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
Pierre in Ottawa
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
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
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.
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.
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,
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
varnish finish, you will be very happy with the color. If you try to stain it, you
ruin the characteristic look of cherry that makes it such expensive wood in the first
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
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
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
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.
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