'Aging' cherry

I'm just about done cutting, planning and sanding the components for a small cherry project.
The wood is noticibly lighter now, after sanding and planning than when I started with the raw stock.
Will the wood continue to darken/redden if I clear coat it or should I let it sit unfinished, in the sun, for a while until it darkens as desired prior to finishing?
I plan on using General Finishes Arm-R-Seal Oil & Urethane finish.
ThankX, Ron
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YES.
NO
Sounds good!
Cherry darkens nicely (patena) on it's own.
No stain (ug) or sitting in the sun here: http://www.garagewoodworks.com/Cherry_Table.htm
or here:
http://www.garagewoodworks.com/cherry_step_stool.htm
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Yep, it'll do that. Don't be concerned, though. It'll darken up again.

Yes.
I wouldn't do that. Too much chance of it collecting dust, smudges, etc. Set it in the sun *after* you clear coat it.
If you want to accelerate the darkening process, you can treat it with a weak lye solution, or ammonia-fume it. Google Groups search on this ng for cherry lye ammonia should turn up lots of information.
Or you can be patient, and let it darken naturally (provides the best appearance, IMO).

Perfect.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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That's what I used on the cherry cradle I built for my wife's niece, and again for my daughter. My wife came in when I was about to put on the first coat of poly - after I'd put on the seal-a-cell (The guy who gave the finishing class at Woodcraft I attended a few years ago was adamant: first the seal-a-cell THEN the arm r seal).
Anyway, she said "THAT'S the color I wanted for that maple nightstand you made me." We got that nightstand a nice color, but nowhere near the lovely shade of that cherry.
That was my first cherry project. If we'd only known then which wood is her favorite, it would have saved me some staining. I don't stain anything any more. If I want it dark, I use cherry or walnut. :-)
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Great, I should be able to compete it by the weekend then.
I've been using GF stains and finishes for a several years now and am quite pleased with them overall.
ThankX all, Ron
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You are welcome. You escaped the worst treatment possible on the Wreck. I'm not allowed/authorized to say more than that. ...got to run.....
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FYI, if your finish has UV protective qualities, which many do, it will retard the darkening some. I've never figured out the science of the darkening process so I'm not sure if it is actually a light driven oxidation process and if it is, I assume any film finish will retard that too.
Lots of folks just cringe at coloring Cherry but I don't think there is anything sacred about it. I've used very light additions of dyes to hasten the darkening look and I've done dark glazes over the first coat of film finish to amazing results that looked like a 100 year old piece.

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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Same here, but I think I've figured out why some folks get so freaked out.
It's how cherry takes a stain when applied by the unknowing. <G> I've seen a few simply AWFUL blotch jobs on beautiful cherry.
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Now I've taken to tinting with shellacs, either of natural color, or with transtint dyes added.
--
Alex -- Replace "nospam" with "mail" to reply by email. Checked infrequently.

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Orange shellac. Bob Flexner's book shows a dresser French polished with orange shellac that looks absolutely stunning. 1 or 2 lb cut brushed on and steel wooled after the last coat should give similar results.
Yes, cherry *will* darken to a blood red hue over time -- say 30 years. As for a tinted finish being cheating, I've never seen an old piece of cherry that wasn't finished with some sort of tinted glaze.
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wrote:

I often wonder if the older pieces used a garnet shellac, or an artificial colorant, but I definitely agree with you. It's really hard to tell exactly what it was decades later. <G>
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Alcohol test. I keep a few isopropyl swabs in my site toolkit's first aid bin. They have uses other than sterilizing tweezers.
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wrote:

I put that the wrong way. I know how to tell what kind of a finish is there, but it can be very difficult to determine if it's a dark shellac, or a shellac mixed with artificial colorants decades later.
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Exactly!
I use Seal Coat as a sanding sealer 99% of the time. Since SC is simply dewaxed shellac, it's really easy to put a few drops of TT into it.
Tinted shellac sealer coats are quite easy to hand apply, even though I usually spray it. Tinting the later top coats usually requires spray application.
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