the warm reddish tones it gets as it ages,some even like staining it to make it an even richer look.i doubt there is anyway to stop the process unless you keep it it a dark room.i just use an oil finish and let it do it’s thing.i agree with smp it looks to have already darkened quite a bit.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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