Can I get a decent dark cherry finnish out of cheap wood?

The wife wants a shelf over two windows that abut in a corner of our bedroom. She also wants a small piece cove molding to come down like a mini-valance in front of the top of the drapes.
I priced out 2 pieces 8 foot 1"X10" Cherry and two pieces of 8' cove molding and the price was close to $300.
Plan B was for me to just glue up some smaller pieces of cherry onto the leading edge of the shelf and the backer piece to the cove molding and stick with the real cherry for the cove molding because this all you are really going to be able to see. Probably closer to $120.
But, then I thought to come here and ask if there might be a cheaper and acceptable alternative? The rest of the furniture in the room is a dark cherry which really doesn't have any great pronounced grain. Is there a wood and stain combination that might satisfy the spouse acceptance factor and keep me out of the poor house?
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On Fri, 10 Aug 2007 17:20:30 -0400, "CraigT"

What most people think of as "cherry" aint cherry. In fact if you spent the $300 on the cherry and didn't put a "cherry" stain the wife would probably come home and think you screwed it up. Your furniture is probably maple with "cherry" stain. If you did the visible parts with maple and the shelf with poplar you'd probably have a happy wife and it won't cost you much.
-Leuf
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wrote:

. Is there a wood

Ditto - good advice. And, why waste a precious (to me, anyway) hardwood on something that will get a first glance and then be forgotten. Additionally, you might want to do a trial of your chosen stain on a piece of maple and see how evenly it absorbs. If blotchy, either do a seal coat of MinWax pre-stain or use a thinned shellac coat. I'm lazy so I buy the MinWax.
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I built a "quick & cheap" bookcase for the grand kids out of pine and used aerosol cherry tint on it.. looks great and they've used it for years..
Personally, I'll use any cherry that I can get my hands on for turning...
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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Well one thing I have done that looks close is birch with some cherry oil based finish like Watco. You may nee to use more than one coat to get the color you need. You can also use a wipe on Poly over this stuff if you need more durability.
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