Coffee table: Cherry- how to finish

I hear Cherry can be difficult to finish. Blotching and so on....
I just finished my first piece using Cherry and as usual, the anxieties of finishing a new piece are once again upon me. I;d like it to be a darker reddish brown once finished but am worried about blotching . Any suggestion are greatly appreciated..
Also, I have a 4hp compressor C/H. it pushes out about 4-5 cfm at 40lbs..(i think). Would this be okay use a HVLP conversion gun so I can spray lacquer?
Pierre in Ottawa
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Let's assume you selected the boards for the visible surface so that they match reasonably in color and figure, and pleasingly if you included sapwood.
Oil-based finishes of suitable wear resistance are my preference. No blotching, because no staining.
Oil followed by lacquer second preference. The oil helps the color. Once again, if you oil two or three times to refusal, color will be even.
If you didn't plan ahead, and want to add color, suggest you limit yourself to dyes in non-oil, or glazes in oil. Problem with oil stains is the pigment suspended in them does not penetrate evenly, and can be wiped off the surface if it doesn't.
Don't put the piece in the sun with something sitting on it, or you'll develop a light spot under whatever. In my experience, a month in the sun evens things enough to support doilies or other things thereafter.
I'll leave it to someone who likes it to tell you about hydroxide degradation.

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Use a wiping oil of your choice. Minwax Tung Oil Finish works great on cherry for me, but there are many brands of mostly the same thing. No blotching, no staining, no worries.
-- Bill Pounds http://www.bill.pounds.net/woodshop

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How well is an oil finish going to protect on a coffee table? Drinks on the table, feet up on the table, etc, ya know?
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On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 16:47:09 +0000, Keith Carlson wrote:

Make coasters and hand them out.
Put on several coats of oil. Sanding and reoiling will remove watermarks.
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Nobody, I mean nobody, puts there feet on anything but the floor or a footstool around here!
--
"Cartoons don't have any deep meaning.
They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh."
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Varnish oil would build to a nice protective finish. Coasters, serving trays, etc. are a must for any nice furniture.
As for feet, I do recall the kids tried it once when they were small. They never did again. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Ed- did you administer politically correct, appropriate corrective discipline?
wrote:

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...

Yes, I whacked their rear with a copy of Dr. Spock's book. Ed
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ROFLMAO!!!!
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Different houses, different rules. Around here stocking feet are okay, never shoes.
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"Keith Carlson"

Don't you get lint from the stockings in the bowl of dip or popcorn?
Your house, your rules.
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On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 08:37:04 -0500, Pierre Boucher wrote:

I've had excellent results with Watco natural penetrating oil. As the finish ages, it gets better.
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Pierre, cherry will get darker all by itself with a few weeks of exposure to natural light. So DON'T STAIN IT! Seeing as it's a coffee table that might attract spills, you might look at Waterlox, a tung-based varnish (my first choice for coffee or dining tables), or Tried & True Varnish Oil (takes a lot of coats to build but leaves a beautiful, natural feeling surface), or the Bartley gel poly varnish.
I'll repeat, because this is important: If you don't stain it but give it a good natural varnish finish, you will be very happy with the color. If you try to stain it, you will ruin the characteristic look of cherry that makes it such expensive wood in the first place.
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Thanks for all the suggestion folks.....even the shoes vs socks dilemma.
I'm going to keep it natural with some tung oil and then lacquer (i had no idea i could lacquer over oil)
cheers,

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I really like the look of shellac over cherry. I built a desk for my daughter and finished with BLO and shellac. On the top, I put polyurethane over the shellac for more durability. The desk has been in her room for two months and it already has a nice dark patina. I sprayed shellac with a critter on that project, but since then, my compressor broke (too much stress from spraying with a pancake compressor) and I have had success with brushing shellac.
Montyhp

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thnks..... what exactly is BLO??? and it is something you mix with the shellac?

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Boiled Linseed Oil. One of the oldest finishes around. Danish oil is a similar product that has been partially polymerized. You may want to read about them on the Tried and True web page http://www.triedandtruewoodfinish.com/danish.htm
Varnish oil build to a little higher gloss and has more water protection than the oils. I've not done any real testing on that part of the finishes though.
Oil finishes tend to have a pleasant sheen rather than a high gloss like shellac. They bring out the grain of the wood and give it a richness of its own so stains are not needed IMO. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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