I made some nightstands out of solid cherry and cherry plywood and
finished them only with oil-based polyurethane. Will the cherry still
darken under the polyurethane? I've seen a few responses to this
question in searches, but many of those responding were speculating.
Does anyone have any personal experience with cherry pieces finished
just with oil-based poly (no other oil first) and how they darkened.
I have cabinets, a post office desk, and a dining room table with 15+ years
on them. The darkening is obvious, esp on the cabinets where the outside is
darker than the inside. Polyurethane will not prevent darkening (thank
goodness) but it will slow it down considerably. It may take 5 years to
darken to what would occur in a year unfinished.
I think cherry has to be the finest cabinetmaking wood I have had the chance
It certainly is one of the nicest for developing patina although it can
be somewhat cantankerous for wanting to chip, etc...
For simply working properties I think walnut as almost the perfect
If the Poly is thick and has UV protectant they will still darken but
very slowly. If it doesn't they darken faster. If you want to spped it
up, set them outside on a few sunny days (ie wait till summer or take a
trip to Austraila). Make sure to keep the exposure pretty consistent
because it can darken them pretty quick.
A recipe box made from fine light cherry for my wife and finished with poly
has darkened beautifully over the past 4 years. She keeps it in a place
where sunlight doesn't hit it and so it's changing color very slowly, but
perceptibly. If you must, one way to prevent this is to keep the piece
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