Hi, I just purchased a 10 year old house with beautiful dark
brown/reddish Brazilian cherry floors. Unfortunately part of the
floors were damaged by a leak and I have to replace them. I have
looked EVERYWHERE for Brazilian Cherry of the same color but they are
all a much much lighter shade. Everyone has assured me that they will
darken in about 4-6 months. However, I just can't believe a wood can
possibly change so much in color. The new Brazilian cherry I am
finding is a light brown color, my house Brazilian Cherry is a Dark
Red/Brown color. It would have to change dramatically. Everyone I
speak to at every reseller I go to tells me the same thing, IT WILL
CHANGE to a dark red/brown color and blend with the rest of the house.
Has anyone had experience with this?
The Brazilian cherry will darken considerably, as does American black
cherry. Whether or not it will blend with the rest of your house's
flooring is less of a certainty. It should come much closer in a year
or so--I seriously doubt 6 months. Much depends on the amount of
sunlight hitting the wood. If it's in a closet, or protected from light
otherwise, the changes will take longer.
A lot of woods change color dramatically over their lifetimes if left
unstained. Black cherry is one of the most remarkable; walnut lightens
(cherry and walnut tend to pass each other during the changes).
And, of course, to the unthinkable: wood can also be stained to match
I made a coffee table from Brazilian cherry a year ago. I'm very pleasantly
surprised with the color it has turned in that year. I also have a good
comparison because of a chess board that sits on its lower shelf (which has
prevented that portion of the shelf from changing in color).
Table has gone form a nice nutty brown to a deeper reddish brown that blends
in nicely with all the cherry built in cabinets in the living room.
If you want to accelerate the color change, get your boards ready for
installation, then leave them outside in the sun for a few afternoons. The
oxidation process that changes the wood color will start quickly and you'll
be that much closer to the final color tone you're seeking.
Gary in KC
Carlos, my experience is somewhat limited, but I used to work for a
furniture store and Cherry always gets darker. In fact most of the red
woods (Cherry, Mahogany, Padauk, etc) all get darker over time. Most
also get darker more quickly in areas of high exposure to sunlight as well.
I have never tried this personally - but you might want to Google
putting your cherry in an tanning booth. I know that has come up before
and from what I remember the UV does enhance the aging process some but
there is some oxidation going on as well which just takes time.
Thinking out loud - maybe ozone would quicken the oxidation process -
but you have to be careful when dealing with that stuff.
In any case buy some stock and let it age for 6 months. If the color is
close enough for you at that point then install it. You have to put up
with the leak stain for 6 months, but it should be less ugly than the
dramatically different colored wood, and if it doesn't age to a close
enough color then you don't have to do the repair twice.
They are all a bunch of liars that just want to take your money. Fact is,
the wood will lighten as the sunlight bleaches it and in six months is will
look about the same as a pine board.
What gets me is that everyone in the wood business gave you the same sad
tale. they probably belong to a trade association that comes up with stories
to tell customers. What a farce that they would try to come off as experts
and tell you fantasy stories. Sorry to be the only honest person here and
tell you that, but one of us must show they have upstanding character and
truthful. That would be me.
The problem with what is called, "Brazilian Cherry", is that it is a
trade name, rather than the fruits of Linnaeus Naema.
As a trade name, it can include many different, some would say - far
too many different - subspecies in its grouping.
I built a set of stairs out of what was called, "Brazilian Cherry",
and it looked like this:
These pictures were taken after a wash coat had been applied.
Brazilian Cherry is closer to being a Mahogany than it is to being a
It certainly is not related to the American hardwood that we call
I did not find it to be particularly responsive to the darkening
effects of light, in an immediate sense, as American Cherry is.
When the boards are brought out of the stack, they darken without
exposure to UV, leading one to believe that the oxidation process is
air driven, rather than UV driven.
It is very tough and fibrous, and, in my experience, has many
inclusions of minerals that defeat tools that are not sufficiently
I did not particularly enjoy working with this wood. I found it to
take a poor finish, in terms of reflectivity, and as opposed to
Thomas J. Watson - WoodDorker
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
Jatoba is a favorite of mine...made many pieces using it.
I prefer it over American cherry... more consistent straighter grain, more
consistent cheaper prices, etc.
Matter of fact, I have a stash of the flooring.
Not enough to do a whole room.
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